News and Events
English Heritage has just added the churches of St John Willenhall and St Chad Wood End to its listed buildings register. With the recent listing of St Oswald Tile Hill (added to list in October 2014) this means that all of Basil Spence’s churches in Coventry are now protected. They were nominated by Louise Campbell, supported by the Twentieth Century Society.
For more images see the project Image Collection.
The Swiss Cottage Library in north London (Spence, Bonnington and Collins) was opened 50 years ago. It was planned as part of a large complex which included a swimming pool (now demolished ). A later, more ambitious scheme for Camden Council comprised a civic and cultural centre and a hotel (see David Walker's essay on Civic Centres).
Jack Bonnington, who played a major role in its design, and David Walker, who researched the project for of the Basil Spence AHRC research project, spoke at an event organised at the Library on 12 November. An exhibition to mark the anniversary was displayed in the Library last year.
Geoffrey Clarke died on 30 October.
Clarke was one of the youngest of the talented team of artists who worked at Coventry Cathedral (Patrick Reyntiens is now the sole survivor). Clarke designed three of the nave windows, the high altar cross and candleholders, the canopy in the Guild Chapel and the flying cross on the fleche of the new Cathedral. He was one of Spence's favorite sculptors and produced magnifient site-specific sculptures for many of his other buildings, namely Thorn House, the Physics buildings at Liverpool, Newcastle and Exeter University, and Spence's own house at Beaulieu.'
An obituary by Charles Darwent for The Guardian newspaper can be viewed here.
Spence project team contribute to DVD
English cathedrals and monasteries through the centuries: an interactive DVD-ROM produced by University of York/English Heritage in 2013 contains contributions by Louise Campbell on the new Coventry Cathedral and Sarah Walford on 20th-century cathedral architecture.
Roland Paoletti (1931-2013)
Roland Paoletti died in November 2013 at the age of 82. He worked for Basil Spence as an assistant in 1958-9 and again in 1963-70, helping with designs for Sussex University and the British Embassy in Rome.
The long interview he gave to Louise Campbell and Miles Glendinning in 2006 helped to inform Glendinning's chapter on the Rome Embassy in Basil Spence Buildings and Projects.
Andrew Saint's obituary of Paoletti for the Guardian was published on 21 December.
Sacred Spaces in Modern Britain
Louise Campbell will be giving the keynote lecture at this Twentieth Century Society/DOCOMO conference in London on 30th November 2013. The title of the lecture is From Coventry to Canterbury: raids, ruins, politics, pilgrims.
Research team book shortlisted for two prestigious prizes.
Basil Spence: buildings and projects ed. L.Campbell, M.Glendinning and J. Thomas (RIBA Publishing 2012) was recently shortlisted for two prestigious book prizes: The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain's Alice David Hitchcock Medallion, 2012, for an outstanding contribution to the literature of architectural history, and the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History, 2013.
The Berger prize judges described it as follows:...
'This elegantly produced book is hugely impressive and to the point, filling in much invaluable material and making sense of 20th-century Modernism in Britain and the place of Spence within it. An example to all of how to combine several contributions into a whole, that was the product of a vast amount of research.'
An exhibition to mark Spence’s enduring contribution to the University, bringing together for the first time the University’s own collection of original drawings (some by Spence), models, photographs and artifacts. Original research by Professor Howard and by the country’s leading Spence scholar, Sussex alumna Dr Louise Campbell, brings out the significance of the buildings, while Spence himself will be seen giving his views in archive film as part of the visitor experience. Opens 10 May 2012.
Book edited by Louise Campbell, Miles Glendinning and Jane Thomas
Published by RIBA publications on 6 March 2012.