Page C1.1 . 23 April 2003                     
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    Lubetkin's High Point

    by John Allan

    Born in Tbilisi, Georgia and educated in Moscow and Paris, architect Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990) practiced primarily in the United Kingdom. His designs were characterized by clear geometric figures, technical ingenuity, and a vision of modernism inspired by Le Corbusier. Widely regarded as the most outstanding architect of his generation in England, Lubetkin was awarded the Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1982. The Highpoint apartment blocks are considered among his most influential works. Editor

    Berthold Lubetkin had an ambitious design concept for modern living. The ideal of the compactly planned, fully equipped collective apartment building had preoccupied architects and urbanists since before the turn of the century.

    It had been a key theme throughout Lubetkin's formative years of study and travel, from constructivist debates when he was still in the Soviet Union, through Germany, with its large housing experiments, and Paris, where Le Corbusier's Plan Voisin for a modern city of towers in parkland had been exhibited at the Exposition of 1925 and developed in his later publication La Ville Radieuse.

    The apartment blocks at Highpoint, London, designed by Lubetkin and his firm Tecton and completed in 1935, are perhaps the most celebrated of all their 1930s works, widely illustrated and the object of international acclaim both at the time and ever since.   >>>

    This article is excerpted from Berthold Lubetkin by John Allan, with permission of Merrell Publishers Limited.



    ArchWeek Image

    Highpoint I, in north London, designed by Berthold Lubetkin, completed in 1935.
    Photo: Morley von Sternberg

    ArchWeek Image

    The concertina windows still function, albeit with effort, to create the open-air connection that Lubetkin intended. Their horizontal proportions enlarge the perceived size of the room.
    Photo: Morley von Sternberg


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