In 1971 Peter Smithson published a poetical work on architecture that continues to inspire its readers to consider space, form, materials and nature today. What surprises many is that this was not a work exploring examples of modern architecture, but rather a celebration of the historic city of Bath. Walks Within the Walls takes it readers on a physical and philosophical journey around the historic streets of the Bath as they flow into the natural landscape surrounding the city. Yet this is a publication that is as much about modernity as it is about the past. Walking the walks reveals the originality of form, the ingenuity of designers and the understanding of materials that illustrates the innovation of the 18th and early 19th century. Through Smithson’s eyes we see not a static city of a frozen past, but a ‘live shell’ that has much to teach and inspire our ideas of current and future design.
The current “Walks within the Walls” is the third edition revised by permission of the Smithson Family Collection by Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and Bath Preservation Trust.