Bor, Walter (22 of 29) National Life Stories Collection: Architects' Lives

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    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Bor, Walter, 1916-1999 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Brodie, Louise (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 22: Walter Bor [WB] High buildings, a major threat to our cities.. Once meaningful as defensive or religious. Inspiration of San Geminiano. Robert Matthews, LCC architect, broke through height restriction of 100 ft with Pall Mall building, then proliferation. WB’s policy of civic design against high-rise. Universal condemnation of Shell Tower, recommended refusal of Hilton Hotel but Government approval. Ruin of historic London, Norman Foster building. WB an innovator but respects the past. As President of Town Planning Institute, proposed Lord Silkin, father of Town and Country Planning Act, for Gold Medal. Now celebrating fifty years of the Act. 1970/71 – his remit to extend the practice overseas. Structure plan for Bogota, Colombia. Need to absorb rural migrants, high density and open space. Inequalities of Third World ignored, built-in insularity of planners. USA – post Watts riots and extreme polarisation. Worked with Ted Watkins, local leader, and his ideas on transport and development of derelict sites. Led on to further commissions including new settlements and redevelopment of cities, e.g. Houston, Texas.

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