Good Grief

Three evening events exploring loss and rebirth in the heart of Highgate Cemetery within a specially-commissioned temporary tomb by Sam Jacob Studio


07:00pm, Wednesday, 14 September 2016


10:00pm, Friday, 16 September 2016

Where: Highgate Cemetery, Swain's Lane, London N6 6QX

Tickets: £10


This is a past event

Good Grief is a collaboration between the Architecture Foundation, Sam Jacob Studio, Mushpit and Highgate Cemetery


The Architecture Foundation


Sam Jacob Studio




AKT II, Carmody Groarke, RCKA, Zaha Hadid Architects

Drinks Sponsors

2016 has not been a year for the faint-hearted. Celebrity deaths, attempted coups, a nation divided by its future, the looming spectres of isis in the East and Trump in the West: the horsemen of the apocalypse are out of the gates and bearing down on us fast. 

But do not be afraid of the dark. Dust off your existential dread and set sail over the river Styx to join the Architecture foundation for a new series of evening events grappling with grief. 

In the dying light of September evenings, we will gather for a programme of four events rolling away the stone on the recent loss (and potential resurrection) of projects, people and ideas.

Good Grief will be staged in and around a specially-created pavilion designed by Sam Jacob Studio, itself a resurrection of Adolf Loos’ unbuilt tomb for Max Dvorak. Loss is perhaps the hardest thing to communicate through architecture. in this pavilion, a ghost of a building that never lived, Sam Jacob Studio creates a vehicle for travelling to the netherworld and back.

Join us in the graveyard of ideas...

Wednesday 14 September, 7pm

Continental Drift

Tackling the ramifications of the recent referendum. What role could architecture have played in representing the EU and how can it now give expression to a post-Brexit Britain? What could an independent London city-state mean for the urbanism and economy of UK? Is Brexit a loss to Britain’s architecture or an unprecedented opportunity to conceive new models, methods and identities?

Tell me more

Thursday 15 September, 7pm


Zaha Hadid’s sudden absence offers a challenge to her followers and combatants alike. What aspects of her work are relevant to architecture’s future? How has her cultural prominence impacted on the generation that has grown up in her shadow? Could our current professional culture produce a talent of comparable originality and influence? 

Tell me more

Friday 16 September, 7pm

Forget About It

Our yearning to mark collective loss may have encrusted London with monuments to an ever-growing number of victims but has this proliferation undermined our sense of what is sacred? This debate asks whether our culture of rampant memorialisation is sustainable or healthy. Can a city remember too much? Have we hit ‘peak memorial’ and if not when will we?

Tell me more



About the tomb

Sam Jacob Studio's A Very Small Part of Architecture (2016)

The Good Grief series is staged in and around a specially-commissioned temporary tomb designed by Sam Jacob Studio entitled A Very Small Part of Architecture.

A Very Small Part of Architecture resurrects Austrian Modernist architect Adolf Loos’s 1921 design for a mausoleum for art historian Max Dvorák. Though never built, the image of Loos’ design has haunted architectural culture ever since. Here the heavy dark and masonic form is recreated at 1:1 scale using a lightweight timber frame and scaffold net: A ghostly reenactment of an unrealised architectural idea.

Adolf Loos's Mausoleum for Max Dvorák (1921)

It takes its title from Loos’ essay Architecture (1910) in which he argues that “only a very small part of architecture belongs to the realm of art: The tomb and the monument”.

Built within Highgate Cemetery, amongst the many monuments and memorials to the dead, A Very Small Part Of Architecture makes a different kind of memorial. Not one dedicated to a person, an event or a moment in time, not designed to remember the past but instead to imagine other possibilities, altered presents and alternative futures.