The Architecture of Destruction

The Architecture of Destruction
A sociopolitical history of London’s built environment

Eray Cayli

The course presents a social and political history of London’s built environment read through the key of two major events of destruction in London’s history: The Great Fire of London (1666) and the Blitz (1940-41). From this perspective destruction and (re)construction are seen as intertwined, rather than mutually exclusive, processes that together have shaped architecture and urbanism in the British capital. The scope of the course, focuses on buildings and their relationship with the urban environment, stretches from the architectural context of London before the 17th century to that of the post-Second World War capital. Thus the course uses the lens of destruction—in both social and material senses of the word— to frame and discuss a history of London that goes from the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, through Puritan iconoclasm during the English Civil War and the Romantic fascination with ruins in late 18th-century Britain, to the era of Metropolitan Improvements and Industrialization in the 19th century.


Eray Cayli Bartlett School of Architecture.

Eray Cayli is an architectural historian and theorist. He has previously lived, worked and/or studied in Istanbul, Stockholm and Berlin. Since 2011 Eray is based in London, where he has taught Architectural History & Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the History of Art Department at University College London. He holds a PhD in Architectural History & Theory also from the Bartlett.