Join Richard Hill, Lecturer from NYU London, as he speaks about how, alongside deprivation and austerity, Liverpool humor has invented the term “multiple celebration” to describe the flourishing heritage, tourism, culture, retail, and partying worlds of the city centre. It will take place on Wednesday, October 23rd from 6:30pm to 8:00pm in NYU Silver 301.
Some of the UK’s most deprived areas are in Liverpool. The historic core of the city is a World Heritage Site and one of the top British centres for cultural tourism. The retail hub of the city is thriving at a time when town centre retail is generally in decline. Bars and night life abound. Gentrification is taking place in the beautiful streets of “Georgian Liverpool”. Elsewhere low standard new housing is replacing Victorian terraces at suburban densities but with none of the charms of the leafy nineteenth and twentieth century suburbs that surround the city. There is virtually no market for new office buildings, and the rate of new company formation is low, so the economy of the city hangs by a thread.
Graduate students at NYU in London visit Liverpool each year and we examine these contradictory features of Britain’s most interesting city. In this lecture I will explore two questions. The first is to ask whether Liverpool is unique, or whether it shares important features with other old cities in Europe and the United States. Of course Liverpudlians would argue that their city is unique, but perhaps the people of Detroit or Dresden or Hamburg would say the same. Secondly, I will describe the way we approach the topic: the detailed pre-briefing and research, the intense itinerary of visits (Liverpool is a great city to walk around), and the seminars in which students share their experiences and ideas with local experts. We are continually developing and updating the programme, aiming for it to be a model of focused study of the complexities of modern urban life.
Richard Hill studied at Cambridge University. After qualifying as an architect, he worked at first on social housing projects in London. But for many years he managed to evade standard professional practice, working in teaching, research and construction management. In 1999 Yale University Press published his Designs and Their Consequences: Architecture and Aesthetics. By degrees he moved back into the centre ground of architectural practice. He was project manager for the design team at the V&A British Galleries and in 2004 began work with Richard Griffiths Architects where he led the Practice’s involvement in the regeneration of St Pancras station. He has worked on many other design and conservation planning projects, including the University of the Arts London, at Kings Cross. Richard has been involved with the NYU MA course since its inception. His design for a new house on the Hebridean island of Colonsay is under construction. It will be stone on the outside and brightly modern on the inside. Richard worries a great deal about whether Ruskin would approve.