Architects pay tribute to Modern champion
Readers may be interested to hear of the moving funeral ceremony for Christopher Dean, held last week at William Butterfield’s colourful and eclectic All Saints Church, Margaret Street. Many of London’s Modern Movement architects paid tribute to the indefatigible campaigner for docomomo-uk.
A wake at the aa followed, where tributes continued to pour in almost as steadily as the champagne flowed in praise of a man who had a passionate and energetic enjoyment for life, Modern Architecture (always with a capital A) and engineering. His last project was concerned with a wide range of modern communications and transportation buildings, including an early aircraft hanger at Hatfield, which one day we hope will house the long- discussed jet museum.
Christopher Dean was a rebel with a cause. That cause was the organisation docomomo, the name of which, founder-president of docomomo-International Prof Hubert-Jan Henket reminded guests, was really Christopher’s invention. The name has become synonymous with his campaigning zeal, an enthusiasm which irritated some and brought rich cultural rewards to others, including English Heritage.
It was with a sense of sadness, irony and relief that looking through the correspondence that Christopher did not see at docomomo-uk’s offices, we found a letter from eh confirming the Grade II* listing for the Colin Lucas Noah’s Boathouse at Bourne End. It was just one more issue he had battled over for years.
docomomo-uk, whose membership is open to anyone interested in modern architecture, urbanism, art and design, has announced that this year’s annual lecture will be named ‘The Christopher Dean Memorial Lecture’ to be given at the aa by Professor Robert Maxwell in the autumn. Additionally, a Christopher Dean Memorial Fund has been started (on the day of his funeral nearly £1000 was raised). Additional contributions should be made out to the Fund and sent to docomomo-uk, the Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1.