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Eric Lyons and Span

Barbara Simms

  • Format: Book

  • Pages: 256

  • Publisher: RIBA Publishing

  • Date Published: Jul 2012

  • Stock Code: 58648

  • ISBN: 9781859462560

  • Binding: Hardback

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Total rating: 4.33 out of 5
Total votes: 12

Description

Due to popular demand we are delighted to offer Eric Lyons and Span once again.

Lavishly illustrated and deeply researched, this book celebrates the work of the architect Eric Lyons OBE (1912-1980), whose famous post-war housing - that today would be marketed as 'lifestyle housing' - is as well loved today as it was vibrantly successful when first constructed. Built almost entirely for Span Developments, its mission was to provide an affordable environment "that gave people a lift".

Influenced by Walter Gropius, Lyons brought a commitment to high density housing and the idea of fostering community into his Span work without compromising his intuitive sensitivity for landscape. His success brought the practice an impressive array of awards and led to a term as President of the RIBA.

The enduring success of his design philosophy can be traced forward to 2005, when Span received a special Housing Design Award given to schemes that meet the current Sustainable Communities Plan. Indeed, the concept of Span mirrors current best practice thinking in housing design and continues to offer a fresh, relevant challenge to volume housebuilders in Britain today. This book serves as a lively reminder of that fact.

Written by distinguished historians, practitioners and Span enthusiasts, the book has been researched using the archive compiled by Ivor Cunningham, one of Lyons ex-partners while a detailed gazetteer contains scale plan drawings of many of Spans housing templates.

This ever-popular title has sold over 2000 copies since it was first published in 2006. Now back in print from August 2012.

Short video guide to the work of Eric Lyons

This programme provides a brief guide to the work of the architect Eric Lyons and property development company Span Developments. It places Lyons’ architecture in the context of post-war reconstruction and addresses the influence of Maxwell Fry and Walter Gropius upon his work, which combined the use of repeated forms and standardised parts with an artistic view of architecture. View the Eric Lyons and Span video here.

About the Author

Barbara Simms

Barbara Simms is a garden and landscape historian with a particular interest in the design, conservation and interpretation of landscapes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  She is a lecturer in garden history at Birkbeck College (University of London) and Cambridge University Institute of Education. A former owner of a T8 house in Wimbledon, Barbara recently completed a dissertation on landscape conservation on Span estates at the Architectural Association. She is editor of Garden History, the Journal of the Garden History Society and is currently writing a book on the garden designer John Brookes, to be published by Conran Octopus in 2007.

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