Day 13/365 of Steel – James Stirling

Architect and Pritzker Laureate Sir James Stirling (born 22 April 1926) grew up in Liverpool, one of the two industrial powerhouses of the British North West. In the beginning of his career he worked closely together with James Gowan. The result of Stirling & Gowan’s collaboration is the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester (1959–63), noted for its technological and geometric character, marked by the use of three-dimensional drawings based on axonometric projection seen either from above or below.

During the 1970s, Stirling’s architectural language began to change as the scale of his projects moved from small to very large. His architecture became more overtly neoclassical, though it remained deeply imbued with modernism. Winning the design competition for the Neue Staatsgalerie, it came to be seen as an example of postmodernism, and was considered by many to be his most important work.

HQ DormanLong

Dorman Long HQ & Research Centre by James Stirling
Fig 1: Dorman Long HQ & Research Centre by James Stirling

I would like to focus on a non-built project from his early days as an architect : the HQ for DormanLong, the former steel producer and famous bridge builder from Middlesborough. In timeline it came just before the Olivetti Projects but after Leicester and Cambridge buildings. In a way, possibly the first project where Stirling is displaying clients products in the formation of structural framework in the shape of rolled steel columns and beams. This may well have been a client’s request through the brief.


About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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