Peter Hugh Girard Chamberlin

(1919—1978) architect and town planner

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English architects, who showed a consistent interest in setting architecture in its context (seetownscape). Their first scheme was for Bousfield School, South Kensington, London (1954–6), a playful design using panels of bright primary colours, and a dramatic sequence of spaces in a small area. All three entered separately for the competition for the Golden Lane Estate, London (1953–7), won by Powell. Apart from the oversailing concrete structure on the tallest slab, of 16 storeys, the architecture is no more than competent, but the spaces between the buildings are very well handled: diverse, functional, and with an ingenious circulation system. Unfortunately, their final buildings on the site showed an interest in pick-marked concrete, which was to be fully developed at the Barbican, London (1955–82). The careful planning of a range of buildings (arts centre/point blocks/low-rise flats), which respects the traditional City layout, is marred by the heavily stained rough concrete, and the notoriously baffling internal circulation of the main building. On a smaller scale, with New Hall, Cambridge (1962–6), the University of Leeds (from 1963), and the Geoffrey Chaucer School, London (1958–60), the practice experimented with new concrete forms, rather than textures.

From The Oxford Companion to Architecture in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Architecture.

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