Berthold Romanovich Tolek Lubetkin 19011990

Hidden Tecton members included Douglas Bailey, Anthony Chitty, Lindsay Drake, Michael Dugdaie, Valentine Harding, Denys Lasdun, Godfrey Samuel, Francis Skinner. ne can't be entirely sure of anything where Lubetkin is concerned, but it seems he was born in Georgia, son of a relatively wealthy Jewish engineer and spent most of his life denying this Jewish identity, even claiming to have been the son of a famous Russian admiral. It appears that he was educated in St Petersburg and Moscow and, by...

Location location location The Queens House 161635

Why would anyone build a house for the Queen of England straddling a main public road to Dover The answer lies in the disposition of royal land to the north was the River Thames, London's life-blood and an eminently easy way to travel, where a principal royal palace was located next to the Thames the rambling, red-bricked, gabled and chimneyed Palace of Placentia, begun in the mid-fifteenth century and later demolished for the Wren building that now stands there (the former Royal Naval...

No 30a Hendon Avenue 19568

Geoffrey Chaucer School, Harper Road, off New Kent Road, Southwark, 1958. Vanbrugh Park Estate, Greenwich, 1961-5 (90p.p.a). This practice has two outstanding works to its name the Golden Lane estate, and the adjacent Barbican, designs linked not only by authorship but by adjacency and the introduction of 'Brutalist' tastes to the later stages of the former development. Chamberlin was born in Australia, son of an army officer. However, he was educated in England and at Oxford University who...

No910 Saville Row 19278

Abbey House, Baker Street, 1928-32 (dubbed 'the tomb ofthe unknown borrower'). Opposite page the Royallnsurance building, Piccadilly, 1908. Left Royal London House, 1929. The building immediately to the west was also Royal London House, by Belcher, 1904-5 (now Triton Court, altered by Sheppard Robson, 1980-5, with a large new archway). Below Neptune, atop Cooper's Port of London Authority building, 1912-22. Bottom sculpture at the entrance of the Royal School of Mines, by P.R. Mouniford,...

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church rc

Bodley (the other assessor was Shaw) should join with Scott. It wasn't a happy arrangement and Scott felt severely hampered until Bodley died in 1907, just before Scott had determined to give up and resign. He was to work on the cathedral (his most famous work) for most of the rest of his life, simplifying the original neo-Gothic design, lending it a more classical flavour and designing every detail that craftsmen and artists had to execute. (In fact, the first bay of...

Richard Gilbert Scott son of Sir Giles

Richard Gilbert Scott

Below the staircase at the Midland Hotel, St Pancras (George GilbertScott) prior to restoration and the hotel's conversion. Scott was the beginning of a rather talented line of architects. His son, also named George, appears to have been rather undecided as to whether he was an architect or scholar. He went to Eton, then entered his father's office as an articled pupil and later as an assistant, but was persuaded to attend Cambridge University. He seems to have been significant in shifting...

Robert Hooke 16351703

In 1665, Hooke, who had met Wren at Oxford, said of the latter Hooke wrote that, Since the time of Archimedes, there scarce ever met in one man, in so great a perfection, such a Mechanical Hand, and so Philosophical a Mind But Hooke was hardly less and has a particularly high scientific reputation. The two became great friends and worked closely together. Hooke was born on the Isle of Wight, but came to Westminster school as a young boy and then went on to Oxford. In 1663 he was awarded an MA,...

Robin Hood Gardens

Ten and seven storey blocks engendering a 'stress free' central area, designed according to the then new Parker Morris standards, built in the Swedish Sundh system Jeremy Dixon as the job architect. The Smithsons were odd heroes architect's architects, intellectuals, brave and obscure, idiosyncratic and prickly, talented and arrogant, authors of one of London's worst housing estates (Robin Hood Gardens, Isle of Dogs) and one of its finest urban insinuations (the Economist group, in St...

Royal Naval Hospital for Seamen

This has a magnificent painted hall and chapel to visit, as well as the architecture as a whole (now, in part, Greenwich University and Trinity School of Music). Marlborough House, between the Mall and Pall Mall (opp. St James' Palace), 1709-11. Lower two storeys third storey added by William Chambers, 1771-74 entrance 'hall' and some interior work by Pennethorne, 1860-62. Chapter House, St Paul's 1712-14. St Paul's Cathedral. When, at the height of the Empire, national...

Shadows on the pro The National Theatre 1976

The National houses a hierarchy of three theatres large, novel and thrusting medium and conventional, with an adjustable proscenium small and experimental, 'in the round'. These are so organised that the largest (the 1190 seater Olivier) sits on a dominant axis at 45 degrees to the Embankment approaches. The smaller, 890 seater Lyttelton sits slightly set back at 90 degrees to the river. And the 300 seater Cottesloe is even more 'deeply' buried, around the side and under the Lyttelton. These...

