Continental Drift

As part of the Architecture Foundation’s Good Grief series exploring themes of loss and resurrection, this evening debate tackles the ramifications of the recent EU referendum


07:00pm, Wednesday, 14 September 2016


09:30pm, Wednesday, 14 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

From Pevsner & Lubetkin to Schumacher & Aureli, European practitioners and theorists have long played a critical role in London’s architectural culture. European graduates are the life blood of London’s established firms and European commissions fuel the offices of emerging ones. How a London detached from Europe will operate is unclear and, for many, scary. 

As part of the Architecture Foundation’s Good Grief series exploring themes of loss and resurrection, this evening debate tackles the ramifications of the recent EU referendum. 

In contrast with national and even regional institutions, the EU has signally failed to develop a visual iconography that speaks of a shared European identity. The illustrations on Euro bank notes depict metaphorical (but not actual) bridges between nations, a contrivance that suggests a wider failure to engage designers in the conception of the EU project.

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?


Jack Self, Writer and Editor-in-Chief of the Real Review

Carlos Maria Romero & Santiago Latorre, Performance Artists

Patrik Schumacher, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects

Vicky Richardson, Writer and Curator

Adrian Lahoud, Dean of the Royal College of Art

Martha Rawlinson, Architectural Designer, AOC

Charles Saumarez Smith CBE, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts 

Julia King, Architectural Designer and Urban Researcher at LSE Cities

Irénée Scalbert, Writer and Architectural Critic

Steve Webb, Co-Founder of Webb Yates Engineers


About the tomb

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.

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.

More about the Good Grief series