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Francis Reginald Stevens Yorke

(1906—1962) architect


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(1906–62). English architect. He was one of a handful devoted to the Modern Movement in England in the 1930s (he was a founder of the MARS Group (1932) and his use (from 1933) of reinforced concrete testified to his Modernist credentials). He became well known with The Modern House (1934) that publicized Continental International Modernism. With A. Adam, W. Holford, and G. Stephenson he designed (1933) a pair of houses (conventional in plan but conforming in image to the paradigms promoted at the Weissenhofsiedlung of 1927) for the Modern Homes Exhibition at Gidea Park, East London (held 1934), and in 1935 built a more sophisticated house with reinforced concrete at Nast Hyde, Hatfield, Herts. (destroyed 1980s). In the same year he formed a partnership that lasted until 1938 with the former Bauhaus teacher, Breuer, designing an exhibition house for the Royal Show, Bristol (1936), and Sea Lane House, East Preston, Sussex (1937—in the International Modern style, with pilotis). With another emigré, Arthur Korn, he built some flats in Camberwell, London (1940). He published The Modern House in England (1937), The Modern Flat (1937—with Gibberd), A Key to Modern Architecture (1939—with Colin Troughton Penn (1907–97)), and The New Small House (1951 and 1954—with Penelope Muriel Wesbrough Whiting (1918–)) all of which were immensely influential and had a powerful effect on British architecture after 1945.

In 1944 he entered into partnership with Eugene Rosenberg and Cyril Sjöström Mardall (1909–94), forming one of the most successful practices in England after the 1939–45 war as Yorke, Rosenberg, Mardall (YRM). Their many schools (e.g. Barclay Secondary, Stevenage, Herts.—1950), housing-schemes, factories (e.g. Sigmund Pumps, Gateshead, Co. Durham—1948), offices, and hospitals were fairly typical of architecture in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, but with their own offices at Greystoke Place, London (1960–1), St Thomas's Hospital, London (from 1966), and University of Warwick (also 1960s) they introduced an architecture clad in white tiles. At Gatwick Airport (from 1967) a style reminiscent to that of Mies van der Rohe was chosen.

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

Subjects: Architecture.


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