Gowan, James (8 of 10) National Life  Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2012-06-20, 2012-09-18, 2012-12-05, 2013-10-22, 2013-11-12, 2013-12-04

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Gowan, James, 1923-2015  (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Dillon,  Niamh (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 8: Track Eight [00:54:09] [Session Five: 22 October 2013] JG on the effectiveness of the Beaux Arts training – how it was still taught at London University, Princeton. [00:03:26] JG describes himself as a student [00:06:30] on the ‘Corbusier orthodoxy’ and how this was restrictive for students – JG on the process of drawing and designing. [00:10:45] Mentions the tutors at Kingston Polytechnic – meeting Phillip Powell and joining Powell and Moya. [00:14:04] Describes the practice of Powell and Moya: JG worked on the drawings for the Skylon for the Festival of Britain – [00:17:30] JG describes the Skylon – Felix Samuely was the engineer. [00:26:10] JG on the relationship between Phillip Powell and ‘Jacko’ Moya. [00:27:33] JG feelings about the Festival of Britain – discusses the government were quick to remove buildings of the Festival once it was over [00:31:30] JG reflects on why you don’t have a show house within an estate of social housing. [00:34:59] JG on Jacko Moya’s style of archicture – Phillip Johnson’s comment on the Churchill Gardens estate, [00:37:00] density of the site, mentions how trees redeem a layout, ‘even a bad layout’. [00:39:16] His first married home in London was in Clapham with his mother-in-law – eating lobster and crab because they weren’t rationed. [00:41:23] His wife Peggy worked as a secretary and clothes model – JG describes what Peggy looked like. JG worked in Stevenage new town on factories where he was provided with accommodation. [00:44:54] JG explains the reasoning behind the building of the new post-war towns – JG comments on Stevenage New Town [00:50:11] mentions the town planner Clifford Halliday (phon) [00:51:02] compares this to the garden cities of Welwyn and Letchworth. [00:53:56]

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