Forget Norman Foster, Basil Spence or George Gilbert Scott, it was Richard Seifert was arguably the most commercially successful British architect ever. Despite this his legacy remains hugely controversial today with opinion divided between those who see him as the leading modernist British architect, and others who see him as little more than a commercially attuned hack.
The Twentieth Century Society is doing a series of events on the theme of "Reputations Reassessed" with one of the evenings about Seifert.
On one hand he designed listed buildings such as Centre Point and 1 Kemble Street, not to mention Tower 42 (which the architect constantly denied was inspired by the National Westminster Bank logo), Windsor House on Victoria Street which he based in part on Eero Saarinen's CBS Building and personally considered his best work, and the Alpha Tower in Birmingham constructed for the ATV media conglomerate.
Unfortunately other parts of Seifert's catalogue are less notable with Kings Reach Tower widely despised and the Hilton London Metropole being a particularly unsympathetic example. Others like the now demolished Drapers Gardens divided opinion just as the architect continues to.
The lecture on Seifert will be carried out by Catherine Croft, a director of the 20th Century Society who wrote the book, Concrete Architecture, back in 2004 that featured his work. It takes place on the 21st of March 2013 at the Gallery, 70 Cowcross Stret, London. Tickets for non-members are £10 but the good news is a complimentary glass of wine is included.
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