In mid-March, Dr. David Watkin, architectural historian and professor emeritus at Cambridge University, visited five ICAA chapter locations to present Classical Language Past and Present.
Dr. Watkin considers classicism an architecture of imitation combined with invention in which the orders are timeless through their relation to the human body and through their ornament derived from plant forms. He weaves a web of resonances linking past architects such as Ictinus, Vitruvius, Bramante, Scamozzi, Schinkel, Hansen, Soane, Cockerell, McKim, and Mead and White with current architects like Krier, Porphyrios, Greenberg, Quinlan and Francis Terry, John Simpson, Robert Adam, George Saumarez Smith, and the brilliant classical sculptor, Alexander Stoddart.
His lecture drew on his personal association with many of the present day architects whose work he has defended in public planning enquiries and written about in books and articles. The story involves a life-long battle against the British establishment which is Modernist in terms of both architecture and, ironically, of conservation.
Dr. Watkin’s U.S. tour began in Los Angeles with the Southern California Chapter. Continuing on to San Francisco for an evening lecture with the Northern California Chapter, Dr. Watkin then went on to present his lecture to the Chicago-Midwest Chapter, the New England Chapter, and the Florida Chapter.