Spence, Basil

Spence, Basil
   b. 1907, Bombay (India)
   Sir Basil Spence studied architecture in Edinburgh and London, working under Edward Lutyens and Rowland Anderson, before forming a partnership with Partner and Kinnenmouth in Edinburgh. Moving to London, Sir Basil Spence and Partners established their reputation with the Sea and Ships Pavilion at the Festival of Britain in 1951. Best known for the controversial rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral (1954–62), won in competition in 1950, his subsequent highly successful practice centred around housing and university buildings, including Edinburgh, Southampton, Nottingham, Liverpool and Sussex. His later work, such as the British Embassy in Rome (1971), the Knightsbridge Barracks (1970) and government offices in Petty France, London, all modern and employing concrete, always resonated monumentality.
   See also: university building
   HILARY GRAINGER

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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