“Coal is King”: Architecture and Energy Regimes in Victorian Britain

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


As the current climate emergency deepens, it is no longer adequate to leave ideas of sustainability to engineers, practitioners, and studio-based educators. Ways of understanding and teaching architecture’s history must also respond. Understanding architecture from a radical material perspective has the potential to foreground the nexus between architecture and energy consumption through time. In this lecture Alex Bremner will discuss a number of historical scenarios relating to architectural production in Victorian Britain. His will trace regimes of energy consumption and their attendant networks of procurement and production, highlighting the centrality of building as material process, including the significance of this to the history of architecture.
Period12 May 2021
Held atUniversity of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • VIctorian
  • architecture
  • energy
  • climate change
  • coal
  • architectural history