Colin St John Wilson



The name Colin St John Wilson is directly linked with the British Library in London, the work to which he devoted thirty years of his professional career. Designed with Leslie Martin, the project site was moved and during Margaret Thatcher’s government the budget reduced by half, hindering its completion. It wasn’t until 1997 when the architect, graduate of Cambridge University, completed his most representative piece. In the 1950s Wilson initiated his collaboration with Martin, at that time Deputy Architect of London County Council. Under his auspices he built in the capital several Corbusian-style social housing blocks. In 1955, having been invited by Martin, he returned to Cambridge as professor. There he built the studio for the artist Christopher Cornford, his own house (which eventually became the Wittgenstein Archive, a sign of his interest in philosophy) and the Caius College, a brick volume of Aaltian inspiration completed before the Oxford University Law Library and the final design of the British Library. He is the author, among others titles, of The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture (1994).

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