Walter Segal: Self-Built Architect by Alice Grahame

Walter Segal: Self-Built Architect by Alice Grahame

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This is a study of the architect Walter Segal (1907-1985): his intellectual biography (background, influences, thoughts, writings), his unique approach to architectural practice (and his built work) and his enduring impact on architecture and attitudes to housing across the world. It firstly sets out his formative years in continental Europe. Segal’s father was an eminent modern painter, close to leading architects and artists and he grew up in a fascinating milieu, at the centre of the European avant-garde. With the rise of Hitler, this Jewish family fled, finally settling in England prior to the Second World War. The second section focuses on Walter Segal’s central theme of popular housing, his unique and independent form of professional practice, how he managed to spread his ideas through writing and teaching, and how his architecture developed towards the timber-frame system known world-wide today as ‘the Segal system,’ which could be used by people to build their own houses. The final section of the book explores the legacy offered by Segal to younger generations; how his work and example, half a century after his timber ‘system’ was developed, leads to the possibility of making, and then living within, communities whose places are constructed with a flexible, easily assembled, planet-friendly timberframe building system today and tomorrow.


160 pages, Hardcover, December 2021.

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