Richard MacCormac

I missed the discussion at the recent event on the character of Richard MacCormac’s architecture (or that of MacCormac Jamieson Prichard and Wright) and the extent to which it could be described as postmodern.   But this morning, I had a look at the book he produced on Jocasta Innes’s house in Spitalfields and his own next door, Two Houses in Spitalfields, just before his death.   It describes how they met after he had been told that ‘there was a woman in Heneage Street, dressed in a catsuit, swinging from a ladder and brandishing a blowtorch’;  how ‘although educated at Cambridge in the ethos of modernism, I had never been pressed into the reductive white architecture of the European modern movement’;  and how she opened up for him ‘a colour world’ – ‘illusion, allusion, surprise, humour and, of course, colour’.   These may not be pure postmodern characteristics, but they sound very like it.

I am attaching a photograph of the Brewer’s House in Heneage Street, which Jocasta Innes bought from the Spitalfields Trust in 1979, in front of the brewery which Richard MacCormac had bought not long before and next to The Pride of Spitalfields, where they first discussed whether or not life is better without architects. The house which Richard bought is next door:-

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