interviews George Saumarez Smith

November 19, 2014

George talks to about his influence, his style, his favourite project and more.

Your grandfather, Raymond Erith, was also an architect – did his work influence you?

He died shortly after I was born, but he was nonetheless a very strong presence in my childhood, even though he wasn’t there in person. He was unusual because he was pretty much the only classical architect working from the 1930s to the 1970s, a time when – particularly after the war – buildings were much more modern in feeling. He wanted to do things that were not about personal ego, but something selfless, that would be meaningful within the place – something that looked like it belonged. He was inventive and rich and often witty, but you have to know what you’re looking at [to understand it].

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