Architect: James Gowan

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

Gowan on the English House

Gowan on the English House

By James Gowan

When asked to write for Zodiac about his villa at Chester, built in 1982 for the furniture magnate Chaim Schreiber, James Gowan choses Robert Lorimer and Edwin Lutyens as his references. It is clear that he identifies with Lorimer particularly – another Scotsman, asked to build a house for a good client… Read More

Take One: James Gowan and Sandra Lousada on the Leicester Engineering Building

Take One: James Gowan and Sandra Lousada on the Leicester Engineering Building

Take One is a collaboration between Drawing Matter and the Architects’ Lives oral history project run by National Life Stories. Each episode pairs a drawing or visual element with a short audio extract, showing the image alongside the voice of its creator or an informed commentator. The audio extracts are taken from life… Read More

James Gowan Millbank: Sketches and Comments

James Gowan Millbank: Sketches and Comments

By Matt Page

The following text was first published in 1977 in an issue of AD Profiles dedicated to the Millbank Housing Competition. Run by the Crown Estate, the competition to develop a site adjacent to Vauxhall Bridge attracted nearly five hundred entries, including proposals from Alison and Peter Smithson, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano,… Read More

Alternative Histories: Hild und K Architekten on James Gowan

Alternative Histories: Hild und K Architekten on James Gowan

“Form follows fender” In James Gowan’s parallel projections we were particularly interested in their spatial qualities, and how the form could develop. Seen as a negative space, it could be a staggered courtyard. James Gowan used a car shape as a reference. By extracting the theme and duplicating the shape… Read More

Alternative Histories: Nikolaus Bienefeld on James Gowan

Alternative Histories: Nikolaus Bienefeld on James Gowan

Die ersten Modelle einer Entwurfsskizze verkörpern den architektonischen Gedanken.So, wie die Skizze durch die Art des Striches, der Farbigkeit, der Detaillierung eine oder viele Interpretationen ermöglicht, so eröffnet die Wahl und der Umgang mit dem Material des Modells eine größtmögliche Offenheit im architektonischen Prozess. The first models of a design sketch… Read More

Alternative Histories: ONO Architectuur on James Gowan

Alternative Histories: ONO Architectuur on James Gowan

Gowan and Stirling

Gowan and Stirling

By Fred Scott

This odd-shaped, yellowed analysis drawing by James Gowan, drawn directly onto heavy paper isn’t dated, and was probably added to years after the drawing was nearly complete. Ellis Woodman describes the drawing as ‘that drawing that James always kept in the box with his sketchbooks’. Unusually, when I first saw… Read More

Alternative Histories: Bovenbouw Architectuur on James Gowan

Alternative Histories: Bovenbouw Architectuur on James Gowan

We had great fun elaborating on the cumulative aspect of James Gowan’s sketch. Gowan drew a procession of different structural features – a conga line of architectural fragments. We reinterpreted the idea on a vertical rather than horizontal axis. The conga line was turned into a tower-like stack. We embraced… Read More