Architecture in tension: an examination of the position of the architect in the private and public sectors, focusing on the training and careers of Sir Basil Spence (1907-1976) and Sir Donald Gibson (1908-1991)
Walford, Sarah Helen (2009) Architecture in tension: an examination of the position of the architect in the private and public sectors, focusing on the training and careers of Sir Basil Spence (1907-1976) and Sir Donald Gibson (1908-1991). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Walford1_2009.pdf - Submitted Version - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
WRAP_THESIS_Walford2_2009.pdf - Submitted Version - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2334597~S15
In the early 1900s tensions began to appear within the architectural profession, as private practitioners struggled to deal with the implications of professional colleagues moving into public sector employment. Sir Basil Spence and Sir Donald Gibson began their architectural training in the mid-1920s and, as tensions between the sectors intensified, Spence entered private practice and Gibson chose to enter the public sector. Each became an exemplar of his chosen sector of the profession and yet both have, until recently, escaped critical attention. The tensions between the public and private sectors of the profession have been acknowledged within the historiography, but not received detailed analysis. This thesis advances the current historiography by presenting an examination of the division between the sectors, focusing on the relationship between the RIBA and the public sector union AASTA and assessing the influence of AASTA on Gibson's Coventry City Architect's Department. Through an examination of archival material, contemporary published material, and buildings, this thesis builds on the work of the Sir Basil Spence Archive Project, adding detailed accounts of his early life, architectural training, and RIBA presidency, presenting new information and correcting certain aspects of the accepted historiography. It likewise presents new information on Gibson's early life and training and his central role in achieving improved status and representation for the public sector. An analysis of selected projects provides a comparative study of their contrasting approaches to architecture: the technically informed, collaborative team-work of Gibson and the individual artistry of Spence. Both men played pivotal roles in reforming the RIBA and in changing public and professional perceptions of the architect, nevertheless, the long lineage and complex nature of tensions within the profession meant that the public/private division was never be bridged and issues of status and representation remained essentially immutable.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||N Fine Arts > NA Architecture|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Spence, Basil, Sir, 1907-1976, Gibson, Donald E., 1908-1991, Royal Institute of British Architects, Architects and community -- Great Britain, Public buildings -- Design and construction|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of History of Art|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Campbell, Louise, 1950-|
|Sponsors:||Arts & Humanities Research Council (Great Britain) (AHRC)|
|Description:||Images have been removed from volume 2 due to copyright reasons.|
|Extent:||2 v. (378 leaves ; 82 leaves : ill. (some col.))|
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