Sir Joseph Bazalgette 181991

Architecture, urban forma and engineering were often entwined in Victorian London and there is a need to mention a man who was important to the London we experience today, a man who worked closely with architects and gave many of them significant design opportunities on the streets he created Joseph Bazalgette. He kept a large private practice and his biographer notes that Bazalgette's role was to monitor the progress of private bills passing through parliament of works which would have an...

Sir Roger Pratt 162085

Summerson remarked that Jones stands as an isolated historical figure and that it was Roger Pratt who later came to the foreground as a man who later picked up the Jonesian task of Italianising English architecture. Pratt - an architect who, in his day, was as eminent as Wren - was born in Norfolk and educated at Oxford and the Inner Temple. The Civil War prompted him to travel abroad and, from 1643 to 1649, he was in France, Holland, Italy (where he matriculated in Law at Padua later, he...

Sir Stirrat Andrew William Johnson Marshall 191281

Bottom JohnsonMarshall. Iatthew was is another Scotsman who made good in London. He was born in Edinburgh, son of the architect John Fraser Matthew, partner of Sir Robert Lorimer. He graduated from Edinburgh University during the Depression and, without work, he studied slum housing. By 1936 he was advised by a family friend to work at the Department of Health for Scotland. Between 1940-45 he was working on the Clyde Valley regional plan, with Patrick Abercrombie and, by...

Soane Nash

After Adam and Chambers, two figures dominate the view of London's architecture during the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries John Soane and John Nash. In contrast to their predecessors, these are recognisably modern figures no longer amateurs, but quasi professional. However, they practised in a period when the vocational 'disinterest' that was supposed to characterise the twentieth century professional remained a blurred issue in which architecture, art and development were...

St Bartholomew Hospital 173059

Now rather obscurely lost amid hospital life, but an interesting place to visit (see St Barts-the-Less and St Barts-the-Great). The man who is born into a Scottish Roman Catholic family, who lives for many years in Rome, who dies a Catholic and yet, somehow, manages to maintain a very successful career serving a Protestant aristocracy in a power structure deeply suspicious of anything Catholic is surely an interesting architect. John Summerson describedGibbsas,...

St George Bloomsbury 171627

The fact that Hawksmoor has become the 'devil's architect' of novelists, historians and journalists anxious to excite their readers' fantasies gets between us and the architecture. St George's, Bloomsbury is a good example of the latter. The church exhibits the man's private concerns as well as his architectural inventiveness and idiosyncracities, but that damnable upper part to the tower overly excites interest. In fact, any architect-cum-speculative-mason of the day would place their work in...

St Stephen Walbrook

Among the finest of the surviving City churches is St Stephen Walbrook, at Bank (1672-87). Externally, it is unprepossessing the exterior is not important apart from the tower which would once have raised itself above the surrounding roof tops (as Pugin later reminded us). At the ground, it is the entrance door and entrance sequence that is important - leading up steps into that part of the whole which is all important the interior. Here, Wren strives to produce a centralised plan that, as at...

St Thomas Hospital

Lambeth (at Westminster Bridge), 1966-76. That YRM rode to success on a wave called the postwar welfare state is a fact. How that came about has not been explained, although one can surmise that the success of the practice had a lot to do with 'K' Yorke, as he was called, combined with expertise from the foreign and Modernist expertise of his two partners Rosenberg, from Czechoslovakia, and Mardall, from Finland. Rosenberg arrived first. He qualified in Prague and was there in private practice...

StMaryle Strand 171417 St Martininthe Field 172226

Gibbs' most famous building in London stands in contrast to most of the City churches and their compromised inventiveness. The church is prominently sited, stand-alone and large, and attempts to unify all its parts into an orderly whole that has none of the agitated assertiveness of Hawksmoor. In particular, it marries portico, vestibule, the body of the church and a tower in a manner that suggests a refined Christianisation of the Classical temple and strikes a note of accord with new tastes...

Swiss Cottage Library

There is one London building that still sustains Spence's reputation the Swiss Cottage Library (Sir Basil Spence, Bonnington and Collins), refurbished by John McAslan's practice in 2005. It is worth a visit, representing a lost tradition of well designed and stocked libraries that this nation has neglected in favour of things such as 'idea stores'. Spence first entered into relations with Hampstead Borough in 1958, winning the commission to design a town hall with some extravagant features that...

