Coventry in West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Donald Gibson CBE
‘He was ahead of his time. What he did astonished the world. Coventry desperately needed his inspiration’
Gibson, Sir Donald Evelyn Edward, C.B.E., D.C.L., M.A., P.P.R.I.B.A., D.I.S.T., T.P., M.T.P.I., T.P.I.
Born 11th October 1908, Died December 1991
Gibson was Coventry's first City Architect
He was regarded as a pioneer modern architect and his work made him one of the most influential architects of his generation.
He may never have had the chance to put his ideas Into action, but for the terrible bombing.
Within a fortnight of the November 1940 Blitz of Coventry, the City Council had set up a re-development committee and along with powerful allies and devoted members was able to begin the drive to rebuild the city.
Gibson was the sort of genius who wanted to throw off sparks of imagination and ideas. He was way ahead of his time, what he did was astonishing and Coventry desperately needed his inspiration. Many people thought that his ideas would sweep away too much of the old city, but his ideas encompassed old details amongst the open spaces and uncluttered views of his new vision.
Gibson achieved many firsts as the City Architect. Apart from the first pedestrian precinct there was the first rooftop parking, the first postwar civic theatre, the circular retail market and experimental building methods. Planners and architects from all around the world came to see what was happening in Coventry.
Characteristically Gibson was prepared to acknowledge the fact that given his time again he might do some things differently.
“If you cannot put up buildings of your own time, you might as well forget it. A town must live, you cannot wait until fashions change.”
In 1955 Sir Donald left Coventry, this meant that his personal vision was never completed. He became County Architect in Nottinghamshire, where he worked on radical new building techniques.
Gibson went on to a Knighthood and became in effect the government’s senior architect, raising architectural standards during his tenure.
However it is for his pioneering work in Coventry that he will be best remembered. It made him one of the most influential architects of his generation.
Location. 52° 24.487′ N, 1° 30.68′ W. Marker is in Coventry, England, in West Midlands. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Greyfriar’s Lane and High Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Located in City Center Plaza. Marker is at or near this postal address: 54/56 Broadgate, Coventry, England CV1 1NF, United Kingdom. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Architect’s Vision (here, next to this marker); Dame Ellen Terry (a few steps from this marker); Godiva (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lychgate Cottages (about 150 meters away, measured in a direct line); Lady Godiva’s Cathedral (about 180 meters away); The South West Tower (about 180 meters away); County Hall (about 180 meters away); The West Front (about 180 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coventry.
Also see . . . Donald Gibson (architect) on Wikipedia. (Submitted on October 10, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Categories. • Architecture •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 10, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 31 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 10, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.