L T SPARKS
Comment on: Obituary: Philip Dowson (1924 – 2014)
Here in Birmingham, Dowson developed an industrialised building method for new laboratories at the university, based on a three-dimensional geometry of multiple grids. In a paper to the RIBA in February 1966 he reflected on "the richness and variety of space that can be created within the strict geometrical disciplines that are the reflection of an industrialised method". He went on to warn that "although [industrialisation] is compelling us the whole time to learn a new language of methods, even an exceptional command of a language does not necessarily imply the possession of any valuable ideas to express". Another illustration of his belief that architecture is a combination of art and science.
As I recall, the City has been rather less concerned about impacts on views of St Pauls whenever high buildings have been proposed in the Square Mile!
I am very surprised that EH found little evidence that Farmer & Dark were well regarded. In G.E. Kidder Smith's book 'The New Architecture of Europe' published in Pelican Books in 1962, two of their projects are included out of a total of only 23 listed for the whole of the British Isles.. These are the Bowater Paper Works in Northfleet (1958) and Marchwood Power Station (1956) near Southampton. The photograph of Marchwood is directly across the page from the Smithson's Hunstanton School. I believe Marchwood was demolished in the 1980's.
Comment on: Colin Stansfield Smith (1932-2013)
In an Ashes season, it would be remiss not to refer to Colin's achievements on the cricket field. He was a leading all-rounder for Cambridge University where he led the bowling attack, under the captaincy of Ted Dexter. In the late season he played with Lancashire in Cyril Washbrook's side where he opened the bowling with Brian Statham. In 1957 he was second in the County's bowling averages with 29 wickets at 14.27, just behind Statham's 100 wickets at 12.57. No doubt the combination of competitiveness with style and generosity served him well in both his passions.
No one has been suggesting, as Lindsey Ashworth claims, that Liverpool Docks should be fossilized, neither have the arguments of objectors collapsed. They have simply been ignored by politicians fixated on economic development at any cost. One has to question whether the Canary Wharf model will transform Liverpool's economy without sucking demand and investment out of other parts of the city, leading to empty streets and buildings. An alternative masterplan in scale with Liverpool's world famous dockside heritage and the city's social and economic potential was never given proper consideration by a developer star-struck by visits to Shanghai.