Powell, Sir Philip. (12 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 12. Leisure activities. Likes music, also on TV and opera. Likes travelling and 'abroad', takes photographs mainly of buildings. Had bungalow in Suffolk. Travelled a lot to France. Exciting trip to Japan in old-fashioned plane organised by Bristol Buildings Centre. Philip Powel [PP] liked working with universities and co-operating with them and enjoyed working among old buildings - tried to sympathise with them. It helped when site 'was telling me what to do' - had to get to know the site well and build to scale. Had no great difficulty with planning permission. Explains his attitude to building on Oxford and Cambridge sites- but they did include more modern heating systems and insulation. Mistake with St John's underfloor heating - too expensive. Talks about Wolfson College - very democratic as they had to vote about everything. Explains how Wolfson came to choose them from a shortlist of 90 though they did not know that at the time. Story of their first interview and the brief they were given. Account of this interview and a later interview in the magazine which tells of the search for an architect and their own reaction to the building in later years. Wolfson has been added on to by later architects but is well done.

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