Michael James Lewis

A Love Letter for Alan Cooke


This is an ongoing project that explores the idea of architectural heritage through a study of Norwich’s Anglia Square. Across the UK, structures of the brutalist era are being demolished or threatened with demolition. Many of these structures have been so maligned that we collectively fail to see them for their formal qualities. Instead, our views become distorted by the layering of prejudice against the recent past on the (frequently neglected) architecture itself. Before long, we may be left with an entire decade missing from the build fabric of our cities.


Perhaps it is impossible to consider architecture without its cultural context and associated meaning. The desire to romanticise the distant past comes easier than recognising the mistakes of modernity. Hence we celebrate the ancient as heritage but are often willing to disown the contemporary and modern. However, we must remember how frequently we neglect significant cultural contributions, only for future generations to discover and adore them. The implications of demolishing our architectural heritage are irreversible. This project is an argument that we should approach this erasure carefully and critically.



Click here for an archival collection of photographs and drawings of Anglia Square.

Selected for Without Words Film Festival, University of Lorraine, Ile du Saulcy, Metz, France (2014)

Invited selection by STRP as part of their Silent Cinema program for FIBER Festival, Amsterdam (2015)


The film utilises archival photographs of Norwich’s Anglia Square, mixed with live footage. The photographs and footage are manipulated into the most basic elements of architectural convention – using the line to denote space. Drawing from Daniel Libeskind’s Chamberwork series, these moving images question how we define space and, subsequently, architectural merit. Through distortion, perhaps, we are able to see more clearly.

A Love Letter for Alan Cooke (edition of 100) Riso print on sugar paper

Freely distributed pamphlet celebrating the architectural merit of Anglia Square.

Op-ed for Norfolk Eastern Daily Press Monday, July 21, 2014

Proposing an argument for the preservation of Anglia Square. Full text here.

Interview with James Benedict Brown for Future Radio discussing the project and exhibition at the Norwich Arts Centre.

Please visit the archive here.

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