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WithJoseph Rykwert

This chapter presents autobiography of Joseph Rykwert. Rykwert is Paul Philippe Cret Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, and one of the foremost architectural historians and critics of his generation. Born in Warsaw in 1926, Joseph Rykwert is one of the best-known critics and historians of architecture. He addresses the dualities between which he had to navigate: Jewish/Polish, Polish/British and later Practice/Scholarship. Soon after, there was an opening in the office of Ove Arup - now a multinational corporation, but then, though still focused on individual partners, already one of the two or three leading engineering practices in Britain, its reputation based on the Danish founder's virtuosic mastery of reinforced concrete. The application had to be written hand, which Arup would have analysed by a graphologist. He was taken on as a sort of graphic odd-job man, given a drawing board in the basement of Charlotte Street office.