In the popular imagination the universities of Oxford and Cambridge conjure up images of venerable ivy-covered courts and quads preserving an antiquated way of life. The 20th Century Society’s new journal presents an alternative picture, detailing some of the significant changes to the physical fabric of these universities during the twentieth century. Buildings after 1920 in the universities and colleges of these two universities represent a microcosm of wider architectural change, veering between the conservative and the revolutionary. Well funded and well documented, often by architects of international standing, they represent a rich topic for study both individually and as a group, raising questions of patronage, changing needs and perceptions of style, and some lost opportunities.
The essays in this collection highlight examples about which little if anything has been previously published. From the inter-war period there are articles on Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of Cambridge’s University Library, on Sir Edwin Lutyens’s Campion Hall, and the failed attempts by Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry to import an international Modernism to Oxbridge in the thirties. Conservatism dominated until the late 1950s, then Modernism rapidly gained ground, seldom without controversy. Further articles cover the master-plan for new faculty buildings on the Sidgwick site, Cambridge by Casson and Conder, as well as the controversies surrounding the imposition of a new scale needed for scientific research in Cambridge’s centrally located New Museums Site by Arup Associates. Further articles deal with the St Cross Library, Oxford by Colin St John Wilson; the Senior Common Room at Downing College, Cambridge by Howell, Killick, Partridge and Amis, a famous example of contextual Modernism, and lastly how one of the superstars of international modernism, Arne Jacobsen, came to design one of the most archetypically English institution, an Oxford college.
255 x 198 mm, 192 pp, Paperback Colour illustrations Published January 2014 ISBN: 978-0955668739
Only £ 10.00
Libraries, fire stations, health centres, town halls and police stations – once a stable presence in the high streets of Britain, are now threatened by demolition or insensitive conversion. They embodied high standards of materials and craftsmanship that formed the image of public service.