Wilson, Colin St John (22 of 27) National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's office, London

  • Interviewees

    Wilson, Colin St John, 1922-2007 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lever, Jill (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 22: Description of CSW’s philosophical approach to British Library design, including discussion of place allocated to architecture by Greek philosophers, Kant and Schiller; discussion of functionalism as reaction to Beaux-Arts formalism; reflections on the function of a library, and the needs and experiences of its users; remarks on chancellery buildings by Gunnar Asplund (Stockholm) and Albert Speer (Berlin); considerations of proportion of details to whole, of orientation cues (visibility within the building, and from interior to exterior), of the use of natural light; discussion of the planning of the building to fit variety of use patterns, and remarks on planning of Pugin, Ruskin, H.H. Richardson, Scharoun, Hugo Haring and Aalto. Discussion of problems of symbolism in contemporary architecture.

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