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Docomomo – Harley Sherlock: A talk by Catherine Phillips

8 April - 19:00 - 22:00

Free – £12

A talk by Catherine Phillips

Rescheduled to Monday 8th April, 1900hrs

At The Gallery, London EC1 and streamed

Book tickets, Docomomo UK non-members, £12

Book free tickets, Docomomo UK members only

Please note that if you booked for the postponed event, you do not need to rebook. Your tickets will be valid for the rescheduled date. Should you prefer a refund or a ticket to another Docomomo UK event, please contact us by clicking here.

Harley Sherlock (1926-2014) was a London-based architect who specialised in both private and public housing, working in partnership with Malcolm Andrews, Alan Emmerson, and Julian Keable. He was better known as an avid campaigner for a revitalised inner-city, and as a well respected advisor to planners in Islington. Unusually for his generation, Sherlock’s public sector work was carried out from his own small practice, as Andrews Sherlock & Partners.

The firm’s early schemes included an estate of houses for private sale in Highgate, the Southwood Development (1959-61), and a medium rise block of private flats in Bayswater, St Olave’s Court (1961). During the 1960s, Sherlock developed an approach to urbanism that put him at odds with the car-centric, mixed height development orthodoxy of the era. Championing the existing fabric of much of inner London, he argued for a low rise, yet denser city, with vibrant, mixed use neighbourhoods, street oriented, with good public transport.

In 1968, the London Borough of Islington commissioned Sherlock’s practice to demonstrate these ideas with a scheme of 205 dwellings at Popham Street. With two and three storey buildings he achieved densities higher than most of London’s tower block estates. The practice combined this approach with conservation, focused on the rehabilitation of Georgian and Victorian terraces as council housing. At sites such as Tibberton Square and Claremont Square, they turned larger buildings into smaller dwellings, while giving every resident access to open space and excellent daylight.

This talk will explore Sherlock’s earliest terraced housing project, the Southwood Development, the little known St Olave’s Court, the low-rise, high-density council housing at Popham Street, and the rehabilitation of the Georgian Tibberton Square.

Catherine Phillips was a director of MPH architects (2006-2020), who designed the Cork House, Eton. Her interest in Harley Sherlock began when commissioned to refurbish one of the flats in his St Olave’s Court. She teaches architecture at University of East London, and Westminster University. She is also an artist and plays electric violin in a rock band.


8 April
19:00 - 22:00
Free – £12
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The Gallery
70 Cowcross Street
London, EC1M 6EJ United Kingdom
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