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0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Helvetica}This exhibition features fifty ink drawings of contemporary buildings by Pablo Bronstein, all constructed after 1975, but stylistically ‘Georgian’. These are displayed alongside historical Neo-Georgian pieces from RIBA’s Collections, amongst which are works by Colen Campbell, Michael Searles and Robert Adam. The archived material establishes the ‘context of architectural practice through time’ (Bose, 2017:2) by presenting a side by side comparison of Georgian and Neo-Georgian works. At first glance, the drawings seem to be of buildings made in the Georgian era, but on closer inspection there are details that situate the buildings in the present. Bronstein regards this Pseudo Georgian style as an epitome of British vernacular at the time, and a symbol of social ideals. The banal application of the style on modern buildings is what he portrays through his drawings.

He states the aim of using this style is ‘to successfully and economically pander to delusions about our past, and flatter our vanity of wealth and class’ (ArchDaily, 2017).The exhibition identifies with the theme of ‘Space and Time’, which is particularly evident in the way Bronstein’s work is presented alongside historical Neo-Georgian pieces to allow you to situate each piece during a certain time period. Furthermore, the curation also plays a role in this as the carefully selected pieces are placed strategically to create this narrative. (Buxton, 2017).  This exhibition space was designed by the architectural practice Apparata, collaborating with Bronstein and the RIBA curatorial team, and is set across seven small rooms. The space has been reconstructed as an interior of a Neo-Georgian show home, the objects and drawings being placed to create a domestic environment. When you enter the first room of the exhibition space, the first thing that draws your eye across the room is the wallpaper (See Fig.

6). An eye-catching buttercup yellow striped wallpaper, and another room painted in a dark eggplant colour which is a departure from the conventional clean white walls or raw concrete p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.

0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Helvetica}audiences are used to seeing. Framed drawings are organised by type of function along with the drawings from the RIBA archives, hung between a dado rail and cornice. Each room has a specific focus, leading from the first room with introduces the context of the exhibition.

The room after the antechamber, contains a selection of City Block buildings and the following space is the room for Residential Terrace. The other rooms display works in Large Developments, Civic and Commercial Buildings and Individual Houses. The curator’s juxtaposition Bronstein’s contemporary drawings, against historic examples of Georgian architecture, such as Colen Campbell’s design for Grosvenor Square (See Fig. 7) and a design of Wood Street’s City Police Station, by McMorran & Whitby.

The bigger central space contains the research, and highlights the historic work on display from the RIBA Collections. Along with articles from issues of the Building magazine, from 1975 to 2002 (RIBA, 2017). The articles investigate the evolution of the neo-Georgian architecture in Britain. I believe this was an effective way of displaying these materials, it gives the exhibition a narrative and deeper context.The title of the exhibition is inspired by the titles of 18th and 19th century social comedies and theatre productions. For example, the adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, a novel by Charles Dickens, was advertised as ‘Nicholas Nickleby; or, Doings at Do-The-Boys Hall’ in 1838 at the Adelphi Theatre (See Fig. 8). The term ‘Pseudo-Georgian’ is a neologism created by Bronstein, to describe the frequent imitation of the style in Britain.

The ‘Conservation’ refers to ‘nostalgia, security and a historically inflected sense of national identity’ (E-flux Architecture, 2017). The strong connotations of the title, cunningly presents the deft and knowledgeable exhibition audience a taste for what they are to see.  Britain loves the Georgian style because it is a reminder of its ‘growing commercial, industrial and military empire that is now lost. It is an architecture of the golden age, and full of reason and grandeur’ (Luxford, 2017) and this is exactly what the exhibition portrays to its audience. This is an exhibition that brings together a strong British architectural cannon and reflects the way time and p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Helvetica}industrial advances can impact architecture and one’s view on it.


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