Brown, Neave (8 of 19). National  Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2013-12-07, 2013-12-14, 2014-02-08, 2014-03-08, 2014-03-15, 2014-03-29, 2014-04-26, 2014-07-27, 2014-08-10, 2014-08-17, 2014-12-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Brown, Neave (1929-) (speaker,  male)

  • Interviewers

    Franklin, Geraint (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 8: Story of discovery of Winscombe Street site, formation of Pentad Housing Society and financing of scheme with loan from London Borough of Camden. [00:07:14] Mentions separate studio for LB and communal garden. Comments on screens defining private zones at rear of houses, and transmission of sound through storeys. Mentions illness and death of LB and subsequent residents. [00:13:56] Story of obtaining extensions to garden. [00:17:45] Comments on continuity between Winscombe Street and NB’s subsequent larger schemes. [00:19:28] Mentions communal garden parties and compatibility of neighbours at Winscombe Street. NB left Winscombe Street after separating from first wife Rosalind [nee Rosalind Dease] [RD]. Mentions [second and present wife] Janet [JB], her two children from first marriage, and JB and NB’s son Aaron. Their life in flat in Belsize Park Gardens and move back to Winscombe Street on day Aaron born. [00:23:22] Description of furnishing of Winscombe Street house with Alvar Aalto furniture; story of [Josef] Hoffmann [Kubus] armchair and sofa. [00:26:36] RD a designer and illustrator, previously married to the designer and artist David Gentleman. Mentions separation from RD. Earlier relationship with the photographer Sandra Lousada [SL] after NB’s return from Tanganyika. Mentions SL’s father [Anthony Lousada], a lawyer; mother [the stage designer Jocelyn Herbert] [JH], worked with [George Devine [GD], theatrical manager of] Royal Court Theatre. JH the daughter of A.P. Herbert; JH and AL lived in Chiswick. Mentions SL’s photographs of people, and NB’s relationship with SL’s family. [Interruption at 00:35:36] [00:35:57] Mentions visit to sister in Tanganyika and circumstances of joining LIE. Lack of contact with parents at that time; NB’s feeling of being a member of SL’s family. [00:39:31] NB taught at evening school of Regent Street Polytechnic [RSP] during time at LIE. Head of school’s lack of contact with studios, which were run by two senior tutors, including [Joseph] Mayo [00:43:23] Remarks of atmosphere of post-war London; its smog and smoke, and importance of Clean Air Act. Comments on pre-war modernism in London. Mentions NB’s exhibition design for the Thirties Exhibition [at the Hayward Gallery, 1979]. [00:52:16] Mentions NB’s tuition of RSP students on their thesis programmes. Remarks on importance of polytechnics in providing educational opportunity. NB encouraged other students to sit in on tutorials. Mentions new buildings for Polytechnic [of Central London at New Cavendish Street] designed by TE of LIE. Comments on JM’s design of [Old Vic Annexe].

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