TURN END TRUST welcomes Alan Powers, one of the UK’s leading art and architectural historians, as Patron of the Trust. He joins Patrons Lord Palumbo, Richard Murphy and Dominic Cole.
Alan has said about his appointment ‘Making the magic of Turn End available for everyone to enjoy and learn from is a great enterprise, and I am delighted to support it.’ Julian Gitsham, Architect and Trustee of Turn End Trust said, ‘The Trust are privileged to have such an outstanding expert in the history of 20th century architecture as one of our Patrons and we look forward to Alan having an important role in the patronage of the Trust.’
Alan writes and lectures on art, architecture and design, mainly British and mainly of the mid twentieth century. He has a long association with the Twentieth Century Society and its work for conservation, education and research. He first visited Peter and Margaret Aldington at Turn End in 1994 while carrying out a survey for English Heritage which led to the first major group of listings of post-1945 houses, and went on to write a book on the work of Aldington, Craig and Collinge, published in 2010 by RIBA and English Heritage in the series Twentieth Century Architects of which he is one of the editors.
Among Alan’s other publications are books on the architects Serge Chermayeff, Oliver Hill, and Tayler & Green (with Elain Harwood), all of whom were keen gardeners. His survey volumes include Twentieth Century Houses, 2004, and Modern: the Modern Movement in Britain, 2005. The least glamorous but most thoughtful of them is Britain, in the series Modern Architectures in History, published by Reaktion Books in 2007. He has also published monographs on the artists and designers Eric Ravilious, Edward Ardizzone and Enid Marx, and several essays on the role of landscape and garden design in relation to modernism in Britain. In 2019, two books of his are appearing, Bauhaus goes West: Modern art and design in Britain and America (Thames and Hudson) and the limited-edition survey of his own work as an artist, Alan Powers, the Art of an Art Historian (Inky Parrot Press).
Alan has curated a number of exhibitions since the 1980s, several on the individuals mentioned above, and the survey shows, Modern Britain 1929-1939 at the Design Museum (1999) and Mind into Matter (2009) at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea.
Having taught at the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture and the University of Greenwich, he now teaches at the London School of Architecture and New York University in London. He also leads tours for ACE Cultural Tours in different parts of Britain and in Germany. He is an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London.
Turn End is a RIBA award winning group of three houses and a garden in the wychert village of Haddenham (Buckinghamshire), designed by architect Peter Aldington, OBE. It is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of post-war housing design. In November 2017, Historic England listed Turn End’s garden at Grade II and added it to the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. At that time Turn End was the only post-war listed house and garden created by the same hand. Peter’s work has brought him the greatest number of listed buildings of any living architect.
Turn End Trust was set up to promote the integration of building and garden design; enable public access to Turn End house and garden and other examples of post-war housing design; and to conserve and maintain Turn End, its gardens and associated buildings. The Trust helps inspire architects, landscape architects, garden design lovers and people who care about good design through its annual programme of events. In 2017, Alan Powers who has a particular knowledge of private houses of the 20th Century, gave a talk titled Modern Houses: The Smooth and the Hairy at Turn End’s annual lecture.