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

The Architecture of Edwin Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew
Twentieth Century Architecture, Pioneer Modernism and the Tropics

ISBN 9781409451983
Published July 9, 2014 by Routledge
406 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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.

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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.


’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