John Madin was the indisputable master of post-war architecture in Birmingham. The work of Madin and his associates had a profound influence on the reshaping of the city after the war, producing some of the most iconic buildings of that period, such as the Birmingham City Library, the Chamber of Commerce and the Post and Mail Building.
Trained in the modernist style but too much of a craftsman to abandon decoration entirely, his work is characterised by attention to detail, a preference for natural materials and a desire for decoration and art in his buildings.
Many have characterised Madin as a commercial architect, but as the author argues, there was another side to his work. His conservationist approach to the development plan for the Calthorpe Estate, his workman-like master-planning of Dawley, Telford and Corby new towns, his public service commissions, and his design and layout of housing schemes that are still lived-in and popular today, testify to his commitment to human values.
Lavishly illustrated with images from Madin’s personal archive and stunning new photography, this book is an essential read for architects, students, architectural historians and modernist enthusiasts interested in learning more about a key figure in British post-war architecture.
This book has been commissioned as part of a series of books on Twentieth Century Architects by RIBA Publishing, English Heritage and The Twentieth Century Society.
1. Madin and his work
2. The Calthorpe Plan
3. Commerce and industry
4. New places
5. Building for leisure
6. Civic pride
List of Works