Edwin Lutuyens

Before the Blitz: the dynamism of British architecture

Gavin Stamp was a prolific and unusually level-headed architectural writer and historian. Less emotional than Ian Nairn, pithier and more immediate than Nikolaus Pevsner (he knew both men), Stamp wrote definitive books on grand and humble subjects. These ranged from his hero Edwin Lutyens, to brutalism, to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s scarlet telephone boxes of 1935. The last he first defended in a piece for The Spectator 50 years later, which led to a campaign that saved a clutch of them. For Stamp, journalism and campaigning bled into one another. He co-founded the Thirties Society in 1979 – now the influential Twentieth Century Society – to save the era’s buildings.