About this talk

Running time: 29 minutes

All the work discussed in this talk by the British architect John Winter has a consistent theme, in that the architectural expression relates directly to the way the buildings are built.

He acknowledges the influence of two architects. One was Erno Goldfinger (see In Paris In The Twenties), from whom he learned a commitment to the quality of architecture that goes far beyond that which is reasonable. The other was Myron Goldsmith (see The Visual Solution), from whom he learned that structure is always the basis of architectural design.

Winter developed a profound admiration for Mies van der Rohe who, he says, "gave an intellectual basis to the poetry of assembled components"; and he adds "I believe that the architect should put his love and care into the things that will last: structure, skin, the plan form, and the general shape".

Winter trained at the AA School of Architecture and Yale, and travelled in the USA and the Far East before settling down to practise in London in the late 1950s. Of the many one-family houses that he has built, each based on a structural theme, three have been for himself and his family.

New commercial and educational buildings have also formed part of his work, and his skill is well exemplified in the sensitive additions and insertions that he has made to the twelfth century Rochester Castle. His ideal is to "take the approach of the simple, straightforward but high performance, problem- solving that one finds in small boat builders".

Winter also recorded Restoring Modern 1930s Houses for us in 1999.

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

John Winter


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