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Sir Basil Spence Archive Project

University of Edinburgh library, interior. View of book shelves, 1968. SC1030951



The optimistic early 1960s witnessed a bold strategy to build new universities across Britain, modern both in architectural design and in their innovative, multi-disciplinary educational ethos.

“Bricks and mortar can provide a background that is sympathetic to young and energetic minds which are growing and developing apace.”

(Sir Basil Spence)

Spence designed the most prestigious of these so-called “new universities” - Sussex University – and contributed to the radical expansion of several existing ‘civic universities’. Spence’s architectural firm also designed a number of high schools throughout the country, including the three in Scotland featured in this section.

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