Burton, Richard (8 of 10). National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives
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2014-02-01, 2014-02-08, 2014-02-09, 2014-02-15, 2014-02-16, 2015-09-10
Interviewee's home, London
Burton, Richard, 1933-2017 (speaker, male)
Franklin, Geraint (speaker, male)
Part 8: [Session four: 15 February 2014] [Periodic coughs] RB’s membership of ‘percent for art’ committee of Arts Council. [00:01:48] Chaired RIBA committee on architectural education; ‘Burton report’ . Committee included educators and civil servants; visits to architects’ offices and schools of architecture. Considered teaching, finance and support from governmental inspectors. [00:10:28] Coordination of RIBA initiative on energy conservation in 1976. Support from RIBA present Gordon Graham and Patrick O’Sullivan of Bartlett school of architecture. Conference and book: ‘Buildings: the Key to Energy Conservation; . Support of Tony Benn [as Secretary of State for Energy 1975-79], and opposition of Margaret Thatcher to policy on energy conservation. [00:15:53] RB’s knowledge on energy conservation passed on to ABK office. [00:17:00] Chaired Arts Council Architecture Advisory Group. RB’s concern at omission of architecture from Arts Council’s remit. Support of Richard Rogers and discussions with Mary [Allen, head of Arts Council] [00:19:34] Design advisor to the Department of Health; RB’s interest in integration of public artwork into healthcare buildings. Opposition to PFI [private finance initiative]. RB’s contact with RU led to his appointment as consultant to NHS. Influence of hospital design on wellbeing of patients and staff. [00:23:44] Comments on provision of single rooms on hospital wards; implications for privacy, dignity and cross-infection. [00:29:58] Remarks on Prince of Wales’ [PoW] public criticism on ABK’s design for an extension to the National Gallery; resulting loss of work. Description of circumstances of initial competition and ABK’s winning scheme. Requests of trustees to redesign gallery space. Mentions PoW’s later visit to ABK office and comments on models. Comments on redesign, and implications of PoW’s speech. RB speculates on possible influence of government ministers on PoW’s comments. [00:42:11] Comments on implications of PoW’s interventions in [Mansion House Square] scheme. [00:43:11] Response of architectural profession to PoW’s comments. Support of Richard Rogers and Cedric Price; attempt of Michael Manser [RIBA president] to dissuade PoW from making speech. Comments on PoW and his influence on architecture. [00:48:11] Mentions acceptance of CBE in 1996.
Life story interview with Richard Burton (1933-2017), architect.