For the most part, architectural history in Britain is the story of gradual change and evolution, of long term trends that give meaning to events as they unfold, even moments of apparent crescendo and climax. From time to time, however, there comes a tipping point when old certainties are overturned, new ideas break free and the clock of history is reset: we call this a Year Zero.​

In the third talk of the series, architectural historian Olivia Horsfall Turner discusses the boom and bust of the South Sea Bubble in 1720: the year exposed the alignment of financial speculation and architectural acquisitiveness, but did it reset architectural style?

Having studied at Cambridge, Yale and UCL, Olivia Horsfall Turner worked as an Architectural Investigator at English Heritage and an Historian with the Survey of London. She is now Senior Curator of Designs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where she is responsible for design process drawings and models from the fourteenth century to the present day. In addition to curating exhibitions at the Yale Center for British Art, the V&A and the Venice Biennale, she has broadcast for BBC4 and frequently publishes articles and reviews on a variety of art and architectural subjects.

About the series

This series, organised in partnership with Machine Books, invites writers, critics, historians and architects to identify and reflect on a single Year Zero – when the trajectories of architectural and broader history connect and coincide and the status quo is changed forever. Each speaker has written a complimentary essay, available to purchase as an ebook, discussing their own Year Zero.

Doors open at 18:45. We are in a Grade I listed, 19th-century building, so access is not always straightforward. If you require step-free access or extra assistance, please contact us in advance of your booking on or 020 7405 2107.

Event Info

13 Mar 2019

19:00 to 20:00

£10 / £5 students