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John Roderick Warlow Gradidge

(1929—2000) architect


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(1929–2000). English architect. At the Architectural Association, London (1949–53), he refused to conform to Robert Furneaux Jordan's (1905–78) stylistic preferences for International Modernism: thereafter he was hostile to the Modern Movement. He carried out numerous sympathetic restorations and alterations of public-house interiors, holding that ‘Modernism never sold a pint of bitter’. His interventions in Victorian churches were intelligent: among them were the reordering of A. W. N. Pugin's St Augustine, Ramsgate (1970), and the re-erecting in the Anglican Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Reading, Berks., of Pugin's fine screen which had been crassly removed from St Chad's RC Cathedral, Birmingham in the 1960s. He restored (1992–3) the colourful interior of E. W. Godwin's Guildhall, Northampton, and designed (1986) the witty decorations for the National Portrait Gallery at Bodelwyddan Castle, Flintshire (Clywd), Wales. Perhaps one of his most successful new interiors was the library at Easton Neston, Northants., realized with David Nightingale Hicks (1929–98) in 1964. His Dream Houses (1980) extolled the virtues of the late-Victorian and Edwardian Arts-and-Crafts houses of England; Edwin Lutyens: Architect Laureate (1981) assisted in reviving the reputation of a great architect; and The Surrey Style (1991) celebrated the Domestic Revival in his favourite county. Gradidge (who was Master of the Art-Workers' Guild, 1987–8) firmly believed in ‘keeping in keeping’ (contrasted with the Modernist (2) approach), as his extension (1974–6) to Lutyens's Fulbrook, Surrey, demonstrates. Some of his best work can be found in the Church of St Mary, Bourne Street, Westminster, including the columbarium (1999), where his own calcined remains rest.

From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Architecture.


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