In this lecture, Charles will tell the story of the architecture of A House For Essex via a journey across the county, from its industrial London fringe to its agricultural north. Along the way the talk will take in inter-war plotland communities, post war new towns, 1960s university buildings and late twentieth century suburbia, showing how the design of the house reflects its surroundings as well as a number of other architectural influences.
FAT (1994 – 2013) was a cross-disciplinary architecture, art and design practice. Formed originally as a loose collective of architects, artists, film makers and designers, the practice was known for its provocative and playful approach and a desire to expand the definitions of each discipline. FAT went on to design a number of the most influential buildings of the era including the Islington Square housing estate in Manchester, the Hoogvliet civic centre in Holland and the Blue House in Hackney. Their work has been published and exhibited worldwide and has won numerous awards.
FAT was run by three directors: Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland and Sam Jacob. In 2013, they decided to close the practice stating that it had achieved all that it had set out to do. Hugh Pearman, architecture critic for the Sunday Times, described FAT as having “changed the architectural weather”. Each of the practice’s director’s have since gone on to run their own solo practices. A House for Essex was the practice’s final project. It was run by FAT Director Charles Holland, who continued to oversee the project until its completion in 2015. Following this, Charles set up Charles Holland Architects and is also Professor of Architecture at the University of Brighton.