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Royal Gold Medal 2018 Social Housing Debate - Neave Brown: Building a Legacy
Alexandra Road Estate by Neave Brown. Image courtesy Eric Firley / RIBA Collections
Talks and lectures

Royal Gold Medal 2018 Social Housing Debate

This year, the RIBA will be paying tribute to the pioneering work of Neave Brown, the 2018 Royal Gold Medal recipient, through a debate on social housing.

Neave Brown: Building a Legacy

Pioneering British architect Neave Brown very sadly passed away earlier this month. He was awarded the Royal Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honour in architecture, in recognition of his unparalleled contribution to public housing. His ground-breaking designs for high-density, low-rise social housing in London in the 1960s and 70s, including the visionary Alexandra Road estate near Swiss Cottage, with its striking stepped concrete terraces and spacious flats, shops, workshops, public park and community centre. It remains, in Neave’s words, a 'piece of city.'

In the midst of a growing housing crisis, our panel will look back at Neave Brown’s housing ideals and innovative architectural philosophy to address the current urgent social relevance of his work and offer solutions for today.

What is the legacy of Neave Brown?

How can housing succeed in the public sector?

And what role can architects play in creating the sustainable, community focussed housing solutions that Neave championed?

The event will begin with a new short film, specially commissioned by the RIBA, celebrating the life, work and legacy of Neave Brown. We will also welcome Neave's son and daughter Aaron and Zoe Brown, who will pay tribute to their father in a personal reflection.

Our panel features:

  • Cany Ash, Founder and Partner of Ash Sakula Architects, where she runs Adaptable Neighbourhoods, a strand of Ash Sakula that researches the ingredients of sustainable and neighbourhoods. Cany has previously worked for the GLC Architect’s department and has taught at a number of architectural schools
  • Jo McCafferty from Levitt Bernstein. A champion for inventive design in housing, Jo has extensive experience of designing and delivering innovative housing projects of all scales across the UK
  • Dr Janice Morphet, Visiting Professor at The Bartlett School of Planning. Janice has conducted a series of major research projects on Effective Practice in Spatial Planning, infrastructure delivery planning, the British Irish Council, major infrastructure projects, local authority housing and smart cities
  • Finn Williams from Public Practice, a social enterprise placing a new generation of planners within local government to shape places for the public good
  • Chaired by Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian architecture critic

The ticket price includes a glass of wine, a beer or a soft drink after the event.

The Royal Gold Medal programme is sponsored by