obituaries David Green, Modernist exponent of rural housing
David Green, half of Lowestoft-based Modernist practice Tayler and Green, has died in Spain aged 86.
'Green for drains' became a by-word at the aa in the early 1930s when David Green used his unusual knowledge of building to help out others. The skill derived in part from his father, an architect in Lowestoft whom Green, with his fellow-student and partner Herbert Tayler, went to help out in the early months of the war. They had already built a small studio house in Highgate, an exemplar of sanity in Modernism, to which Green contributed a detailed critique of existing building methods, substituting traditional techniques (soft weak three-coat render and timber windows) when these seemed better than new ones.
In the partnership of Tayler & Green which took over the Lowestoft practice, Tayler was the aesthetic arbiter while Green did client liaison, construction drawings and site supervision. They began building rural housing in 1943, and in 1945 started their largest single job, for Loddon District Council, Norfolk. These acclaimed designs, poised on the margin where Modernism can overlap with tradition, were the focus of the recent Tayler and Green exhibition at the Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture. David Green believed that his visit to Frankfurt in 1930, particularly to the terraced Westhausen estate, was an important influence on the decision to build the majority of the Loddon houses in terraces.
Tayler and Green also travelled frequently to Scandinavia and many other parts of Europe, often in search of operatic festivals. They found that modern architecture abroad did not have the puritan sourness so often found in post-war England. At many of the London villages, drainage and other main services were being installed for the first time, often in difficult conditions because of lack of falls, and Green relished the exercise of his ingenuity. He enjoyed driving fast cars and was secretary of the local flying club, flying to visit their housing developments at Hatfield and Basildon in the early 1960s. In 1973, Tayler and Green retired to Altea, near Alicante, and built themselves a house with a magnificent view.