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Authentic Futures and Robert Bevan

Authentic Futures, a heritage consultancy led by Robert Bevan, has as much enthusiasm for contemporary design as for the historic environment. This is a rarity in a field that is often more concerned with static preservation than the creative layering of buildings and places that ensures that our towns and cities remain dynamic and relevant.

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As a consultancy, Authentic Futures works with some of the UK’s best design practitioners, including a number of Stirling Prize winners. Projects range from advice on individual houses as well as substantial office and residential schemes and the adaptive re-use of historic public buildings.


Authentic Futures has a particular expertise in area-based work including characterisation studies, impact assessments and urban design proposals in sensitive historic settings such Bath’s WHS and the creative quarters at Hackney Wick and the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool.

Research and writing

Robert is also a skilled researcher and effective communicator, not only through his consultancy work but also through his writing that spans award-winning journalism, academic work, essays and books.

Monumental Lies: Culture Wars and the Truth about the Past

Robert’s recent book Monumental Lies: Culture Wars and the Truth about the Past is proving a critical success. The book examines the politicisation of the historic environment and reminds us why material evidence matters so much. It has been a book of the year in the Financial Times,  the Art Newspaper and elsewhere. Robert is undertaking a tour of US universities and the Getty this September. A paperback edition will follow.
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“One of the most compelling progressive voices in the heritage world ... Using his nuanced knowledge of architectural history, he is attempting to unpick some of the myths and straight lies deployed when architecture is weaponised.”
– Eddie Blake, Tribune
“From statues of slave traders to pictures of medieval town centres offered as evidence of "cultural superiority", architecture and public art are everywhere in a coarsened discourse. Robert Bevan...navigates the territory delicately and brilliantly”
“This close reading of the city is a potent response to the culture wars because it deals in precisely the historical honesty that culture warriors have no stomach for. Righteous but always nuanced, Bevan is the perfect guide to the way urban iconography distorts history and entrenches power.”
– Justin McGuirk, Senior Curator, Design Museum


Camden Highline 


Camden is to have its answer to New York’s High Line and the Viaduc des Arts in Paris. Eventually the elevated and landscaped path will run alongside the railway line from Camden Lock to King’s Cross. Field Operations led the Manhattan project and is now leading in London too. The Architects vPPR are a long-time…

Shrub Hill

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Historic Shrub Hill Station (believed to incorporate Brunel designs) sits on a rise above the cathedral city of Worcester and is surrounded by an industrial area which contains important but fragmented structures from the city’s railway and canal past. Authentic Futures worked with a team led by AR Urbanism to deliver a regenerative blueprint for…