English Heritage applauds Sir Nikolaus Pevsner

The architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner will be commemorated today with an English Heritage Blue Plaque at 2 Wildwood Terrace, Hampstead, NW3, where he lived from 1936 until his death in 1983.Pevsner was born in Leipzig to a family of Russian-Jewish origin. He completed his doctoral thesis on the baroque merchant houses of Leipzig in 1924 and went on to become the assistant keeper at the Dresden Gallery and later a lecturer at the University of Göttingen. It was at Göttingen that, after specialising in Italian Mannerist painting, Pevsner turned his attention to English architecture, making his first research visit to the country in 1930.

In 1933 Nazi race laws excluded Pevsner from his post and he left Germany for England. He held a fellowship at the University of Birmingham and soon established himself as a proponent of Modernism and an emerging authority on the country's visual scene; Pioneers of the Modern Movement from William Morris to Walter Gropius hailed architecture as perhaps the most important of all the arts.

In 1941 he began his association with Penguin began when he was employed by Allen Lane to edit the King Penguin series. Since arriving in England Pevsner had found the "lack of a guidebook such a nuisance" and when Lane asked him what project he wished to embark on next, he ambitiously committed himself to producing a comprehensive guide to the buildings of England, with one volume covering each county. An exhaustive rate of production commenced; three volumes of the Buildings of England appeared in 1951 and thereafter two books were published almost annually.

In 1974, the 46-volume series was completed. Since then, the Pevsner Architectural Guides - as they are now known - have been revised and expanded to include Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and are widely regarded as the most authoritative source for information on the buildings of Britain.

In 1958, at a time when Victorian architecture was deeply unpopular, he became a founding member of the Victorian Society, and was later to serve as Chairman (1963-76). Such was the influence of the inclusion of a building in the Pevsner guides that it was frequently saved from destruction.

Pevsner was appointed CBE in 1953; in 1967 he was awarded the RIBA Royal gold medal for architecture, and was knighted in 1969.

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email

Features

2017-05-31 13:33

The rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise by two per cent on June 1 to 12 per cent on all non-exempt transactions. Martin Bennison, managing director at construction finance firm Ultimate Finance, explains what this means for UK construction companies.

2017-05-25 08:41

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is growing in popularity and is now mandatory for centrally funded public-sector projects. Experts and the curious are gathering more and more frequently at dedicated congresses, exhibitions and workshops. Many people are now asking: Where does the UK stand on the issue of BIM and the digitisation of the construction industry?

2017-05-10 10:47

Opening site doors to more females is vital to plugging the construction skills gap, reports Claire Cameron

THE construction industry continues to be plagued by a well-documented skills gap with some suggesting the shortage could get worse before it gets better.

2017-05-08 14:27

If you work on a building site, are self-employed or have a zero-hours contract, you might be surprised to know you work in the ”gig economy”. This is the economy characterised by temporary work and irregular hours, pay and working conditions.

2017-03-29 10:31

Jeremy Gould, VP sales Europe, TomTom Telematics, discusses how technological developments in vehicle telematics have opened up new workflow management possibilities for the construction industry

2017-03-21 09:31

With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.

2017-03-17 10:55

With construction firms leading the way in drone technology, Claire Cameron takes a closer look at how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used onsite

2017-03-07 16:20

While the physical safety of workers is prioritised on construction sites, mental health is often overlooked, reports Claire Cameron

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?