This exhibition explores the contribution of continental European architects to the shaping of London from the inter-war years to the present. During the 1930s the British architectural scene was transformed by the arrival of a significant number of émigré architects most of whom were fleeing persecution in their homeland. Among them were internationally renowned architects such as Walter Gropius and Erich Mendelsohn as well as practitioners such as Eugen Kaufmann who, though less well known, could nevertheless boast a significant body of work. These architects contributed not only completed buildings but also through teaching, publication and exhibitions. Their work helped to invigorate architectural debate in the UK. While some soon left, others stayed on to play a key role in the capital’s rebuilding after the war. During the late 1960s they were joined by Czech refugee architects such as Eva Jiřičná and Jan Kaplický before legislative changes introduced in the 1980s made it easier for European architects to build in the UK. The result was the increasing globalization of architectural practice that we see today.
The exhibition has been curated by the British Architectural Library Photographs Collection and funded by the European Commission.
12 Star Gallery, European Commission, 8 Storey’s Gate, London, SW1, Free entry