Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sir Basil Spence re-viewed: the architect and his office

This one-day event focussed on Basil Spence's career during his most prolific and creative decades, between his work at the 1951 Festival of Britain, and the high profile projects of the 1960s and 70s. Short presentations by members of the AHRC research team considered Spence's transition from Scotland to the English architectural world of the 1950s, and his work at Coventry and the University of Sussex. Elain Harwood of English Heritage spoke about her experience of listing Spence's buildings.

Spence's evolution as designer was examined, his working methods, and - with the help of contributions from former members of his staff - the ways in which his various offices functioned. Topics such as personal style, individuality, collaboration, authorship, approaches to materials, and relationships between drawing and architecture were discussed.

The day concluded with a reception at the Herbert Art Gallery and an opportunity to view the RCAHMS/National Galleries of Scotland's exhibition Back to the Future: Sir Basil Spence 1907-76, the full version of which was on show in Coventry.