Burton, Richard (6 of 10). National  Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2014-02-01, 2014-02-08, 2014-02-09, 2014-02-15, 2014-02-16, 2015-09-10

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Burton, Richard, 1933-2017 (speaker,  male)

  • Interviewers

    Franklin, Geraint (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 6: [Session three: 9 February 2014] Incorporation of public art into the design for St Mary’s Hospital, on theme of water. Describes series of ‘anchors’, including pyramid by Liliane Lijn; landscaping by James Hope and communal tapestry on main stairway coordinated by Candace Bahouth. Dining rooms designed for use as theatre. Competition for large mural won by artist in Manchester. Description of interior of chapel and signing by Steve Nichol. RB chaired the ‘percent for arts’ committee of the Arts Council. Importance of mixture of built-in and portable artworks. Funding of art programme for St Mary’s Hospital from non-NHS sources. [00:16:01] Mentions programme of public art at Leicestershire, instigated by Director of Education [Stuart] Mason. ABK’s [Eastfield Primary] School at Thurmaston, [Leicestershire] designed by PK, incorporated sculpture by [Norman] Dilworth. [00:17:54] RB’s view of a holistic approach to architecture. [00:20:00] Approach to working with clients. ABK mostly dealt with public clients, many committees; more personal contact with commercial clients. HC ‘driving force’ in ABK commissions; judge in Trinity College Dublin competition and National Gallery Competition. Many commissions came from recommendation. Mentions Eric Bedford, chief architect of Ministry of Public Building [and Works] and work at the Serpentine at Hyde Park and Post Office headquarters project. PE advised on communications with clients. Importance of having ‘friend’ within public client body. Role of Mark Bertram, chief architect of Foreign Office, on selection committee for St Petersburg Embassy. [00:26:20] Comments on NL as client for Oxford Centre for Management Studies; his need for flexibility for institution to develop. NL later bought one of five houses ABK built outside Oxford. [00:29:38] Another important client Uwe Kitzinger [UK], head of business school at Fontainebleau, became head of OCMS. UK’s role in arranging benefaction from John Templeton [JT]; funded later phases of what became Templeton College. Anecdote about UK at Heathrow airport.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Richard Burton (1933-2017), architect.

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