About this talk

Running time: 27 minutes

The late Sir Leslie Martin started his architectural practice in 1933. In 1937 he collaborated with the painter Ben Nicholson and the sculptor Naum Gabo to produce Circles, an international review placing the work of sculptures, painters and architects side by side in an attempt to illustrate a constructive attitude in the art of that time. From 1948 - 1953 he was Deputy Architect to the London County Council, working on the Royal Festival Hall, and from 1953 - 1956 was Architect to the Council.

From 1956 - 1972 he was Professor of Architecture in Cambridge. He received a Knighthood in 1957, was a Royal Gold Medallist and has a number of honorary degrees and awards and is the author of numerous publications. He continued his practice until 1987.

In a talk recorded at his home near Cambridge, he describes three recent and very different projects. The first for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow involves highly complex and differing requirements. In the second, also for Glasgow, a large concert hall and associated buildings proved the opportunity to regenerate a derelict area of the city. The third, the Gallery of Modern Art for the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, is a building in a landscape. All have their roots in specific tasks. These are understood and solved by the imaginative organisation and control of form. These limited examples illustrate a way of thinking about architecture. But when this point of view is extended by others into the wide range of architecture that is being produced, we can begin to see the process of creating out of our present problems an architecture of and for our own time.

You can also hear Martin talking with Jørn Utzon and Eero Saarinen (see Wright Started It, Corbu Gave It Form, Mies Added Control) about the Sydney Opera House in Sydney Opera House.

Please note that a transcript of this talk is available - please contact us for further details.

Leslie Martin


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