Ernö Goldfinger: The Life of an Architect by Nigel Warburton - review by Louis Barfe

Louis Barfe

From Here to Modernity

Ernö Goldfinger: The Life of an Architect


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THE ARCHITECT ERNO Goldfinger was a man of many paradoxes. He was the son of a-wealthy lawyer and the grandson of a vice-president of a bank, yet he was a lifelong Marxist. Despite his politics, in later life he craved a knighthood. He bullied his staff and paid them less than the-going rate, yet he was also capable of immense generositv and kindness towards them. He was a perfectionist, and yet he delegated most of the detailed work on his buildings to those same underpaid assistants. He was a rampant egomaniac, yet he has no gravestone. Not to put to fine a point on it, he was an interesting sort.

I didn't realise exactly how interesting until I read Nigel Warburton's biography of this flamboyant Polish- Hungarian, although I did have a decent working knowledge of his buildings. I particularly admired his own house at 2 Willow Road, Hampstead, and the starkly beautiful Trellick Tower in Notting Hill, as well

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