Albert Richardson

Albert Richardson

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Sir Albert Edward Richardson K.C.V.O.
Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

, F.R.I.B.A
Royal Institute of British Architects
The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally.-History:...

, F.S.A., (London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, 19 May 1880–3 February 1964) was a leading English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

, teacher and writer about architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 during the first half of the 20th century. He was Professor of Architecture at University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

, a President of the Royal Academy
Royal Academy
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

, editor of Architects’ Journal and founder of the Georgian Group
Georgian Group
The Georgian Group is an English and Welsh conservation organisation created to campaign for the preservation of historic buildings and planned landscapes of the 18th and early 19th centuries...


Richardson was born in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. He trained in the offices of Leonard Stokes
Leonard Stokes
Leonard Aloysius Scott Stokes was an English architect.Leonard Stokes was born in Southport in 1858. He trained in London and travelled in Germany and Italy. Most of his designs were for Roman Catholic buildings, including churches, convents and schools. His first outstanding work was the...

 and Frank T. Verity, practitioners of the Beaux-Arts style, and in 1906 he established his first architectural practice, in partnership with Charles Lovett Gill (the Richardson & Gill partnership was eventually dissolved in 1939).

He wrote several articles for Architectural Review
Architectural Review
The Architectural Review is a monthly international architectural magazine published in London since 1896. Articles cover the built environment which includes landscape, building design, interior design and urbanism as well as theory of these subjects....

and the survey of London Houses from 1660 to 1820: a Consideration of their Architecture and Detail (1911). In the following year he was appointed architect to the Prince of Wales's Duchy of Cornwall Estate
Duchy of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster. The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall at the time of his birth, or of his parent's succession to the throne. If the monarch has no son, the...

. His massive work, Monumental Classic Architecture in Great Britain and Ireland (1914) established him as a scholar; in it he reappraised the Greek Revival architects C.R. Cockerell
Charles Robert Cockerell
Charles Robert Cockerell was an English architect, archaeologist, and writer.-Life:Charles Robert Cockerell was educated at Westminster School from 1802. From the age of sixteen, he trained in the architectural practice of his father, Samuel Pepys Cockerell...

 and Henri Labrouste
Henri Labrouste
Pierre François Henri Labrouste was a French architect from the famous École des Beaux Arts school of architecture. After a six year stay in Rome, Labrouste opened an architectural training workshop, which quickly became the center of the Rationalist view...


In his own work he was strongly influenced by nostalgia for the craftsmanship of the late Georgian era and the pared-down Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 of Sir John Soane
John Soane
Sir John Soane, RA was an English architect who specialised in the Neo-Classical style. His architectural works are distinguished by their clean lines, massing of simple form, decisive detailing, careful proportions and skilful use of light sources...

 in particular, but he recognised that his classical ideals needed to be developed to meet the challenges of Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

. The result was a synthesis of traditional and modern approaches which was adapted and applied to industrial and commercial buildings, churches and houses. His deep knowledge of and sympathy towards Georgian design also helped him in numerous post-war commissions to restore bomb-damaged Georgian buildings. Ironically, several of his designs – most notably, Bracken House in the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, the first post-war London building to be listed and protected from redevelopment – are now regarded as classic milestones of 20th century design.

He was awarded the Royal Gold Medal
Royal Gold Medal
The Royal Gold Medal for architecture is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of the British monarch, in recognition of an individual's or group's substantial contribution to international architecture....

 for Architecture in 1947 and was elected President of the Royal Academy in 1954; he was knighted in 1956.

From 1919 until his death, Richardson lived at Avenue House, 20 Church Street, Ampthill
Ampthill is a small town and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, between Bedford and Luton, with a population of about 6,000. It is administered by Central Bedfordshire Council. A regular market has taken place on Thursdays for centuries.-History:...

, Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire is a ceremonial county of historic origin in England that forms part of the East of England region.It borders Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west and Hertfordshire to the south-east....

