This article situates the educational architecture of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew in British West Africa in 1946-56 in the context of late British colonial policy. The analysis extends discursive readings of architecture with contemporary literary texts as aspects of what might be termed the material cultural fabric. These different forms of articulation illuminate the sociocultural dynamic underlying the migration of modernism in the postwar era, and the extent to which the movement affected and was appropriated by British colonial enterprise. It also discloses modernism's simultaneous disruption and reinforcement of the objectives of modernity, among which were the ideological and technical systems of British imperial expansion. On this basis, it is argued that Fry and Drew were constrained in their endeavor to resolve the divergent expectations within modernist theory concerning the application of universal principles to local conditions, and thus also in their aim of initiating a legitimate modern African architecture.

Notes

Notes
2
Stephen Hitchens, Fry Drew Knight Creamer Architecture (London, 1976), 6.
Mark Crinson, Modern Architecture and the End of Empire (Aldershot, England, 2003), 137-56.
3
Paul Rabinow, French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment (Cambridge, Mass., 1989)
Jean-Louis Cohen, Casablanca: Colonial Myths and Modern Ventures (New York, 2002)
John Lang, Madhivi Desai, and Miki Desai, Architecture and Independence: The Search for Identity—India 1880 to 1980 (Delhi, 1997).
Thomas Metcalf, "Architecture and the Representation of Empire: India, 1860-1910, Representations 6 (spring 1984), 7-36,
Swati Chattopadhay, "Blurring Boundaries: The Limits of'White Town' in Colonial Calcutta,"
Ikem Okoye, "Architecture, History, and the Debate on Identity in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa,"
Shirine Hamadeh, "Ottoman Expressions of Early Modernity and the 'Inevitable' Question of Westernization," JSAH 59 Qune 2000), 154-79
61 (Sept. 2002), 381-96
63 (March 2004), 32-51
4
Hayden White's argument in The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (Baltimore, 1987).
Michel-Rolf Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (Boston, 1995).
Ismail Talib, The Language of Postcolonial Literatures (London, 2002)
Leela Ghandi, Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction (Edinburgh, 1998).
Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, "Perceptions in the conception of the modernist Urban Environment: Canadian Perspectives on the Spatial Theory of Jaqueline Tyrwhitt," in Iain Boyd Whyte, ed., The Man-Made Future (London, 2006).
5
Alan Powers, "Edwin Maxwell Fry," Dictionary of Art (London, 1993)
Edwin Maxwell Fry, Autobiographical Sketches (London, 1975).
6
Gavin Stamp, ed., The Modern House Revisited (London, 1996)
Jeremy Gould, Modern Houses in Britain 1919-1939 (London, 1977).
7
Eleanor Morris, British Town Planning and Urban Design: Principles and Policies (London, 1997), esp. 68-70
Arthur Korn, History Builds the Town (London, 1953), 83, 89
Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, '"Cities More Fair to Become the Dwelling Place of Thy Children': Transcendent Modernity in British Urban Reconstruction," in Iain Boyd Whyte, ed., Modernism and the Spirit of the City (London, 2003), 181-208.
8
Royston Landau, "Jane Drew," in Adolf Placzek, ed., Macmillan Encyclopedia of 'Architects (NewYork, 1989), vol. 1: 598-99.
9
I discuss the impact of women on modernism in "The Fe-male Spaces of Modernism: A Western Canadian Perspective," Prospects 26 (2002), 767-800.
Marilyn Friedman, "Glamour à Mo Mo: Women's Roles in the Modern Movement," and Mary McLeod, "Undressing Architecture: Fashion, Gender and Modernity," in Hubert-Jan Henket and Hilde Heynen, Back from Utopia: The Challenge of the Modern Movement (Rotterdam, 2002), 327-38 and 213-326
Hilde Heynen and Gulsum Baydar eds., Negotiating Domesticity: Spatial Production of Gender in Modern Architecture (London, 2005).
Fry dedicated his Art in a Machine Age: A Critique of Contemporary Life through the Medium of Architecture (London, 1969)
10
Richard Sheppard, Building for the People (London, 1948
Frederick Gibberd, Town Design (London, 1953)
Percy Johnson-Marshall, Rebuilding Cities (Edinburgh, 1966).
Fry was some- what less positive in Art in a Machine Age, commenting that "the technical problem [of high-density economical housing] has been solved but at the expense of much texture, contrast and rhythm, by means of which architec- ture communicates with us" (152).
11
Edwin Maxwell Fry, Pine Building (London, 1944), 115.
12
Ibid., 150.
13
F. M. Bourret, ed., Ghana—The Road to Freedom 1919-1951 (Lagos, 1960), esp. 26-34.
Michael Crowder, The Story of Nigeria (London, 1978).
14
Ibid., 27.
15
Ibid., 216.
16
The Nigeria Handbook (Lagos, 1956)
Elspbeth Huxley, Four Guineas: A Journey through West Africa (London, 1954).
Basil Davidson, Africa in Modern History: The Search for a New Society (London, 1978).
