Sir Ove Nyquist Arup
Born in 1895, in Heaton Newcastle, Ove Arup was educated in Denmark, where he studied philosophy and later engineering in Copenhagen. He moved to Paris in the 1920s where he learned the techniques of reinforced concrete construction.
Arup was attracted to the discipline of engineering by what he saw as the potential to unite technology and art. This humanist perspective inspired his lifelong quest for ‘total design’. He founded Ove Arup & Partners in 1948. His consultancy introduced collaborative thinking between the associated disciplines of engineering and architecture and is credited with transforming the practice of engineering.
The Kingsgate Bridge in Durham is one of the few projects of his own design and it remained one of his favourite works. He said that both the Highgate flats and the Kingsgate Bridge were; “perfect examples of the complete integration of architecture, structure and method of construction”, which he sought after in his work.
Le Corbusier and Berthold Lubetkin Masters
Two international architects whose work had enormous influence in the projects of North East based architects were Le Corbusier and Berthold Lubetkin.
Le Corbusier, born (Charles Edouard Jeanneret), is credited as the great master of the Modernist movement. His Vers une Architecture (Towards an Architecture) published in 1923 became one of the most influential architectural books of the twentieth century and called for a new architectural language in tune with the machine age.
Berthold Lubetkin, working in Paris during the 1920s under the guidance of Auguste Perret (also an early mentor of Le Corbusier), had absorbed the classical principles of French Rationalism and, importantly the techniques of reinforced concrete construction.
Lubtekin’s belief in the role of architecture in the reconstruction of society and Le Corbusier’s principles for its new expression underpinned architectural training in the twentieth century. Their influence became the mantra of the younger generation modernists of the post war era and is openly acknowledged in the philosophy and the architecture that emerged.