Richard Seifert



In London, where Charing Cross intersects with Oxford Street, rises Centre Point, a 40-story structure that once was the tallest building of the city. Not until retirement did Richard Seifert receive the credit due for this tower, as well as for an architecture, placed at the service of the client, that evolved from a polished neoclassicism to a geometric expressionism especially popular among financial corporations. Born in Switzerland to a Jewish family, Seifert earned a grant to study architecture in the Bartlett School, and in the Second World War he enlisted in the corps of engineers of the British Army, where he rose to the rank of colonel, a title that would stick to him as a nickname in civil life. After the war he headed one of London’s largest practices, with nearly 400 employees at its finest moment. In fifty years of professional activity Seifert erected over 500 office buildings in Great Britain and other European cities. Besides the emblematic Centre Point of 1971, the NatWest Tower, completed in 1981 and also in London, beat another height record with its 50 floors of offices supported by a structure of rigid connections.

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