17
David Fieldhouse, Black Africa 1945-60: Economic Decolonization and Arrested Development (Cambridge, England, 1985)
Michael Havinden and David Meredith, Colonialism and Development: Britain and Its Tropical Colonies 1850-1960 (London, 1993).
Frances Donaldson, The British Council: The First Fifty Years (London, 1984).
18
Bourret, Ghana, 211-13.
19
Hitchens, Fry Drew Knight Creamer, 119-20.
20
Fry recalled having an excellent personal, and thereby creative, associ- ation with Barton. Ace. 264, Box 2, folder 2, Fry Papers, Royal Institute of British Architects, London (hereafter R.I.B.A.).
Crown Colonist [15 (Jan. 1956), 1: 34]
Julian Huxley and Phyllis Deane's Future of the Colonies (London, 1956)
21
Race and Politics in Kenya, A Correspondence between Elspeth Husxley and Margery Perham (London, 1944), 229.
Back Street New Worlds: A Look at Immigrants in Britain (London, 1964)
Commonwealth was described as "A sort of mummy case in which we have embalmed an empire that's dead" (51).
22
Creech Jones's papers in the library at Rhodes House in Oxford: Mss. Brit. Emp. S332, Box 47.
Lionel Wckham Legg, ed., Dictionary of National Biography 1931-1940 (Oxford, 1949) vol. 8, 524-26
Peter Clark, Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-1990, 2nd ed. (London, 1998).
23
Fry, Art in a Machine Age, 141
n. 9
26
Hitchens, Fry Drew Knight Creamer
n. 2
Fry in the Encyclopedia of Architects and Dictionary of Art
27
Hitchens, Fry Drew Knight and Creamer.
Drew's arti- cle is "Recent Work of Fry, Drew & Partners and by Fry, Drew, Drake & Lasdun in West Africa," Architectural Design 25 (4 May 1955) vol. 5, 137-74
Fry wrote "West Africa" for James Richards's New Buildings in the Commonwealth, introduction by Nikolaus Pevsner (London, 1961), 103-6
"European Importation," Progressive Architecture, 41 (Dec. 1962), 83-85
"Architecture and Planning in the Tropics," Optima 19 (1969), 52-60.
30
Drew, "Recent Work," 139.
31
Fry and Drew, Tropical Architecture in the Humid Zone (London, 1956), 26.
32
Fry, Art in a Machine Age, 12.
34
Clarence Perry and defined in his book, The Neighborhood Unit (New York, 1929).
35
Korn, History Builds the Town, 83, 89
n. 7
Edward Carter, The Future of London (Harmondsworth, England, 1962), 169.
Morris, British Town Planning, 68-70
n. 7
36
Tropical Architecture, Fry assessed prefabricated housing units to be a "gift of doubtful value, serving still further to separate them [indigenous Africans] from their upbringing" (26).
he wrote the following memorandum: "Broadly speaking, neither I nor the technical officers in Crown Agents and Colonial PWDs [Public Works Departments] consider that for the average run of government building, including housing, the 'export house' can not compete in cost and efficiency with the local product." Public Record Office, Colonial Office (hereafter P.R.O., CO.), 859/310.
37
Alan Colquhoun, Modern Architecture (Oxford, 2002).
Udo Kultermann, New Architecture in Africa, trans. Ernst Flesh (New York, 1963)
New Directions in African Architecture, trans. John Maas (London, 1969).
Nobuyuki Ogura, "Early Modern Movement in East West Africa (Its Adaptation to the Climate)" (diploma thesis, University College London, 1985)
Fry and Drew's educa- tional architecture; and DOCOMOMO Journal 28 (Mar. 2003)
John Godwin, "Architecture and Construction Technology in West Africa in the 1950s and 1960s," 51-57
Hannah Le Roux, "Modern Movement Architecture in Ghana," 62-67
Ola Uduku, "Educational Design and Modernism in West Africa," 76-82.
38
Norma Evenson, Chandigarh (Berkeley, 1966)
Ravi Kalia, Chandigarh: The Making of an Indian City (Delhi, 1999)
Vikram Prakesh, Chandigarh's Le Corbusier: The Struggle for Modernity in Post Colonial India (Seattle, 2002).
40
Drew, "Recent Work," 139.
41
Progressive Architecture 43 (Dec. 1962), 83
42
Maxwell Fry, Fine Building (London, 1944), esp. 3.
48
Hitchens, Fry Drew Knight Creamer, 103
n. 2
49
Graham Greene, A Burnt-Out Case (1960; London, 1961), 50.
Querry comments on the hospital at the leper colony: "It reminds me of something in one of our new satellite towns. Hemel Hempstead, perhaps, or Stevenage" (187).
50
Fry and Drew, Tropical Architecture, 20
n. 31
52
Fry and Drew, Tropical Architecture, 201.
53
Richards, New Buildings, 103
n. 27
54
Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg, Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Chicago, 1988)
Ruth Phillips and Christopher Steiner, eds., Unpacking Culture: Art and Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds (Berkeley, 1999).
Andrew Benjamin, Tony Davies, and Robbie Goh, eds., Postcolonial Cultures and Literature: Modernity and the (Un)Commonwealth (New York, 2002).
