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Basil Spence: Buildings and Projects
Publisher: RIBA Publishing
Date Published: Mar 2012
Stock Code: 74335
Total votes: 35
In the 1950s and 1960s, Basil Spence – architect of Coventry Cathedral and of Sussex University – was Britain’s best-known architect. However, Spence’s varied and superbly crafted oeuvre has until now defied proper analysis in the wider twentieth-century cultural context. Basil Spence: Buildings and Projects combines critical essays with a chronological framework to paint a vivid picture of the architect and his times. Lavishly illustrated with photos and drawings from the archive, many published for the first time, the book reveals the virtuoso draftsmanship that lies behind Spence’s groundbreaking architectural vision.
The book falls into two parts – a critical historical section and a List of Works. The first part comprises four chronological sections. Each begins with a chapter containing an overview of practice history and of Spence’s public and personal life, followed by chapters setting Spence’s key buildings in their historical and critical context. The second part contains a comprehensive List of Works, documenting all Spence’s projects and illustrating many of them in order to give a sense of the range and diversity of his life and work.
Elegantly designed and packed with superb period photography and drawings, Basil Spence: Buildings and Projects is a landmark event in the literature of architectural history.
Roderick Easdale - Country Life, April 2012
It is a large and ambitious book, with contributions from David Walker, Clive Fenton, Robin Skinner and Brian Edwards, but is clearly organised with topic-based essays and a well-illustrated list of works. It keeps the needs of a general reader in mind – and gives excellent value for money.
Hugh Pearman - RIBA Journal
At his busiest – at the turn of the 1960s – Spence made himself even busier by being elected RIBA President, though he missed out on the Royal Gold Medal despite being nominated several times. The Institute has paid him back, all these years later, with this handsome book, edited by leading academics from Warwick, Edinburgh College of Art, and the RCAHMS repository of the Spence archive. The cover price is remarkably reasonable for a book of this size and scope.
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