February 14, 2019 | Announcement: Spring Excursion

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Enlightened and Industrious. Spring Excursion to Edinburgh und Glasgow

After the Union of Crowns in 1603 and the Union of Parliaments in 1707, the building traditions of England and Scotland gradually combined to form an architectural language common to the whole of Britain. Nevertheless, Scotland's architecture continued to retain a certain independence, which was reflected not only to the after-effects of the pre-existing building traditions, the availability of other types of building material and different climatic and topographical conditions, but which, most notably in the cities of the Central Lowlands, was also due to an unusually fertile intellectual climate.

In the course of this year's Spring Excursion under the motto "Enlightened and Industrious", we therefore want to familiarize ourselves with 17th- to 19th-century architecture between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In the first part of the trip we will examine, among other things, how the classical canon of forms gradually found its way into Scottish architecture and how these developments in the end gave rise to the ideas of Palladianism. We will look at Scotland's contribution to the history of Protestant church-building, ask ourselves, how the rational view of the world that emerged during the Enlightenment manifested itself in new urbanist initiatives, and retrace the ways in which, especially in Edinburgh, the self-image as an intellectual centers led to a repeated recourse to the architecture of ancient Greece - a recourse that ultimately made the city one of the most important centers of the Greek Revival.

The second part of the excursion will look at the developments of the 19th century, including the influence of industrialisation on Scottish architecture. We will examine how newly available materials like steel and glass gave rise to innovative architectural ideas and how architecture responded to the social problems associated with the industrial methods of production. In addition, we will get to know a number of buildings in which, even during the age of historicism, the study of Scotland's architectural history led to unusual solutions that would be difficult to immagine elsewhere. And finally, we will look at the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who combined traditional Scottish architectural forms with influences from the continent and his own artistic ideas to create a completely unique variety of Art Nouveau.


Date and Venue

Introduction and registration: February 14, 2019, 6pm, AGes Bibliothek
Excursion: June 9 to 16, 2019


Dr.-Ing. Tobias Glitsch