Overview

McMorran & Whitby


Related Overviews

Emanuel Vincent Harris (1876—1971) architect

Edwin Lutyens (1869—1944) architect

Modern Movement

Sir John Soane (1753—1837) architect

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British firm of architects (Donald Hanks McMorran (1904–65) and George Whitby (1916–73) which produced work of real architectural distinction after the 1939–45 war. Influenced partly by Vincent Harris (for whom McMorran worked from 1927 to 1935) and mostly by Lutyens, the firm's architecture could best be described as undoctrinaire Classicism. Good examples include Devon County Hall, Exeter (1957–64), and the extension to Shire Hall, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (1968). Their housing estate at Lammas Green, Sydenham Hill (1957), London, used traditional materials and had a village-like character totally different from that of contemporary local-authority estates elsewhere in London, while their Holloway Estate, Parkhurst Road (late 1950s), London, was also far more successful (both socially and architecturally) than the much-publicized Modern Movement estates of the time. Among McMorran & Whitby's works of the 1950s were the designs for the University of Nottingham (Cripps and Lenton Halls and the Education Block for Social Sciences), which employ a stripped Classical manner inspired by Soane, with a baseless Ionic Order at the entrance to the internal courtyard, and a fine bell-tower with Lutyensian echoes over the Refectory. Other buildings include those in the City of London: the Police Station, Wood Street (1966), and the extension to the Central Criminal Court in the Old Bailey (1972). Although their work of late has been largely ignored by the architectural press, they were masters of a progressive Classicism that is beginning to be admired.

Gavin Stamp ;Stamp (1991)

Subjects: Architecture.


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