The Cenotaph 1919

It is perhaps fitting, but nevertheless ironic, that London's finest example of Lutyens' work is arguably the Cenotaph a comparatively small civic monument to the dead of WWI witness to a significant change point in his career, devoid of domesticity, religiosity or commerciality. That it remains a significant memorial, now embedded in annual civic rituals, says much about the success of the design as well as the depth of pain caused by war. The basis of the design for a cenotaph (meaning an...

The changing Victorian townhouse

Above three parts of a late C18th Georgian fa ade, the central part showing Regency modifications and, especially a rendered ground floor and the addition ofa portico wtth Doric columns (all in Eaton Place). Centre a house from the 1830s, showing a similar typology but now more thoroughly Italianate - and completely rendered. Right the final stage in this evolution the implicit order of base, giant order and attic has now been replaced by the formula Barry favoured a cornice that replaces the...

The Lord Mayors ceremonial coach 1758

N 1750, there were two key figures dividing up London commissions James Paine and Robert Taylor. Burlington, Cambell, Kent, and Leoni were dead or not practising Adam and Chambers had yet to arrive on the scene. Taylor was the son of an Essex master mason who, at fourteen, was apprenticed to a sculptor. After the latter's completion, his father paid for what is described as a 'frugal' tour to Rome. He returned on news of his father's death to find the man had been bankrupt and there began a...

The minster in the east St Pauls Cathedral

The two most important churches in London are St Paul's Cathedral - the minster in the east - and St Peter's, the abbey in the west, at Westminster. Both are key to London's urban topography and the politics of relations between the historic trading City in the east and the life of the English Crown and its court, Parliament and the civil service, and the Church located in what was once the low-lying, marshy lands at Westminster. Between these two locations is a ceremonial civic route from...

The rule of taste

In the early C18th it became bound to the notion of a senus communis (a sense of the community and an implicitly ethical relationship between people) and a person's sensibility with regard to its imperatives as if this were a sixth sense one was simply meant to know what was right, proper, correct, tactful and appropriate. Such a sensibility was, of course, to be cultivated and carefully exercised in order that what was tactful, true, well-proportioned and thus...

The Soane Museum

There is delight and regret in Soane, a man of raw ambition and probity, of humour and bitterness, and what he had to say and what he did in Lincoln's Inn are, perhaps, the content of an architectural psychologist's dream. As a self-confessed lover of architecture he surrounded himself with the subject as a fluidity of historicity and values firmly rooted in the epochal sensibilities of his day and vicissitudes of his own fate. Soane held antiquity in high esteem, but was convinced that the...

Thomas Leverton Donaldson 17951885

Thomas Donaldson has the credit of HW - I being a principal creator of the Institute of Architects, founded in 1833 and quickly establishing royal patronage in 1837. The other authors included Philip Hardwick, Thomas Allom, William Donthorne, and John Buonarotti Papworth. When awarded its royal charter in 1837 the Institute became the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, eventually dropping the reference to London in 1892. The context was a variety of attempts to form exclusive...

Tower of London 1077 on

There is an architecture to the Tower, and it is not uninteresting. Within the complex as a whole, the 27 m tall White Tower is the central feature that remains substantially as it was in when completed, as the conquering sovereign's forbidding foothold in the eastern boundary of the City - a dominant place from which he could oversee the City's cowering and unfriendly inhabitants. The Tower remained an imposing place of imprisonment and executions until World War II although, officially, it...

TUC Congress House 194857

Swiss Centre, Leicester Square, 1961-6. Aberdeen's claim to fame is the TUC's Congress House, won in competition in 1948 in a post-war period when the TUC's seventy staff represented nine million unionists. It was a grim period in London's history, with the Depression tears still fresh in people's memories. But, especially among architects, it was also one of optimism and hope for the future of post-war Britain. One has to imagine this work of bright, transparent Modernism arriving in a...

United Services Club 1827 Pall Mall

This was the entry arch to Buckingham Palace, later moved to its present location. Below the Regent's Park, 1830 (until 1811 Marylebone Park). Although the career of John Nash - who attracts epithets such as unihibited, irrepressible, irresistible, amiable, and amusing - parallels that of Soane, the latter considered Nash to be an architectural charlatan. However, Alastair Service reports a letter from Nash to Soane in which it is suggested that Soane is architect to the...

Westminster Abbey 1375 on

Peter is a fine work of architecture whose unfortunate fate has been to end up as a secular tourist attraction and funeral vault celebrating significant past lives (beginning with the open tomb of Henry V's queen, Catherine of Valois, which sat here for three centuries, but now including all kinds of political, military and poetic figures). As at the Tower, one has to struggle to get to the architecture. The origins of the church are obscure - claimed by its...

