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Sir Basil Spence RA OM (1907-76) was one of the most prolific British architects of the post-World War Two era. Born in India during the colonial era, Spence was educated in Scotland and spent his early career during the 1930s designing country houses. It was after returning from wartime service in the army that he built his reputation as a Modern Movement architect, with a series of projects - including Coventry Cathedral, Hyde Park Barracks, and the University of Sussex- would define his career.

But despite his public prominence as an architect during his life, and his large volume of work, Spence is today less celebrated. Through an exploration of some of his key buildings, Keith Williams invites us to look again at Spence’s legacy.

Keith R Williams FRSA MRIAI FRIBA is a multi-award winning architect and founder + director of design at Keith Williams Architects. His projects include Athlone Civic Centre, Ireland, the Unicorn Theatre London, Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and Clare County Library + Art Gallery, Ireland (under construction). He is currently working on upgrading the Spence Quarter at the University of Sussex.

Basil Spence: Radical or Reactionary, a talk by Keith Williams
Image: Keith Williams

General Info

Event Type(s) Talks and Debates
Tickets / Admission £ 6
Tickets/Booking/RSVP: www.docomomo.org.uk/...

Venue / Location

The ABA Gallery, EC1 More Info

Address: 77 Cowcross Street
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Public Transport Farringdon


Docomomo UK

About “We are not only about conservation and documentation, we are about Modern Movement. And MOMO is an idea. It is a way of thinking and the thinking of emancipation, egalitarian society. And for the future, it is tremendously important.” Hubert Jan Henket (founder of Docomomo International) The Modern Movement first exploded onto the world from the technological and social transformations of the late 19th and early 20th Century. It revolutionised art, philosophy, and politics. Now as then, it sits across culture: with buildings and space its most visible monument. Three decades ago this legacy was under threat: its architecture, and the ideas that inspired it, were widely discredited. Docomomo was established as a global network to defend the buildings and the movement. Though the Modern Movement’s reputation has been rehabilitated, its buildings and spaces are vulnerable in new ways. In today’s rush to rebuild, too many possibilities to imaginatively adapt and reuse Modern Movement buildings are ignored. Docomomo UK exists to protect that Modern Movement vision. We are an organisation with a unique depth of knowledge – connected internationally, with a multidisciplinary membership that extends beyond architectural expertise into the wider community. It is our goal to ensure that the relevant ideas, principles, and achievements of the Modern Movement are brought to attention of a wide public.
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