Goldfinger, Peter (19 of 33) National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London and the British Library

  • Interviewees

    Goldfinger, Peter, 1933- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 19: EG often entered competitions, tried to get buildings off the ground, many came to nothing. EG¹s approach to buildings. Golden Mean. Architects EG admired. Charlotte Perriand. Powell & Moya. Denys Lasdun. Eric Lyons. Architects whom PG admires. Ralph Erskine. Foster. Rogers. Hopkins. PG has worked with all kinds of architects. Levitt Bernstein, firm with whom PG did a lot of work, eg building houses and also offices. Further details PG¹s own career. Worked as graduate apprentice with K&L, firm making mobile cranes in Letchworth; stayed approx 18 months. Father introduced PG to Brian Cross, director of G.N Hayden, famous contracting firm. PG given graduate apprenticeship by Hayden, studied at National College of Heating and Ventillating. PG became keen on building services. When marriage broke up went to live in New York, had letters of introduction from father to architects eg Philip Johnson and architect of United Nations Building, also Skidmore & Merrill. Through this was seen by firm of consulting engineers and was taken on, worked in NY for two years. NY ahead of GB in terms of building services engineering so learnt a lot although disliked US way of working eg clocking in, hiring and firing etc. Returned to England for a holiday and met Colin Benham at party at parents’ house and CB suggested he meet Ken Dale as firm was looking for engineer to work on factory for Sainsbury. Wanted to return to GB because son was here; returned with present wife. Joined Ken Dale as senior engineer and remained with KD until retired from engineering. Jones Cranes; PG became assistant to plant manager, details. PG not good at implementing his ideas, was frustrated with level of management he had to deal with; example of the problems. Jones Cranes failed to get into hydraulic controls, used mechanical linkage instead; implications of this. Further details PG’s time with Jones Cranes. Steel foundry. Peter Ling, friend who makes conveying systems for food industry. Ling Systems. PL lives in Letchworth, firm is near St Neots. PL and wife close friends of PG and with both his first and second wives. What PG learnt at Jones Cranes. Relationship with EG and UG at this time, saw them frequently. Worked hard. Lived in Letchworth.

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