United Free Church

Also, houses at Nos.135-141 Hampstead Way. Below the frontage of the Bishopsgate Institute. Below the frontage of the Bishopsgate Institute. Townsend was born in Birkenhead, the son of a solicitor and his wife, a Polish pianist. At sixteen, he was articled to the Liverpool architect Walter Scott (to 1872) and, from 1873-75, was with Charles Barry before joining Edward Robert Robson's office at the recently formed London school board. It was about this time...

The Royal Courts of Justice 186782

In 1867 Street and a number of other distinguished architects entered a competition for new law courts in the Strand - one of a series (as for the Palace of Westminster, the Foreign Office, Royal Exchange, Kensington museums, etc.) that defined a new status for the profession. It was a mismanaged project and the judges could not pick a winner satisfying their criteria (a design by Burgess stands out). Edward M. Barry and Street were appointed to come up with a joint design Street on elevations...

St Mary Woolnoth 171627

Historical change at St Mary of the Nativity began a long time ago - when William Butterfield arrived tin 1875 to remodel the interior by taking away the two galleries. However, as with many of the City churches, one is looking at a reincarnation that dates back to at least 1191. There was then a church of 1438 that burnt in the Great Fire, had Wren repair it in 1674, but was finally replaced by Hawksmoor's work. The reredos (the decorated screen behind an altar), pulpit and plasterwork are all...

The Banqueting House 161922

Jones' Banqueting House in Whitehall takes the form of a large galleried room for formal dining and occasional elaborate masques set above a basement decorated with 'rock and shell worke', where private drinking parties took place. It is also the last remaining fragment of the rambling, medieval Westminster Palace, within which it stood as a strange, set-piece statement at odds with all around it the initial commitment of what was intended to be a (never realised) grand palace. The Banqueting...

Modernism tainted and untainted

Andrew Derbyshire, once a well known post-war English architect, reminisced that, When I left the AA the prestigious Architectural Association School of Architecture in 1951, fired with enthusiasm to build the welfare state, I sought, like most graduates, to join the public service. We thought of private practice as money-grubbing, unfitted to pursue the ideal of social architecture Similarly, Ron Herron, a member of the Archigram group, another well-known and respected architect of the '60's...

No19 Lincolns Inn Holborn 1868

The house was designed in the so-called neo-vernacular 'parsonage' style developed by Pugin, Street, and Butterfield for their small vicarages, cottages, and schools picturesque, free of academic convention and based on good building and simplicity. The house (1859-70) became an 'arts & crafts' showcase for its garden, furniture and internal decor as well as the house design itself. Meanwhile, in 1861, after leaving Street in 1859, Web became a founder member of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner...

Glory for old pensioners Greenwich Royal Naval Hospital

The former naval hospital at Greenwich is a strange building it doesn't look as if it could ever have served such a purpose. It was designed by Wren in 1695 as a way of completing schemes for Greenwich Palace (initiated by Charles II, to designs by John Webb this is now the King Charles Block, 1664-9, on the north west side) and its central parts were constructed between 1696 and 1702 as a naval counterpoint to the army hospital at Chelsea. Vanbrugh, Hawksmoor and others all played a role in...

Extant London works

University College, 1827-8, GowerStreet. National Gallery, 1834-8, Trafalgar Square. Sainsbury Wing extension by Vebnturi Scott Brown. Former St George's Hospital, 1828-59 , now Lanesborough Hotel 1966-91 , Hyde Park Corner. University, graduating in 1800 and setting off to the Continent for four years to Greece, Asia Minor and Italy . But his father had brought him up to be an architect and he was already exhibiting at the RA in 1799. Wilkins set up in practice in Cambridge in 1804, and then...

The Hampstead Garden Suburb

Hampstead Garden Suburb is a peculiarity in London a residential development that takes up a large swathe of urban land just north of Hampstead Heath and a place one either loves or finds curiously disturbing. Its origins were in the ambitions of the reformist Dame Henrietta Barnett 1851-1936 married to the vicar of an East End church and founder of the Whitechapel Art Gallery who sought to both protect the Heath from speculative development that was following the march of the Northern Line out...

The Farrell Grimshaw Partnership FGP

Terry Farrell and Nick Grimshaw were, for over ten years, partners who graduated from the AA in 1965 and immediately entered upon a professional career together. In 1980, they were 'divorced', Farrell then embarking on a remarkable ten years that saw him established as Britain's premier Post-Modernist and Grimshaw, on the other hand, standing shoulder to shoulder with the High-Tech group that included Foster, Rogers and Hopkins. These contrasting stances hardly helped the Farrell Grimshaw...