A man of many talents

14th September 2007 at 01:00
A specially designed education programme will accompany a new exhibition by the National Galleries of Scotland in the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh, celebrating the work of architect Sir Basil Spence on the centenary of his birth.

It will include guided tours for schools, further and higher education and community groups, workshops for young people and teachers, lunchtime lectures, and a hands-on session for people with visual impairments.

Back to the Future is the first major exhibition dedicated to Spence (1907 76), arguably Scotland's most renowned modern architect. It looks at an architect who, in the post-war period alone, designed a nuclear power station, an airport, the first of the country's new university complexes, a cathedral and many other projects.

Born in India, Spence came to Edinburgh in his youth and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. The exhibition begins in the 1920s with his prize-winning student work. Modern private houses, such as Gribloch in Stirlingshire, and dynamic designs for the Glasgow Empire exhibition and Festival of Britain helped Spence establish his reputation. In 1951, he won the design competition for the new Coventry Cathedral (built alongside the bombed remains of the original medieval building).

An aspect of Spence's practice was his interest in working with artists. A special section devoted to Coventry Cathedral (pictured) will include related artworks by Jacob Epstein, John Piper, Graham Sutherland and other commissioned artists.

* www.nationalgalleries.org

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today