The Roehampton Lane (Alton West) estate is widely acclaimed as one of the seminal works of the Modern Movement in Britain. Less well known is the identity of its designers, four ambitious young architects in the employ of the London County Council: Bill Howell, John Killick, John Partridge and Stan Amis. Launched into practice with a maverick design for Churchill College, Cambridge, their output ranged from additions to Oxford and Cambridge colleges to theatres, houses and government buildings.
Deriving a distinctive design language from revealed structure and highly modelled surfaces, HKPA developed a rich, allusive and extrovert architecture. Although a mastery of pre-cast concrete and a preference for raw finishes earned them an early reputation as Brutalists, their sensitivity to context, refined sense of light and materials and eye for the qualities of historic buildings transcends any single style.
Geraint Franklin has combined interviews with archival research to tell the story of the individuals, collaborations and aspirations behind the built and unrealised projects. Lavishly illustrated with new photography by James O. Davies and images from the practice archive, this book is a must for architects, students and enthusiasts wanting to discover this key practice in British post-war architecture.
This terrific set of books, masterminded by the Twentieth Century Society, is blasting apart lazy assumptions about the architecture of the period as being subsumed into dreariness by modernist dogma. Instead post-war Britain is seen as a country that blended a rich range of flavours, of which HKPA must surely be one of the more piquant. ... The quality that shines out most clearly from this excellent survey is the joyful pleasure the quartet took in the business of architecture. ... succinct, richly illustrated, and elegantly constructed survey.
Otto Saumarez, The RIBA Journal
...Franklin's incisive and sympathetic analysis of one of the most important architectural practices of the 20th century has been worth waiting for.
Peter de Figueiredo, Context