Welcome to Corringham


The architect:
Kenneth Frampton

Kenneth Frampton (1930) studied at the Architectural Association in London from 1950 to 1956. He became an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1957.

After two years' service with the British Army he spent one year in Israel, which he recalls as "a positive experience, architecturally speaking, in that it was a simpler country with a basic building technology."

Kenneth Frampton
Kenneth Frampton (click for larger image)

Upon his return to London, Kenneth Frampton became an associate of Douglas Stephen & Partners, a small but dynamic architects' firm in the City Centre and one of the most progressive practices in London at the time. The firm attracted talented young architects such as Panos Kowlermos and Peter Stonebridge.

Kenneth Frampton designed Corringham in 1960-62. The exterior style of the main building is minimalist and functional, reflecting Kenneth Frampton's interest in the architectural style of the "Neue Sachlichkeit". The service tower is highly modelled to contrast with the simple pattern of the main block. Kenneth Frampton acknowledges the influence of James Stirling in the architecture of this part of Corringham. When the apartment block was Grade II listed in 1998 the listing authority hailed it as "Douglas Stephen & Partners' most coherent design of the sixties, and their most interesting". Apart from a housing scheme in New York, Corringham remains Kenneth Frampton's only substantial architectural work.

For three years in the early sixties, Kenneth Frampton worked as a technical editor for the progressive and critical magazine "Architectural Design" (AD) - but he migrated to the United States in 1965. He worked for the School of Architecture at Princeton University until 1972 and has been affiliated to the Columbia University in New York ever since. He was Chairman of the Division of Architecture from 1986 to 1989 and became director of the Ph.D. programme History and Theory of Architecture in 1993. He is currently Ware Professor Emeritus at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). Kenneth Frampton also worked as visiting professor at schools of architecture worldwide, and revisited London to teach at the Royal College of Art and the Bartlett School of Architecture.

The back of Corringham in 1964
The back of Corringham in 1964 (click for larger image)

He has written extensively and contributed to numerous international journals. His books include "Modern Architecture: A Critical History" (1980), "Studies in Tectonic Culture" (1995), "American Masterworks" (1995), "Le Corbusier" (2001), "Labour, Work & Architecture" (2005), "A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form" (2015), and "L’ Altro Movimento Moderno" (2015), to be published in English as "The Other Modern Movement". The expanded fifth edition of "Modern Architecture: A Critical History" was published in 2020. These publications gained Kenneth Frampton an international reputation as scholar, critic and writer on modern architecture.

His many awards include the American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honours Award (1985), the Médaille d'Or of the Parisian Académie d'Architecture (1987), the Phi Beta Kappa Award (1987), the AIA New York Chapter Award of Merit (1988) and the Topaz Medal for excellence in architectural education from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

The front of Corringham in 1964
The front of Corringham in 1964 (click for larger image)

The Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology awarded Kenneth Frampton an Honorary Doctorate of Technology (1991), and he received Honorary Doctorates in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo (1995) and from the California College of Arts and Crafts (1999). He became an associate of the American Institute of Architects and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993. Kenneth Frampton was elected member of the Russian Academy of Constructional Science in 1995. His teaching was the subject of the 2017 exhibition "Educating Architects: Four Courses by Kenneth Frampton" at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, where his archive is held. Metropolis Magazine named him a Gamechanger in January 2018, the same year he was recognized with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale for Architecture.

Kenneth Frampton was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours for services to architecture.