free bootstrap theme

James Gowan made his name in the early 1960s with the seminal University of Leicester Engineering Building, designed with his then partner, James Stirling. The two architects had met while working at the practice Lyons Israel Ellis and founded Stirling and Gowan in 1956. Their working relationship was tempestuous, however, with the two going their separate ways in 1963 after disagreements over the Cambridge History Faculty. Stirling completed that project on his own, with Gowan leaving to set up his own practice.

Gowan was largely overshadowed by Stirling over his subsequent career, but did complete a number of important projects, notably the Schreiber House in Hampstead, London. He was also a committed and influential teacher. Former students include Richard Rogers, Quinlan Terry, Peter Cook, Tony Fretton and Alex de Rijke and Stephen Bates.

In this podcast, the second of the Royal Academy's ‘Forgotten Masters’ series, organised in association with Docomomo-UK, Tony Fretton and Ellis Woodman discuss Gowan’s powerful, yet often overlooked contribution to the development of British architecture in the second half of the twentieth century.


Tony Fretton – Principal, Tony Fretton Architects; Emeritus Professor, TU Delft; Visiting Professor, University of East London

Ellis Woodman – Director, The Architecture Foundation, author of Modernity and Reinvention: The Architecture of James Gowan

Podcast: Tony Fretton and Ellis Woodman discuss the work of James Gowan
Forgotten Masters

By The RA Podcast Team
Published 17 December 2015

Tony Fretton and Ellis Woodman discuss the powerful, yet often overlooked contribution of James Gowan to twentieth-century British architecture.