Architect: James Gowan

The H-plan: Breuer, Stirling, Gowan

The H-plan: Breuer, Stirling, Gowan

By Anthony Vidler

The interesting note by Neil Jackson tying Gowan and his Isle of Wight House to the bi-nuclear plans of Breuer and then to Craig Ellwood’s Hillsborough House, reminds me of Stirling’s own early interest in Breuer, whose Connecticut work he saw during his 1948 internship in New York during his… Read More

Building the Gowan Shed

Building the Gowan Shed

By Jonah Ginsburg

Through the week of July 12–17, thirteen young architects camped at Shatwell Farm in order to realise a shed from an enigmatic early drawing by James Gowan. The workshop was initiated and led by Maria-Chiara Piccinelli of PiM.studio and Corinna Dean of ARCA. This film portrays the (re)design and construction… Read More

Steeling Stirling & Gowan’s Isle of Wight House

Steeling Stirling & Gowan’s Isle of Wight House

By Neil Jackson

The editors were thrilled to receive this response from Neil Jackson to our publication of drawings and literature relating to Stirling & Gowan’s Isle of Wight house. We are always interested in receiving comments and feedback from our readers: editors@drawingmatter.org.  In taking the plan of the Stirling & Gowan’s Isle… Read More

Stirling & Gowan: The Isle of Wight House

Stirling & Gowan: The Isle of Wight House

By James Gowan, J. M. Richards, Laurent Stalder, James Stirling and Ellis Woodman

This first impetus for this article was provided by Laurent Stalder’s discussion of the sectional perspective drawing for the Isle of Wight house, reproduced here, which lead us to J. M. Richards’ seminal essay, and then onward through the literature. In addition, we asked the Deutsches Architekturmuseum and the Canadian… Read More

Leicester Engineering Building: Completed!

Leicester Engineering Building: Completed!

By James Gowan

In this pendant piece to Leicester Engineering Building: Under Construction, follow James Gowan, once again, as the photographer of his own architecture. The text below is transcribed from an annotated typescript titled ‘Aspects of Humanism’, July 1989, archived at Drawing Matter. The text was published in Architecture Today as ‘Anatomy… Read More

Leicester Engineering Building: Under Construction

Leicester Engineering Building: Under Construction

By James Gowan

This is the first of three posts publishing material found in the James Gowan archive, now part of the Drawing Matter Collection. The second post will be a companion to this one, and reproduces photographs of the completed Engineering Building; the third assembles archival material relating to the Isle of… Read More

Leicester Engineering building: Two Architects (1964)

Leicester Engineering building: Two Architects (1964)

By Ellis Woodman

Filmed in 1964, Ron Parks’ documentary on the newly completed Engineering Department at Leicester catches James Stirling and James Gowan at a moment of professional triumph and personal crisis. Their building was being applauded the world-over – Parks’ film had been commissioned by the American Institute of Architects, to mark its… Read More

Working with Gowan: Housing at East Hanningfield

Working with Gowan: Housing at East Hanningfield

By Paul Notley

The Site Plan was one of the Planning drawings prepared for submission to Chelmsford District Council and Essex County Council. It is A1 size and drawn on Wiggins Teape 112 gram ‘Gateway’ tracing paper. The East Hanningfield job was the first on which ‘A’ sized paper had been used in… Read More

Hello Iwona

Hello Iwona

By Hamish Lonergan

A large, red ‘Hello!!’ and attribution to ‘Gowan, James’ is all I can see, at first, of image 3157.3r in Drawing Matter’s online archive. No date, no caption. The greeting is enthusiastic enough to stop scrolling: ‘Hi there, James!!’ I think. But when I zoom in, it’s not him at all. … Read More

Startha Éagsula: t o b Architect on James Gowan

Startha Éagsula: t o b Architect on James Gowan

By Thomas O’Brien

There is a ramp;There is a staggering of volumes in plan and section, in out, in out;There is a tapering toward the top;The emphasis is on the public ambulatory spaces;There are people ambulating about;The proportion and judgement of the volumes appear to be empathetic to people;The undercroft condition is important… Read More

Animals

Animals

By James Gowan and Ellis Woodman

excerpted from The Architecture of James Gowan: Modernity and Reinvention (2008)

One Thing Leads to Another

One Thing Leads to Another

By Richard Hall

Architecture rarely results from a singular eureka moment or a spontaneous act of genius. The myth of the napkin sketch is precisely a myth. The lucidity it suggests is essential, but it is seldom instantaneous or hermetic. It comes from work. In architecture, this work is of a special kind,… Read More