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Sir Basil Spence Archive Project

Young boy standing in front of Queen Elizabeth tower block, Gorbals

THE SIR BASIL SPENCE ARCHIVE PROJECT

CELEBRATION OF A MODERN ARCHITECT

Basil Spence

Sir Basil Spence (1907-1976) was one of Britain’s most celebrated Modern architects of the post war era.

Modernism was a movement of tremendous creativity which stemmed partly from its tension between individual artistic expression and large scale mass building programmes.

This tension fundamentally structured Spence’s life and work. Spence’s illustrious public reputation was grounded both in stately monumental projects such as Coventry Cathedral, public buildings such as the British Embassy in Rome and in the mass-produced output of council housing and new universities.

The Sir Basil Spence Archive was presented to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) by the Spence family in 2003. The Archive comprises nearly 40,000 drawings, photographs, manuscripts and news cuttings. This material is available for public study and enjoyment and can be accessed through RCAHMS's online database

Project Activity

  • MEMORY SHARING

    Minister and man at Coventry workshop

    Share any memories, stories and photos you may have relating to the buildings featured on this site in the Living, Work, Learning and Worship Memory Bank areas.

  • EDUCATION & OUTREACH

    Children learning about Spence at School workshop

    A creative workshop series engaged with community groups and schools to explore the work of Sir Basil Spence. Find out what we did and how you can explore some of our ideas further.

  • CONTEMPORARY RESPONSES

    Johnathan Glancey gives his views on Spence's work

    A range of contemporary artists, architects, designers and commentators share their thoughts on Spence's work and achievements through writings, videos and podcasts.

EXHIBITIONS

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Sir Basil Spence (1907-1976), Celebration of a Modern Architect

  • 19th October 2007 – 10th February 2008
    Dean Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

Education leaflet - front (pdf 6MB)

Education leaflet - inside (pdf 3.5MB)

Touring Exhibition
Sir Basil Spence: Celebration of a Modern Architect

  • 4th August 2007 -1st September 2007
    Coventry Cathedral, Coventry
  • 8th September 2007-6th October 2007
    Swiss Cottage Library, London
  • 13th October 2007-27th October 2007
    Omni, Edinburgh
  • 22nd November 2007-8th December 2007
    Swanson Gallery, Thurso
  • 15th December 2007-5th January 2008
    Glasgow Airport, Glasgow
  • 12th January 2008-10th February 2008
    Gorbals Library, Glasgow

NEWS

Back to the Future: talks and lectures for November & December

Posted on Thursday 25 October 2007

The National Galleries of Scotland have put together a programme of talks and lectures which look at Sir Basil Spence’s work and career.

More News ››

PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS

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