Saree Makdisi, Romantic Imperialism: Universal Empire and the Culture of Modernity (Cambridge, England, 1998).
55
Fritz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. Charles Markmann (1952; London, 1967)
The Wretched of the Earth, trans. Constance Farrington (New York, 1962).
56
Davidson's career and influence are summarized in entries in The Academic Who's Who (London, 1976)
Who's Who 1996 (London, 1996).
Valentin Y. Mudimbe, author of Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge (Bloomington, Ind., 1988)
La dépendance de l'Afrique et les moyens d'y remédier (Paris, 1980).
57
Bakhtin's works include Marxisme et la philosophie du langage, trans. Marina Yaguello (Paris, 1997)
Formal Method in Literary Scholarship: A Critical Introduction to Sociological Practice, trans. Albert Wehrle (Baltimore, 1978)
Tzvetan Todorov, Mikhail Bakhtin: The Dialogical Principle, trans. Wlad Godzick (Minneapolis, 1995).
Bhabha's publications include Nation Narration (New York, 1990)
The Location of Culture (New York, 1994).
58
Todorov, Bakhtin, 99
Nicki Levell, Oriental Visions: Exhibitions, Travel and Collecting in the Victorian Age (London, 2000).
59
Crown Colonist 14 (Feb. 1944), 2, 113.
60
Allister Macmillan, The Red Book of West Africa: Historical and Descriptive, Commercial and Industrial Facts, Figures and Resources (London, 1920), 16.
61
Ibid., 6, 35-38.
62
Ibid., 16.
63
W E. Simnett, British Way (London, 1943), 127-28.
64
New Commonwealth 23, no. 11 (1952), 455
65
The Nigeria Handbook (Lagos, 1953), 39.
66
Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 29, 91
n. 22
67
Elspbeth Huxley and Margery Perham, Race and Politics (London, 1944), 15.
68
Huxley, Four Guineas, 134, 136
n. 16
69
Huxley, Four Guineas, 183.
70
Ibid., 136.
71
Elspeth Huxley, A New Earth: An Experiment in Colonialism (London, 1960), 9.
72
Pevsner, introduction, New Buildings, 12
n. 27
Fry's essay, "West Africa," appears on 103-6.
73
Kwame Nkrumah, Towards Colonial Freedom (London, 1962), 27.
Basil Davidson, Black Star: A View of the Life and Times of Kwame Nkrumah (London, 1989).
74
n. 55
Edward Said, Orientalism (New York, 1978).
Bart Moore-Gilbert, Postcolonial Theory: Contexts. Practices. Politics (London, 1997)
Gayatri Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (Cambridge, Mass., 1999).
75
Davidson and Adenekan Ademola, eds., The New West Africa: Problems of Independence (London, 1953), 56.
Davidson extended his deconstructive criticism in his capacity as director of the Centre of West African Studies at the University of Birmingham and through a series of books culminating in Africa in Modern History: The Search for a New Society (London, 1978).
76
Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series (New York, 1995), vol. 47, 1-9
Simon Gikandi, Reading Chinua Achebe: Language and Ideology in Fiction (London, 1991).
Patrick Chamoiseau, School Days, trans. Linda Coverdale (Lincoln, Nebr., 1997).
77
Chinua Achebe, Man of the People (London, 1966), 4.
78
Graham Greene, Journey Without Maps (1936; London, 1946), 41.
79
Robert Evans, Graham Greene: Some Critical Considerations (Lexington, Ky., 1967)
Terry Eagleton, "Reluctant Heroes: The Novels of Graham Greene," in Harold Bloom, ed., Modern Critical Views: Graham Greene (New York, 1987)
Cates Baldridge, Graham Greenes Fictions: The Virtues of Extremities (Columbia, Mo., 2000).
80
Greene, Heart of the Matter (1948; London, 1954), 7.
Richard Phillips, "Dystopian Space in Colonial Representations and Interventions: Sierra Leone as 'the White Man's Grave,'" Geografiska Annaler. Series B. Human Geography 84B (2002), 3-4, 189-200.
81
Form G, no. 1, "The Office Building," quoted in Philip Johnson, Mies van der Rohe, 3rd ed. (New York, 1978), 88.
82
Greene, Heart of the Matter (1948; London, 1954), 84.
83
Ibid., 227.
84
Fry, Machine Age, 141
n. 9
85
"The Modern Movement," Ace. 264, Box 2, folder 3, Fry Papers, R.I.B.A.
86
Interview, 1986, Acc. 264, Box 1, folder 5, Fry Papers, R.I.B.A.
88
Architectural Digest 19 (July 1962)
89
Stefan Muthesuis, The Postwar University: Utopianist Campus and College (New Haven, 2000), esp. 62-64.
90
Stephen Dobney, ed., Harry Seidler: Selected and Current Works (Mulgrave, Australia, 1997)
Justine Clark and Paul Walker, Looking for the Local: Architecture and the New Zealand Modern (Wellington, 2000)
Harold Kaiman, A History of Canadian Architecture (Toronto, 1994), vol. 2, 797-800.
91
Progressive Architecture (Dec. 1962), 85.
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