Underappreciated Commercial Architects – Our List of Their Best Work

Here at Kirkham Middleton Commercial Architects, we’re dedicated to designing modern, economical and ecologically friendly buildings. We’ve been inspired by many great, innovative architects before us, but while some greats have become household names, others are less famous and, in our opinion, very underappreciated. We’d like to remedy that today by bringing you a quick round up of some of our favourite architects you may not have heard of:

Commercial Architects You Should Have (But Probably Haven’t) Heard Of

Thomas Little

Nunhead CemeteryLittle designed the Anglican chapel of Nunhead Cemetery, one of the Magnificent Seven, London’s Victorian burial grounds. This building is truly stunning – a textbook testament to the Victorian grandeur associated with mourning, and a beautiful link to our British cultural ancestors. Like the more famous Highgate Cemetery, Nunhead was closed in the late 20th century and fell into disrepair: thieves even stole the chapel’s roof in 1974, leaving us to believe that thieves today don’t work even half as hard as they used to. Fortunately, like Highgate, a group of people bought and restored the cemetery in the 80’s, leaving this cemetery open to the public.

Berthold Lubetkin

Lubetkin StaircaseAny student of architecture will know exactly why we’re including Lubetkin in our list of underappreciated architects. It’s not that he’s not famous – although not as famous as Wright or Gehry, he’s still a name. We think he’s underappreciated because of the Bevin Court Staircase. It’s a unique and almost surreal feature in an otherwise quite standard block of council flats. This picture doesn’t do it justice – you have to actually visit the building to get a true feeling for how beautiful, out-of-place yet wonderful these stairs are.

Maximilian Clarke

Commercial ArchitectsClarke gets a mention here because, arguably, his design for the mightily small Cabmen’s Shelters – small, Tardis-looking buildings designed to give handsome cab drivers (handsome cabs being, of course, horse and cart taxis – they weren’t discriminating against non-beautiful cabbies) a break – is the most British building we’ve ever heard of. These buildings are tiny – about the size of a handsome cab – and designed for up to 12 people to get a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie. The Britishness comes from the sign on every Cabmen’s Shelter which states that you’re not allowed to smoke, drink alcohol, or talk about politics when you’re inside one. It’ll all very stiff-upper-lip. Only 13 of these buildings still exist – back in Victorian times, when handsome cabs were the only way to get around the capital with the requisite class, there were upwards of 60.

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