Powell, Sir Philip. (2 of 20). National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Interviewees

    Powell, Sir Philip, 1921-2003 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Brodie, Louise, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 2. Philip Powel [PP] liked modern languages at school - got travelling scholarship to Germany and France. Talks about his German family during Nazi times, the German school and its lack of discipline. He went to see Bauhaus while in Germany. About the French family: a fascist household. PP enjoyed life and friends at school, enjoyed art. Had first girlfriend at 16. Had famly holidays in Cornwall but without his sister. Talks about trip by car to France with brother and sister, just before the war. They stayed with Max Ernst and Leonora Carrington - more about Leonora Carrington. PP visited Max Ernst's house after the war with wife and children. At the beginning of the war PP got open scholarship at Cambridge to read modern languages, but he wanted to do architecture, did not take up modern languages and went to Architectural Association in London - his brother was already there. Brother joined up and spent war in India. After 2 1/2 years PP registered as conscientious objector - went to tribunal - would not "pray to God for guidance"! He had medical and failed it! He had bad hay-fever - therefore was allowed to continue studies. Qualified in 1944. PP talks about the Architects Association during the war - evacuated to Barnet. Remembers Jellicoe and Gibberd - later worked with Gibberd. PP talks about his training at the A.A. - mostly studio work but some drawing and painting. Was dedicated to "Modern Movement". Compares his training to his brother's which was partly in Cambridge. PP's special friend at A.A. was Moya - his way of working Later PP, Moya and Margaret Taylor did project (thesis) on local authority high density housing together. And later they entered competition for "Churchill Gardens".

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