2 Pages

In the 1950s

WithJoseph Rykwert

In this chapter the author recollects the memories of his early life. The author has suggested much of post-war reconstruction was motivated by committed social involvement. However slowly and skimpily, builders tried to satisfy the constant, urgent demand for houses, hospitals and schools while very few projects of a really high standard were being done in municipal and civic architects' offices. Prefabricated steel – and aluminium – construction systems were much in vogue, particularly for schools, though their popularity was undermined when it was shown quite conclusively that brick and wood/or metal 'ad hoc' buildings were actually cheaper. Inevitably, much attention focused on the budding New Towns. There were lively architectural publications around, notably the Architectural Review, whose aspersions on the rapidly growing cities were made vividly through a constant stream of articles and seductive drawings – mostly by artist.