Brown, Neave (16 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 16: Remarks on other architects working for Camden. GB and AF worked for NB on Alexandra Road. Influence of NB’s work on GB and AF’s own schemes, including Mansfield Road, Oak Village [Lamble Street], Branch Hill and Maiden Lane schemes. Mentions low rise, high density work of Peter Tabori [PT]. NB and BF consulted each other on their designs. Comments on BF’s designs, including Elsfield housing, home for handicapped children at Highgate New Town, shopping parade on Chester Road and housing near Belsize Park [Russell Nurseries Estate]. Role in development of Camden thinking. Mentions John Green, who followed SC from Holborn Borough Council. Atmosphere of architect’s department, and relation between younger and older generations. [00:11:18] Role as group leader. Remarks on GB and AF, their working relationship and desire to work on their own schemes. Mentions other architects working for NB: Graeme Frost, Ophir Kolker. [00:17:54] Remarks on PT and work with Ken Adie [Kenneth Adie] on Highgate New Town and [Oakshott Court]. Comments on Mansfield Road housing by Ed Jones and Jeremy Dixon for MacManus & Partners [Waxham and Ludham], and later work of Dixon/Jones. [00:27:37] Comments on post-war housing elsewhere in London and work of George Finch in Lambeth. Criticism of housing in tower blocks. [00:31:43] NB’s work as an exhibition designer. NB met Alan Bowness at the Courtauld Institute; invited to design Leger and Purist Paris exhibition [at Tate Gallery, November 1970–January 1971]. Remarks on alterations to interior of entrance hall. Description of NB’s layout. Curator John Golding. Description of NB’s exhibition design for Robyn Denny retrospective at Tate Gallery [7 March – 23 April 1973]. Remarks on Robyn Denny and his studio. [00:40:23] NB’s exhibition design for [‘Thirties: British art and design before the war’, Hayward Gallery, 25 October 1979-13 January 1980]. Comments on title of exhibition, and collaboration with Tim Benton and Arts Council representative. Description of grouping and layout of exhibitions and NB’s insertion of mezzanine level in the entrance hall. Mentions borrowing material from Victoria & Albert Museum. Disagreements over the organisation and display of exhibits. [Section closed from 00:46:29 to 00:47:58] General remarks on quality of British design in the 1930s, and Lawn Road flats [in Belsize Park, London]. Attitudes to British design mid-century. NB designed for exhibition profiling five Belgian painters organised by Jasia Reichardt [in Camden Arts Centre]. NB’s design for Anthony Hill retrospective at Hayward Gallery [May–July 1983]. Mentions sculptures by Peter Clapham. [00:57:34] NB’s role in LC exhibition at Hayward Gallery [Le Corbusier: architect of the century, 5 March–7 June 1987], designing and selecting material jointly with Tim Benton. Remarks on Anthony Hill. Significance of LC to NB and his group; dislike of work of Mies van der Rohe, remarks on Alvar Aalto. Comments on LC’s theories of urban design and [Unité d'Habitation] Marseille. NB’s Corbusian design of fourth year housing scheme at AA. [01:07:08] Mentions (unnamed) organisers and Arts Council representatives involved in Corbusier exhibition. Remarks on grouping of material and layout of exhibition space. Replication of Ronchamp door and grille from La Tourette. Julian Feary assisted NB on exhibition. General remarks on period following Alexandra Road public enquiry. Comments on diversity and changes of attitude in LC’s work.

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