Neave Brown – Lyons Israel Ellis Gray

Lecture date: 1988-02-04

‘The way one can actually characterise a sense of involvement in the Lyons Israel Ellis predicament is to see that there were two major activities and two kinds of forces at work. One of which was a very direct and pragmatic belief that good common sense and straightforward thinking could endow one with a response to a situation so that very quickly one could find a form . . . almost without an architectural language. On the other side there was another kind of architectural awareness of a world outside of England that looked to a background of the modern movement and to Scandinavia in particular, that looked to Le Corbusier and understood the pragmatism of Hannes Meyer, that looked at architecture as language and applied that language and a desire for form to a base of common sense . . . there is a constant dialogue between these two levels of intention in the intelligence of the partners and of the staff.’ Neave Brown discusses the work of Lyons, Israel, Ellis, and Gray, an influential architectural practice for whom a ‘galaxy’ of important young architects – such as James Stirling, James Gowan, John Miller, Alan Colquhoun, Richard MacCormac, as well as Neave Brown himself – worked at various times during the 1950s and 1960s. Neave Brown is an architect. His built work includes several innovative housing projects such as Fleet Road and Alexandra Road in North London. An alumnus of the AA, Neave Brown is also a former AA Council member and served as the School‘s Vice President between 1972-74.

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