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Brook, R., 2017.

Drawing the Modern: A viewing of the student work of Gordon Hodkinson

Output Type:Presentation
Venue:MMU Special Collections

In Manchester in the middle of the twentieth century there were two schools of architecture. One was based at Owens College (The University of Manchester) and another at the College of Art - the Municipal School. At the Municipal School, under the direction of Douglas Jones, modernism was central to teaching and design in architecture. Gordon Hodkinson was a student between 1944 and 1951 and has recently donated his entire set of student drawings to Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections.

After graduation Gordon went on to work for Cruickshank & Seward where he was project architect for some of their best known work, under the direction of partner William Arthur Gibbon. Gordon designed the infinitely fine staircases at Renold House in Wythenshawe and set out the sweeping curves of the roof top plant room on the Renold Building at UMIST. Gibbon trained at Owens in classics and vernacular studies and in some senses one might view their association as the coming together of two schools; Gibbon's sense of proportion never left him and Hodkinson's technically informed modernism flowered in some of the finest mid-century buildings in Manchester.

In advance of a full exhibition of Gordon Hodkinson's work (scheduled for September 2018) and in collaboration with MMU Special Collections we are hosting a small table-top viewing of some of Gordon's drawings.

A selection of projects, from day designs to thesis schemes will be presented and Richard Brook, who has spent many hours with Gordon, will talk about the teaching and practice of modern architecture at the school and in the city during the 1940s and '50s.