Williams, Sir (Evan) Owen

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Williams, Sir (Evan) Owen (1890–1969). British engineer. In the 1930s he designed some of the most celebrated contemporary buildings in England, using reinforced-concrete construction. At the Boots Factory, Beeston, Nottingham (1930–2), he used the pier system with a mushroom-like top invented by Maillart. He was consulting engineer for the Daily Express Building, Fleet Street, London (1932—in association with Ellis and Clarke), in which a curtain-wall with black ‘Vitrolite’ glass panels was used. He was largely responsible for the Pioneer Health Centre, Peckham, London (1934–6), and for the Dorchester Hotel, London (1929–30— restyled by W. Curtis Green). Once seen as a pioneer of Functionalism and of the Modern Movement, his designs for the M1 Motorway, including the very heavy concrete bridges (1951–9—some of which have the canted arches of the 1920s Art Deco style) dimmed his reputation.

Bibliography

Anno Domini, xxxix/7 (July 1969), 348;
Kalman (1994);
Stamp (ed.) (1986);
Yeomans & and Cottam (2001);
Zodiac, xviii (1968), 11–30