The Architecture of Edwin Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew: Twentieth Century Architecture, Pioneer Modernism and the Tropics, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Architecture of Edwin Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew

Twentieth Century Architecture, Pioneer Modernism and the Tropics, 1st Edition

By Iain Jackson, Jessica Holland


406 pages

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Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew were pioneers of Modern Architecture in Britain and its former colonies from the late 1920s through to the early 1970s. As a barometer of twentieth century architecture, their work traces the major cultural developments of that century from the development of modernism, its spread into the late-colonial arena and finally, to its re-evaluation that resulted in a more expressive, formalist approach in the post-war era. This book thoroughly examines Fry and Drew's highly influential 'Tropical Architecture' in West Africa and India, whilst also discussing their British work, such as their post World War II projects for the Festival of Britain, Harlow New Town, Pilkington Brothers’ Headquarters and Coychurch Crematorium. It highlights the collaborative nature of Fry and Drew's work, including schemes undertaken with Elizabeth Denby, Walter Gropius, Denys Lasdun, Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier. Positioning their architecture, writing and educational endeavours within a wider context, this book illustrates the significant artistic and cultural contributions made by Fry and Drew throughout their lengthy careers.


’There is something very remarkable about the careers of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, husband and wife architects, and this has little to do with star architects or spectacular buildings. At last, with this patient and insightful book, we have an account that does full justice to the seriousness of this quiet but extensively-influential modernism.’ Mark Crinson, University of Manchester, UK ’With fastidious reference to archival records, and other sources, this well written book provides both a timely and comprehensive history, and an illuminating insight into Fry and Drew's social lives and their prodigious architectural legacy. It also provides a detailed background to the socio-political climate and economy in which Fry and Drew and other young British architects found themselves, as they formed new transnational practices aided by better post-war transport and communication networks … The chapters on West Africa, meticulously researched, reveal the unique historical background to the architecture which has become synonymous with West Africa's international style.’ Ola Uduku, University of Edinburgh, UK ’This fine book fills a significant gap in the history of twentieth-century British architecture. In their absorbing account of the careers of Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry, as individual practitioners, and as a formidable post-war partnership, the authors offer new insights into the evolution of early modernism in Britain, and to the development of new forms of modernism in post-colonial India and Africa. Of particular value is the discussion of Fry and Drew's early careers. Important too is the fact we now have a detailed study of one of the first generation of women to enjoy a significant career in the British profession; a useful reminder of how much the forms of post-war modernism were shaped by women.’ Elizabeth Darling, Oxford Brookes University, UK 'This well-researched monograph sets outs its ambitions right from the start. Positing itself b

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; From classical beginnings; Thirties’ development; Jane Drew and the partnership’s origins; West Africa: planning, village housing and new schools for Ghana; The development and reassessment of tropical architecture in West Africa; Chandigarh and the tropics revisited; Humanism and monumentality (a post-war compromise); Conclusions; Chronology; Bibliography; Index.

About the Authors

Dr Iain Jackson is a lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Liverpool. He is an architect and has worked on a number of construction projects throughout the UK, mainly in the education sector. Dr Jessica Holland is a researcher at the Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts, University of Liverpool.

About the Series

Ashgate Studies in Architecture

Ashgate Studies in Architecture
The discipline of Architecture is undergoing subtle transformation as design awareness permeates our visually dominated culture. Technological change, the search for sustainability and debates around the value of place and meaning of the architectural gesture are aspects which will affect the cities we inhabit. This series seeks to address such topics, both theoretically and in practice, through the publication of high quality original research, written and visual. Topics to be covered include the following: Architectural history and theory and their relationship to the development of the discipline, building conservation, heritage and creative adaptation. The formal and aesthetic values of architectural design, the diversity of its expression of identity, and its representation in other media. The impact of technological innovation on the materialisation of architecture and the questions surrounding environmental sustainability, experimentation and visionary design The social and psychological context of architectural production, its relationship to occupants, clients and to other creative and professional disciplines, and the political situation in which it is commissioned. Proposals will be welcomed which explore or connect aspects of these themes. Subjects which deal with individual architects, with specific buildings or building types, and the critical interpretation of historical and contemporary architecture from a theoretical or philosophical perspective are particularly encouraged. Architecture's embodiment of technical, social, and aesthetic aspects will also be emphasised.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development