chapter  6
31 Pages

A living contemporary architecture

Let’s get one thing clear: the ’30s and the ’40s are not separate things –

they dovetail.

Erno Goldfinger (1980)1

In August 1938 a new set of protagonists announced its entry into the British move-

ment. Infuriated by ‘a civilisation whose leaders, whose ideals, whose culture had

failed’, and recognizing that ‘the student in our profession to-day holds a greater

responsibility than in all past history’, these young men and women of London’s Archi-

tectural Association (AA) were the leaders of a revolution against outmoded methods of

teaching and practice.2 Pursued in the common room, the studio and the pages of their

own radical journal, Focus, their campaign would ultimately transform both the move-

ment and the profession, and secure modernism’s domination over British spatial

culture.