C20 Issue 2021/1

C20 Issue 2021/1

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C20 is the magazine of the Twentieth Century Society and features in-depth articles on architecture, design and conservation from the period.

In this issue:

In our last issue, we celebrated the work of Jože Plečnik in Ljubjana, which we saw on the 2018 C20 foreign trip to the city (how very much we want to get back to organizing those again!). Since then, although Liverpool has been controversially stripped of its World Heritage status, Ljubjana has been added as the latest example of fabulous ensemble of C20 buildings considered worthy. The citation praises Plečnik's 'Human Centred Urban Design' and its successful 'architectural dialogue with the older city while serving the needs of emerging modern 2oth century society'.

These are surely qualities which should inspire many of the schemes we look at each month in Casework Committee and the graceful knitting together of Ljubjana which some of the most modest Plečnik's work delivers is exemplary. Most importantly, the more C20 World Heritage Designations there are, the more the potential tourism and economic value of C20 architecture will be appreciated, and that has to be good for the wider C20 conservation cause. As yet, the Plečnik Stadium, the threat to which we highlighted, has no specific protection, but hopefully the design will prompt a constructive rethink of its future. 

In contrast, this issue brings three features on the visual legacy of the British coal mining industry and draws attention to how many of those buildings have been demolished. Sadly, it also reminds me that as yet no one magnificent power station cooling tower has found a viable new use, and soon all of them seem likely to have disappeared. Is that just too big a challenge? Or one we should rise to?