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Third of a Million Pound Study To Shed Light on UK’s Most Prolific Post War Architect

Basil Spence with a model of the Cathedral
Sir Basil Spence with a model of the
(Print Version)

A University of Warwick researcher has won a grant of over a third of a million pounds to research the life and work of a man who was arguably the UK's most prolific post war architect - Sir Basil Spence.

Dr Louise Campbell of The University of Warwick's History of Art Department has been awarded a grant of £342,473 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to conduct the research. The 4 year research project will be led by Dr Campbell at the University of Warwick who will work in collaboration with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (who hold the Sir Basil Spence Archive).

Sir Basil was the principal architect behind a plethora of: post war buildings including: Coventry Cathedral, a number Sussex University buildings (including the Grade1 listed Falmer House), the British embassy in Rome, Glasgow Airport, and the Knightsbridge Barracks in London.

The research will be vital to the Sir Basil Spence Centenary Exhibition planned by the National Galleries of Scotland for autumn 2007. There will also be a major academic conference at the University of Warwick on Spence's work in 2008. The research team's work will produce a detailed source book containing documentation of Spence's work.

The research team will include two new research fellows, one at the Spence archive in Edinburgh and one at the University of Warwick. They will also recruit a PhD student who will undertake an extensive study comparing the work of Sir Basil Spence with Coventry's first City Architect Sir Donald Gibson who masterminded the rebuilding of Coventry (then the fastest-growing city in Britain) after savage bombing of the city in November 1940. This comparative study of the two architects will provide a particularly important insight into the significant differences between public sector architecture, as personified by Gibson, and private sector architecture, as represented by Spence, in the mid 20th century.


NB: both pictures on this page are copyright the "Royal Commission on tHe Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland" and their copyright should be acknnowledges if you use the pictures.


Alternative picture

Diagram of Cathedral Interior
Diagram of Cathedral Interior
(Print Version)

For further details please contact:

Dr Louise Campbell, History of Art
University of Warwick: Tel: 024 76 523005

Peter Dunn, Press & Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick, Tel: 024 76 523708

PR36 16th May 2005