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Rebuilding the Skylon: a tribute to Powell & Moya


I am delighted to hear that Powell and Moya's Blue Boar Court has been listed. As a Part 1 student in 1973, I visited Powell & Moya's work in Oxford and Cambridge and thought it the most sophisticated modern architecture I had seen.

I joined P&M that year and worked for Philip and Jacko for eight great years, during which time they were the first partnership to win the Royal Gold Medal. The practice had tremendous range. As well as timeless pieces in Oxbridge, it did the best post-war social housing (Churchill Gardens in Pimlico), revolutionised hospital design and presaged the High-Tech movement with its tensile structure at the Osaka Expo and the iconic Skylon at the Festival of Britain. It is extraordinary that there is no monograph to celebrate its influential and ground-breaking work.

The RA, where Philip was treasurer for many years, has asked me to promote the rebuilding of the Skylon on the South Bank. This would be a fitting tribute to the practice as the 'Vertical Feature' lives in the British memory, even for people who never saw it.

Jack Pringle, president-elect, RIBA

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