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CRITIC'S CHOICE

REVIEW

One of the key figures to show architects what was happening beyond these shores during the inter-war period was the photographer Frank Yerbury. In his day job he was secretary (chief administrator) of the Architectural Association and many of the articles that he illustrated were produced in partnership with the AA's then director, Howard Robertson.

A new exhibition of Yerbury's work opens tomorrow, 26 May, at the Building Centre, 26 Store St, London WC1, where it can be seen until 1 July.

Just as when they first appeared, the value of these images lies more in what Yerbury chose to photograph than the way he did so. Travelling repeatedly in Europe, with interludes in the US, he wasn't a doctrinaire promoter of a particular kind of architecture; rather, he seems to have been drawn to whatever was new. So while he pictured Le Corbusier's Villa Stein-de-Monzie at Garches and Mendelsohn's Schocken store in Stuttgart - Modernism with an M - he also captured the powerful austerity of Asplund's City Library in Stockholm and the skyscraper Gothic of the Tribune Building, Chicago. Pictured above is something closer to home: Easton and Robertson's Royal Horticultural Hall in central London ( www. buildingcentre. co. uk).

Yerbury went on to become director of the Building Centre, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year with an exhibition called Materials of Invention: 100 Years of Construction Innovation, running concurrently with the Yerbury show.

Alongside the historical focus is an attempt to foresee some innovations of the future - 'concrete so light it can oat on water, invisible technologies for acoustics'.

Will those innovations ever include a awless solution to one perennial problem: how to stop Venice from sinking into its lagoon? Or is it now such a touristtrap theme park that it should be left to its fate? To mark the 40th anniversary of the oods which raised the spectre of this apocalypse, the Venice in Peril Fund is holding a debate at London's Royal Geographical Society on 12 June, titled Enough Money Has Been Spent Saving Venice. Speakers include Joseph Rykwert and AN Wilson ( www. veniceinperil. org).

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