Eric Lyons and Span
Artist(s): Eric Lyons
Author(s): Barbara Simms
Year published: 2017
Publisher: RIBA Publishing
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 240
Illustrations: Illustrated in colour and black and white throughout
Due to popular demand we are delighted to offer this new paperback edition of Eric Lyons and Span. Lavishly illustrated and deeply researched, this book celebrates the work of the architect Eric Lyons OBE (1912-1980), whose famous post-war housing – that today would be marketed as ‘lifestyle housing’ – is as well loved today as it was vibrantly successful when first constructed. Built almost entirely for Span Developments, its mission was to provide an affordable environment “that gave people a lift”.
Influenced by Walter Gropius, Lyons brought a commitment to high density housing and the idea of fostering community into his Span work without compromising his intuitive sensitivity for landscape. His success brought the practice an impressive array of awards and led to a term as President of the RIBA. The enduring success of his design philosophy can be traced forward to 2005, when Span received a special Housing Design Award given to schemes that meet the current Sustainable Communities Plan.
Indeed, the concept of Span mirrors current best practice thinking in housing design and continues to offer a fresh, relevant challenge to volume housebuilders in Britain today. This book serves as a lively reminder of that fact. Written by distinguished historians, practitioners and Span enthusiasts, the book has been researched using the archive compiled by Ivor Cunningham, one of Lyons ex-partners while a detailed gazetteer contains scale plan drawings of many of Spans housing templates.
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