Holford: A study in architecture, planning and civic design

ISBN 13: 9780720117868
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She was not full blooded enough, she had no passionate desires, hardly any wilfulness even. Then one day her mother asked her and Bill to dinner and a show and that finished it. Her mother was a ghastly travesty of the girl Ruth. Bill who had a vivid imagination in these respects could not see the two together without remarking on their similarities.

It was too much for him.

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His experience of American women, however, had been in the nature of a preliminary reconnaissance: it would be more than two years before he explored further. The return to Liverpool was a prelude to the grande finale of a student career in the School of Architecture, the preparation of an entry for the Rome Prize. It would be difficult to over-emphasize the importance of the Rome Scholarship in the life of the School under Reilly. As such it was the richest and most prestigious award available to an architectural student, and the winning of it was generally considered to be the first step on the path to fame.

It was manifestly not an occasion for innovation or experiment. Though critical in his outlook and intellectually inquisitive, the ease and understanding which characterized his dealings with older people militated against rebelliousness. But he had not in any significant sense been exposed to the influence of the authentic article.

Even if he had been inclined towards architectural radicalism he would have kept it in check until the Rome competition had been lost or won. The preliminary stages of the competition and the working up of the designs took up much of the early part of The procedure was complex. The first stage of selection was the preliminary examination of portfolios by the Faculty of Architecture. Successful candidates then went forward to an interview, which was held in London in February These interviews were not so much competitive as an exercise in screening.

From the point of view of the British School at Rome, there were obvious difficulties involved in keeping a community of young artistic people, living in exotic surroundings, from indulging themselves in one way or another at the expense of their studies.

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The architects Liverpool 23 were not exempt from this tendency, for an earlier Rome Scholar had made his mark on the School by running off with its Secretary, and the winner of the competition had begun to exhibit modernistic leanings which were to lead eventually to an abortive intervention by Luytens in an effort to bring him back to the classifical fold.

In , however, all the candidates at interview were able to satisfy the Faculty of their fitness to hold the Scholarship. This was to be done en loge, which was to say that the sketch design would be executed under controlled conditions and the final entry worked up on that basis. The en loge lasted for two days during which we were incarcerated in the RIBA building and slept there overnight. We were walked out in a crocodile for meals and could only go the the lavatory one at a time.

There was no obvious favourite: Holford was hopeful, but so too was Stephenson who, despite his admiration for his friend, thought himself the more likely winner. There were other strong contenders, among them Robert Matthew, Hubert Bennett and Laurence Wright, famed in Liverpool for the brilliance of his sketching and rendered perspectives and admitted to the final stage of the competition on the basis of his performance the previous year. Ornamental terraces and an outer stair led up to a fourcolumned entrance topped with antique sculptures.

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The paved space in front of the building was partially enclosed by projecting walls and dotted with exhibits: the museum would be functioning before the visitor had entered the front door. Within, a shallowdomed entrance hall led directly through to a central lecture theatre, to either side of which were disposed two paved and planted inner cloisters, open to the sky.

Around these were wrapped work and exhibition rooms, and to the rear was a high-roofed hall containing complete classical columns and other large exhibits, running the whole breadth of the building. The visitor would find the approach and the entrance formal and dignified, dignity being sustained through into the lecture theatre; but further exploration would lead him through the intimacy of one of the cloisters to an encounter with the climax of the composition, the great exhibition hall.

Outwardly, the building would have presented a long stone front, the horizontal emphasis sustained by the absence of windows above ground level and the suppression of the entrance hall dome. The pantiled roofs which help to enliven the apparent severity of the elevation would not in practice be visible to the approaching viewer, who would instead see the front walls as a substantial but discreet setting for the statuary and classical masonry displayed outside.

Liverpool 25 It is a satisfying design to study. Its thoroughness, the careful and somewhat idiosyncratic detailing and the lack of pomposity which sometimes attended Rome Prize entries are all characteristic of its author. With the competition and a first class degree behind him the way was now clear for his return to the source of its inspiration. The consequences of his success, however, were not to be those which he could, in , altogether have anticipated.

Reconstruction: its Place in Planning History

In choosing Rome he had, unwittingly, tied his own fortunes to those of an institution and a mode of thought which, in architectural terms, had already began to wane. The German elections of that year had resulted in the emergence of both Nazi and Communist parties as major political forces, and in France too the struggles between right and left were gaining in intensity.

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Summary. Originally published in Holford is not just a biography of a major architect, planner and civic designer. In describing the life and times of the man. klasimfirofu.gq: Holford: A study in architecture, planning and civic design ( Planning, History and Environment Series) (): Gordon Cherry.

