The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Events Archive

Modern Houses Spring Back 3: Crystal Palace, Suffolk Lecture




Modern Houses Spring Back 3:  Crystal Palace, Suffolk. Lecture

Presented by James Soane with Christopher Ash

Thursday 10 March 2022 8pm

The architect James Soane will talk about a refurbishment project in 2014 for the sensational Crystal Palace. Formerly Tracey House it was designed by Michael and Patty Hopkins for an engineer and completed 1978 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

The Tracey House is a lightweight glass box with a radical plan, the second house by Michael and Patty Hopkins following their own in Hampstead. The house was sold in 1981 after which modifications were undertaken. The current owners bought the house in 2012.

The refurbishment in 2014 by Project Orange repaired and reimagined the building. The challenge was to maintain the integrity of the house while upgrading it. James will discuss the technical and aesthetic challenges of the project along with reflections on the nature of the ‘glass box’ as a paradigm for a home. The house was featured in the C20 Magazine 2020/2 (pages 54-62 online)

James Soane is an architect, writer and educator who founded Project Orange with Christopher Ash in 1997.  James was founding director of the London School of Architecture in 2015, where he led critical practice and research.

Members:  £4  Non-Members: £6

We will send you a Zoom link by email after you book, which will enable you to “join” the event, and we’ll be using the Q&A function to take questions at the end. If you’ve not used Zoom before, clicking on the Zoom link will take you through the set-up process, hopefully simply and smoothly! You should receive an automated link within an hour of booking so please check your spam/junk emails if you haven't received this. Any further problems please contact

Not a member yet? Join here and benefit from event ticket discounts. Looking to support our campaigning? Donate to our casework  here.

The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

Above: Crystal Palace, Suffolk after refurbishment; Photograph: Jack Hobhouse.

The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.