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Basil Spence: Buildings and Projects

Edited by Louise Campbell, Miles Glendinning and Jane Thomas

Published by RIBA publications on 6 March 2012.

Basil Spence was the most publicly celebrated architect of the postwar era in Britain - a status, sometimes controversial among younger avant-gardists, that he achieved largely through his unique ability to synthesise modern architectural forms with more traditional values of 'beauty' and 'art'. But although he is best known for his authorship of Coventry Cathedral and a handful of architectural setpieces, his practice also encompassed the full range of activity and architecture of the Welfare State, including numerous schools, universities and housing projects. This authoritative book presents in detail, and for the first time, the buildings and projects designed during his astonishingly broad and productive career. It reinstates Spence and his practice in the mainstream of architectural practice from the early 1950s until the early 1970s.

This superbly illustrated book draws on the Spence archive in Edinburgh and the research conducted in 2004-8 by the editors and contributors as part of the AHRC project 'the life and work of Sir Basil Spence 1907-76: architecture, tradition and modernity'.

It comprises 14 chapters devoted to key buildings and building types, interspersed with 4 chapters on Spence's personal and practice history, together with a comprehensive List of Works giving details of architects and archival sources for the buildings and projects designed by the Edinburgh and London offices.