Saturday, 2 June 2012

John Madin

Born in Moseley, John Madin is the architect responsible for a number of landmark buildings in Birmingham city centre. His company, John Madin Group, prospered with the modernisation of the city during the late 1950's until the mid 1970's.

Many of his buildings were Brutalist in style and became unpopular as Birmingham began to go through major re-development from the mid 1980's to the present day. As a result of public opinion and changing tastes, much of his work has already been demolished. Examples include;

The AEU Building in Smallbrook Queensway
The Birmingham Post and Mail Building
BBC Pebble Mill Studios

The 20th Century Society has worked hard to preserve some of John Madin's buildings and English Heritage recommended the preservation of the Birmingham Central Library building. Unfortunately it appears that the libary may also be destined for demolition.

Despite what personal views people may have on the buildings for which Madin was responsible, he is without doubt an influential and important post war architect. In an era where concrete tower blocks were springing up all over the city, John Madin was working with concrete and the latest styles and technology of the times.

Buildings which still stand and for which he was the architect include;

The Chamber of Commerce Building
Birmingham Central Library
Neville House on the Hagley Road
Shell Mex and BP House at Edgbaston
The West Bromwhich Police Headquarters
Metropolitan House at Five Ways

John Madin has also campaigned to preserve his work, particularly the Central Library which many believe is one of the finest of its type of buildings too valuable to lose.

The Pebble Mill building is generally accepted as a world first in terms of combining radio and television studios. The following video features John Madin defending his position on backing a move to preserve the Birmingham Central Library.

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