100 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781848223899 • Publication: May 10, 2021
Alice Grahame and John McKean
Available for preorder: this book will be shipped on its publication date of May 10, 2021
DescriptionThis is a study of the architect Walter Segal (1907-1985): his intellectual biography (background, influences, thoughts, writings), his unique approach to architectural practice (and his built work) and his enduring impact on architecture and attitudes to housing across the world. It moves from What Segal Inherited (part 1), centres on What Segal Achieved (Parts 2 & 3) and concludes with What is Inherited from Segal.
It firstly sets out his formative years in continental Europe. Segal’s father was an eminent modern painter, close to leading architects and artists and he grew up in a fascinating milieu, at the centre of the European avant-garde. With the rise of Hitler, this Jewish family fled, finally settling in England prior to the Second World War.
The second section focuses on Walter Segal’s central theme of popular housing, his unique and independent form of professional practice, how he managed to spread his ideas through writing and teaching, and how his architecture developed towards the timber-frame form known world-wide today as ‘the Segal system’.
The third section looks at his buildings in timber-frame, explains the 'Segal System' and its development in Segal's last projects into self-built communities half a century ago. The final, fourth, section of the book explores the legacy offered by Segal to younger generations; how his work and example, half a century after his timber ‘system’ was developed, leads to the possibility of making, and then living within, communities whose places are constructed with a flexible, easily assembled, planet-friendly timber-frame building system today and tomorrow.