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Home / Culture and Heritage / First Garden City Heritage Museum / Howard, Parker & Unwin / Barry Parker & Raymond Unwin, Letchworth's architects
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Barry Parker & Raymond Unwin, Letchworth's architects


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Barry Parker (1867 – 1947) and Raymond Unwin (1863 – 1940) were very influential in both Arts and Crafts architecture and pioneering town planning. Both men were concerned with social issues and were greatly influenced by John Ruskin and William Morris.

Parker and Unwin’s informal architectural partnership began in 1896 in Buxton, Derbyshire. Their work included middle class house in the Arts and Crafts style. In 1901 they published a collection of essay and designs entitled ‘The Art of Building a Home’. In the same year Raymond Unwin presented a paper ‘On the Building of Houses in the Garden City’ at the Bournville Garden City conference.

The following year Joseph Rowntree commissioned Parker and Unwin to design the industrial village of New Earswick. This development was a prototype for some of the residential developments in Letchworth Garden City.

Parker and Unwin’s ideas regarding working class housing design and site layout were very close to the Garden City concept and in 1903 they were commissioned by First Garden City Limited to draw up the master plan for Letchworth Garden City. On 23rd March 1904 they were appointed Consulting Architects to the Garden City, Unwin being responsible for the layout while Parker Specialised in design.

In 1906 Unwin moved to Hampstead to work on the new Hampstead Garden Suburb. The partnership was dissolved in 1914 and Unwin went on to a distinguished career as Principle Inspector of Town Planning and, in 1918, became Chief Architect at the Ministry of Health.
Barry Parker remained at Letchworth garden City and was the sole consultant architect to First Garden City Limited from 1914 to 1943 when he retired. Parker designed a number of public and private buildings in Letchworth Garden City and elsewhere. In 1927 he was appointed by the City of Manchester to advise on the design of Wythenshawe, a garden suburb for a population of 100,000.

13th Aug 2009

Art and Design, Citizenship, Geography, History

Key Stages:
Foundation, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Ebenezer Howard, Barry Parker, Raymond Unwin, garden city, portrait, Letchworth, Welwyn, town planning, architect, inventor

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