In Spring 2009 the third series examined the lives, personalities and work of a selection of key figures from the twentieth century, whose buildings – loved and loathed – neglected or venerated – contribute to the London we see today.
Erno Goldfinger RA
Monday 16 February
Before the Second World War, Hungarian-born Erno Goldfinger’s London work was primarily small projects like his own Hampstead house. By the early 1960s, large-scale development opportunities saw him create some of London’s most recognisable buildings, such as Alexander Fleming House and Balfron and Trellick Towers. Professor Alan Powers, University of Greenwich, discusses this important architect.
Monday 2 March
Controversial but unmissable, Richard Seifert's designs brought a modernist aesthetic to commercial building during the booming 1960s office market. His mark was made on London’s skyline with Centrepoint and the NatWest Tower (now Tower 42), which was for a long time the tallest building in the City of London. James Dunnett discusses Seifert’s vast output of commercial work.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we regret there is no recording of this event.
Sir Denys Lasdun RA
Monday 9 March
Denys Lasdun’s bold and dramatic designs of the 1960s, like the National Theatre and the Royal College of Physicians, are among the most notable buildings to come from the theoretical energy that made London an important centre for architectural thought in the 1950s. Dr Barnabas Calder, University of Strathclyde, reveals Lasdun’s very personal interpretation of archetypal forms, which Lasdun believed to be the essence of architecture and city-making.
Powell and Moya
Monday 23 March
Philip Powell RA and Jacko Moya launched their practice when they won the competition for the Churchill Gardens housing estate in Pimlico, bringing a human quality to the modernist style. The incredible structure of the Skylon at the Festival of Britain has stayed in people’s imagination, while Powell and Moya’s mark was left on London with the Museum of London and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, as architectural historian Kenneth Powell discusses.
Alison and Peter Smithson
Monday 6 April
The Smithsons exercised a fascination over London’s architectural scene with a small number of iconic projects - and a keen sense of their own importance. Max Risselada discusses their theoretical and architectural impact on London, looking at such buildings as the Economist Building and the controversial Robin Hood Gardens.
Chamberlin Powell and Bon
Monday 20 April
Chamberlin Powell and Bon designed a larger area of postwar London than any other architectural practice, encompassing the Golden Lane Estate and the adjacent Barbican. Elain Harwood outlines their radical vision for buildings and the spaces around them, combining private and social housing, education buildings and a major arts complex.