Powell, Kenneth 1947-
POWELL, Kenneth 1947-
PERSONAL: Born 1947.
ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Twentieth Century Society, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6E3, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Merrell Publishers Ltd., 42 Southwark St., London SE1 1UN, England.
CAREER: Architecture critic, journalist, and author. Daily Telegraph, architecture correspondent.
MEMBER: Twentieth Century Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: Royal Institute of British Architects, honorary fellow.
The Fall of Zion: Northern Chapel Architecture and its Future (photography by Keith Parkinson), Save Britain's Heritage (London, England), 1980.
(With Celia de la Hay) Churches: A Question of Conversion, Save Britain's Heritage (London, England), 1987.
(Editor) London, Academy Editions (London, England) 1993.
Stansted: Norman Foster and the Architecture of Flight, Fourth Estate (London, England), 1992.
Lloyd's Building: Richard Rogers Partnership, Phaidon Press (London, England), 1994.
Edward Cullinan Architects, Academy Editions (London, England), 1995.
Grand Central Terminal: Warren and Wetmore, Phaidon Press (London, England), 1996.
(Author of introduction) John Lyall, Contexts and Catalysts, Arca Edizioni (Milan, Italy), 1999.
Architecture Reborn: Converting Old Buildings for New Uses, Rizzoli (New York, NY), 1999.
Richard Rogers Complete Works, Phaidon Press (London, England), Volume 1, 1999, Volume 2, 2001.
The Jubilee Line Extension, foreword by Roland Paoletti, Laurence King Publishing (London, England), 2000.
City Transformed: Urban Architecture at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century, Laurence King (London, England), 2000.
Modern House Today, photographs by Nick Dawe, Black Dog (London, England), 2001.
John McAslan, Thames & Hudson (London, England), 2000.
New London Architecture, Merrell Publishers (London, England), 2001.
Will Alsop, Laurence King (London, England), 2001.
(Editor) Collaborations: The Architecture of Ahrends, Burton, and Koralek, Birkhauser Architectural, 2002.
New Architecture in Britain, Merrell Publishers (London, England), 2003.
Contributor to The New Office, by Francis Duffy, Conrad Octopus (London, England), 1997, and The National Portrait Gallery: An Architectural History, with Graham Hulme, Brian Buchanan, photographs by John Goto.
SIDELIGHTS: Kenneth Powell is an architecture critic and journalist. His many books on English architecture include studies of England's most prominent architects, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers. His works range from in-depth analyses of major structures in London, considered by many to be the architectural capital of the world, to new uses for old structures, to international urban design precepts, to the impact of modern practitioners on the house of the twenty-first century.
Peter Kaufman, in Library Journal, noted that Powell's introduction in New London Architecture is targeted primarily to an English, and particularly London, audience, which places it "out of the ken of modern American readers." The book is a glossy pictorial survey of modern architecture in London, both recent and proposed, and covers a diverse range of structures, including bridges, subway stations, entertainment centers, and museums. It combines critical texts, photographs, and plans of more than one hundred projects combining to create a radical renaissance of this urban landscape.
Architecture Reborn: Converting Old Buildings for New Uses considers forty-four conversion projects in various locations, primarily in North America, Eastern and Western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Organized into three broad categories—museums, living and working, and leisure and learning—the review includes important projects by internationally renowned designers. Powell's documentation includes descriptive essays, floor plans, what was salvageable and what was not, and project credits. D. P. Doordan's review in Choice praised Powell's work here, considering the lack of a bibliography to be its only drawback.
Paul Glassman, reviewing City Transformed: Urban Architecture at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century, noted that Powell believes that, to be successful, city architecture requires solid urban-design precepts. Glassman wrote: "Powell . . . has assembled an international selection of 25 urban design projects from the 1990s. Summarizing urban design over the last century, the introductory essay includes stimulating observations amid a few puzzling generalizations on the political, economic, and aesthetic dimensions of the modern city." The book's four major sections address issues of healing, extending, motion, and culture, providing several examples of each.
In a 228-page paperback, Modern House Today, Powell combines documentary records and photographs as he discusses the effects of modern architects such as Lubetkin, Gropius, Fry, and Mendelsohn on the modern house. At the other end of the spectrum is a two-volume set, Richard Rogers, Complete Works.Volume 1 of this set was described by Jain Borden in Building Design as "a monumental affair. It hits the table with a massive thud factor . . . an authoritative guide to every building and project of note from 1961 to 1988." This is a comprehensive overview of major projects in chronological order, aided by illustrations and four essays from Powell. Commenting on the essays, Borden wrote: "Powell is particularly good on biographic detail.... Powell is careful to go beyond the surface of events, identifying the role of less well known characters....The book is full of these kinds of details, and very nice they are too."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Building Design, November 12, 1999, Jain Borden, review of Richard Rogers, Complete Works, Volume 1, p. 20.
Choice, November, 1999, D. P. Doordan, review of Architecture Reborn: Converting Old Buildings for New Uses, p. 527.
Design, July, 1992, Tim Ostler, review of Stansted: Normal Foster and the Architecture of Flight, p. 53.
Interiors, June, 1999, Eve M. Kahn, review of Architecture Reborn, p. 124.
Library Journal, January 1, 2002, Paul Glassman, review of City Transformed: Urban Architecture at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century, p. 100; April 1, 2002, Peter Kaufman, review of New London Architecture, p. 104.*