, an 18th century townhouse in which he initially refused to install electricity, believing that his home needed to reflect Georgian standards of living if he was to truly understand their way of life, though he was later convinced to change his mind by his wife, Elizabeth Byers (March 1882–1958), whom he had married in 1904. They had one daughter.


  • Manchester Opera House
    Manchester Opera House
    The Opera House in Quay Street, Manchester, England is a 1,920 seater commercial touring theatre which plays host to touring musicals, ballet, concerts and a Christmas pantomime. It is the sister to the Palace Theatre which is a similar venue in nearby Oxford Street at its junction with Whitworth...

  • repairs to Ripon Cathedral
    Ripon Cathedral
    Ripon Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds and the mother church of the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, situated in the small North Yorkshire city of Ripon, England.-Background:...

    , Ripon
    Ripon is a cathedral city, market town and successor parish in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, located at the confluence of two streams of the River Ure in the form of the Laver and Skell. The city is noted for its main feature the Ripon Cathedral which is architecturally...

  • North London Collegiate School, Canons Park
    Canons Park
    Canons Park is a residential suburb of London, situated in the north west London Borough of Harrow. It is located to the south of Stanmore, the west of Edgware, and the east of Wealdstone.-Etymology and history:...

    , Edgware
    Edgware is an area in London, situated north-northwest of Charing Cross. It forms part of both the London Borough of Barnet and the London Borough of Harrow. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London....

    , Middlesex
    Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time...

  • works on Baronscourt, Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone (1947)
  • restoration of St Malachy's (CoI) Parish Church, Hillsborough
    Hillsborough, County Down
    Hillsborough is a village and townland in County Down, Northern Ireland, situated from the city of Belfast. It is within the Lisburn City Council area....

    , County Down
    County Down
    -Cities:*Belfast *Newry -Large towns:*Dundonald*Newtownards*Bangor-Medium towns:...

    , Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

  • restoration of Navy Staircase (aka: Nelson Stair), Somerset House
    Somerset House
    Somerset House is a large building situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, England, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge. The central block of the Neoclassical building, the outstanding project of the architect Sir William Chambers, dates from 1776–96. It...

    , following 1940 wartime bomb damage
  • restoration of St Alfege's Church
    St Alfege's Church, Greenwich
    St Alfege Church is a Church of England place of worship in the town centre of Greenwich in the eponymous London Borough.-History:The church is dedicated to, and reputedly marks the place where Alfege , Archbishop of Canterbury, was killed by Viking raiders on 19 April 1012.The second church built...

    , Greenwich, London (1953)
  • restoration of St James’s church, Piccadilly
    Piccadilly is a major street in central London, running from Hyde Park Corner in the west to Piccadilly Circus in the east. It is completely within the city of Westminster. The street is part of the A4 road, London's second most important western artery. St...

    , London
  • restoration of Trinity House
    Trinity House
    The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and other British territorial waters...

    , City of London
  • church of St Stanislaus, Dulverton
    Dulverton is a town and civil parish in the heart of West Somerset, England, near the border with Devon. The town has a population of 1,630. The parish includes the hamlets of Battleton and Ashwick which is located approximately north west of Dulverton...

    , Somerset
    The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

     (completed 1955)
  • bridge linking picture galleries, Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire (1955)
  • restoration of the Wilkins Building, University College London (completed 1956)
  • church of St Cuthbert, Catterick Garrison
    Catterick Garrison
    Catterick Garrison is a major Army base located in Northern England. It is the largest British Army garrison in the world with a population of around 12,000, plus a large temporary population of soldiers, and is larger than its older neighbour...

    , North Yorkshire
    North Yorkshire
    North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

  • Casterbridge flats, Blackheath, London
    Blackheath, London
    Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

  • refurbishment of Sedbergh School
    Sedbergh School
    Sedbergh School is a boarding school in Sedbergh, Cumbria, for boys and girls aged 13 to 18. Nestled in the Howgill Fells, it is known for sporting sides, such as its Rugby Union 1st XV.-Background:...

     library (1957–1958)
  • Financial Times
    Financial Times
    The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

    building, Bracken House, Cannon Street
    Cannon Street
    Cannon Street is a road in the south of the City of London. It runs roughly parallel with the River Thames, and about 250 metres north of it. It is the site of the ancient London Stone.-Etymology:...