Mussolini had consolidated his power in Italy, while the Soviet Union was two years into the first of its Five Year Plans. The old order had been put to the test in and found wanting; and to Holford and Stephenson, as they corresponded over the coming three years, the muddle-headedness and decaying bourgeois gentilities of England came more and more to resemble doomed relics of an earlier age.

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Although Holford never had a practice in South Africa, he did return for several visits. Osborn and pp. Their exhibition of proposals received wide professional coverage, but again most of it critical. Anticipating future West Indian planning work. I developed a strong research centre on rural housing and construction of demonstration houses to help improve the quality of houses in rural areas. Please try again, the name must be unique. The principles of the report survived, but the expensive viaduct over Charterhouse Street, a two-level roadway along the line of Upper Thames Street, and a high-level riverside walkway were lost.

Sexually repressed, loosed upon Europe in the first flush of early manhood at a time when neither Fascism nor Communism had lost the gloss of novelty, it is small wonder that they reacted strongly to events around them. They were capable of cynicism, but it was towards the known, the established and the old that it was directed.

They believed, in a way which people in their mid-twenties no longer do, that they and their kind could remake the world in their own image. There was, in the minds of a number of young architects, a kind of congruence between the state of Europe and the state of their art. Theirs were the politics of negotiation and compromise, attempting to save capitalism by patching and mending. Their architectural equivalents were the Royal Academicians and the Architectural Faculty of the British School at Rome, the Edwardian individualists who in building the banks, the offices and the colonial capitals of the old order gave its values built form.

In opposition to these there appeared the harbingers of radical change, variously manifested in the persons of Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and Mosley. The new methods were those of propaganda, social disci-pline and decisive action. Science and technical expertise might be directly harnessed by a powerful state to regenerate society, and in such a process young architects possessed of the new techniques and attitudes might expect to play an important role.

vanwardimc.com/includes/lidybera/qony-site-de.php Their Corbusian texts were couched in language that was didactic, iconoclastic and often milennial, and had the added charm of elevating the architect to positively heroic status. Until the results of the design competition for the Palace of the Soviets became known in , it does not seem to have occurred to them that the architecture of the new social order might be other than their own.

Politically quiescent under Fascist rule, the dream of a revival for the ancient glories of an imperial past led the cultural establishment to favour an evolution of classical architectural forms, rather than any more radical international alternatives.

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There was, it is true, a native modern movement centred around a group of architects in Como and Milan. Its Rome exhibition of that year provoked a strongly adverse reaction from the more conservative National Syndicate of Architects, and prewar Italian modernism was thereafter doomed to compromise and eventual suppression.

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It is worth noting, however, that we have no evidence of his ever having gone in search of it. We do not know whether he was even aware of the struggles which were being played out between MIAR and the National Syndicate of Architects: if so, he did not concern himself with them. His main contact with the new architecture and with the politics of Europe was made through his correspondence with Stephenson, who had obtained a Chadwick Fellowship to study sanitary science in Paris. When he first set off for the Continent, however, the state of Europe and of its architecture were not among the things uppermost in his mind.

Holford arrived in Paris late in September More sophisticated, confident and cosmopolitan than most, he was not so affected by the prospect of adventures ahead as might be expected. Nonetheless it was exhilarating to be in Europe and free of the disciplines of Liverpool, and he was aware that there were important realms of experience which he had yet to explore.

When he and Stephenson had stayed in the rue Jacob three years before they had observed the proprieties. Now he wanted to see more, and he took the opportunity to initiate himself into Parisian low-life. This he seems to have done with the same light touch and controlled objectivity which he applied to other fields of knowledge: his account of his investigations, in a letter to Stephenson, conveys a vivid impression of his first tentative dip into the fleshpots. Every place I went into seemed to be a brothel. I went to four, quite authentic ones, and drank a little wine in each and came out again.

One was startling. An unpretentious front and the usual cabaret doorkeeper. I Holford a study in architecture, planning and civic design 28 was ushered into a room and before I knew where I was half a dozen strapping wenches came and flapped their tits in my face. It appeared that I was to choose one to—well, drink with anyway. So I made the best of a bad job and we sat down—or rather I did, while she spread herself over me like bloater paste over a sandwich; and I became about the most embarrassed person the world has ever known.

She told me her various adventures and the strange places she had been to and then hinted that it was time we got down to business. Contrary to expectation there were no demonstrations when I made a cowardly exit-only polite exclamations of regret and hopes that I would come again. Two days later, after a rendezvous with old Liverpool friends and a visit to the Folies Bergere, he took the train for the south.

He was moving now into a very different ambience. Making a leisurely advance on Rome, he steeped himself in the atmosphere of the places through which he passed.