Alan Powers reviews
The History and Architecture of Cardiff Civic Centre: Black Gold, White City
by John B. Hilling
David Lea: An Architect of Principle
by Adam Voelcker
A vast urban space stretched before me towards distant dotted buildings. They were white. Unreal to my northern eyes they shimmered in the glow of late summer. The impact of that first impression is indelible.
These words by Dewi-Prys Thomas, recalling his first sight of Cathays Park and its buildings in 1934, are quoted by John Hilling in his meticulous and fascinating survey of Britain’s only real example of a Beaux Arts-style ‘White City’. There is an irony here, since, while Thomas was to become Professor of Architecture and have his tobacco-clouded office in one of these buildings during the heroic years of the Welsh School of Architecture, these surroundings reflect nothing of the Welsh form of architecture that he hoped might develop within the tradition of Modernism.Sign in to read more