    , London (completed in 1958, in 1988 it became the first post-war listed building)
  • Tormore Distillery, Advie, Grantown on Spey, Morayshire, Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

     (1958–1960, also a listed building)
  • restoration of the Livery Hall of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors
    Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors
    The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London.The Company, originally known as the Guild and Fraternity of St...

    , London (1959)
  • John White shoe factory, Rushden
    Rushden is a town and civil parish in the county of Northamptonshire, England.The parish of Rushden covers an area of some and is part of the district of East Northamptonshire. The population of Rushden was estimated at around 28,368, making it the fifth largest town in the county...

    , Northamptonshire
    Northamptonshire is a landlocked county in the English East Midlands, with a population of 629,676 as at the 2001 census. It has boundaries with the ceremonial counties of Warwickshire to the west, Leicestershire and Rutland to the north, Cambridgeshire to the east, Bedfordshire to the south-east,...

  • college chapel at St Mary's University College, Twickenham in Strawberry Hill
    Strawberry Hill, London
    Strawberry Hill is an affluent area of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in Twickenham. It is a suburban development situated 10.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross. It consists of a number of residential roads centered around a small development of shops and serviced by Strawberry...

  • works at Elstow Abbey
    Elstow Abbey
    Elstow Abbey was a monastery for Benedictine nuns in Elstow, Bedfordshire, England. It was founded c.1075 by Judith, Countess of Huntingdon, a niece of William the Conqueror, and therefore is classed as a royal foundation...

    , Bedford
    Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It is a large town and the administrative centre for the wider Borough of Bedford. According to the former Bedfordshire County Council's estimates, the town had a population of 79,190 in mid 2005, with 19,720 in the adjacent town...

  • completion of St Martin's church, Knebworth
    Knebworth is a village and civil parish in the north of Hertfordshire, England immediately south of Stevenage. The civil parish covers an area between the villages of Datchworth, Woolmer Green, Codicote, Kimpton, Whitwell, St Paul's Walden and Langley, and encompasses the village of Knebworth, the...

    , Hertfordshire
    Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

     (1963–1964, completing work begun by Sir Edwin Lutyens
    Edwin Lutyens
    Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, OM, KCIE, PRA, FRIBA was a British architect who is known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era...

  • Mid Bedfordshire
    Bedfordshire is a ceremonial county of historic origin in England that forms part of the East of England region.It borders Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west and Hertfordshire to the south-east....

     District Council Offices (formerly the Ampthill
    Ampthill is a small town and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, between Bedford and Luton, with a population of about 6,000. It is administered by Central Bedfordshire Council. A regular market has taken place on Thursdays for centuries.-History:...

     Rural District Council Offices, 12 Dunstable Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire (1963–1965)
  • model village layout, housing and community centre for London Brick Company at Stewartby
    Stewartby is a model village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, originally built for the workers of The London Brick Company. The village housing and town community centre was designed by the noted neo-Georgian architect Sir Albert Richardson a later and more modern development than such...

    , Bedfordshire, 1968 (first phase) and later, the last completed 1978
  • Streetlights inspired by the Revo Festival design. Both wall mounting and lamp standards, Cambridge
    The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...



All published at London except where noted.
  • London Houses from 1660 to 1820: a Consideration of their Architecture and Detail (1911)
  • Monumental Classic: Architecture in Great Britain and Ireland (1914; reprinted 2001)
  • Regional Architecture of the West of England. (1924)
  • The Old Inns of England (1935;reprinted 1967)
  • The Significance of the Fine Arts (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955)
  • The Art of Architecture (New York: Philosophical Library, 1956)