Sir Banister Flight Fletcher (15 February 1866, London – 17 August 1953, London) was an English architect and architectural historian, as was his father, also named Banister Fletcher. They wrote the standard textbook A History of Architecture, which is also often referred to just as Banister Fletcher.
1 Life 2 A History of Architecture 3 The Tree of Architecture 4 Legacy 5 Selected other works 6 Notes 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links
The Gillette Factory on the Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex. Architect: Sir Banister Fletcher. Built/opened in 1936/7
Fletcher trained at
King's College London
Great Hall at King's College School
Banister's work as an architect included:
the Gillette factory on the Great West Road, in Brentford, Middlesex
John Roan School
In 1908 he qualified as a barrister at the Inner Temple, and undertook arbitrations and advice on property matters. He was knighted in 1919 and elected president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1929 (until 1931). Fletcher was surveyor to the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, and became Master in 1936, a position also held by his father. He married twice, first, in 1914, to Alice Bretherton (d.1932) and again in 1933. He had no children. A History of Architecture
George Hillyard Swinstead; Sir Banister Fletcher (1866-1953), PRIBA, ca. 1919
He and his father wrote the first edition of A History of Architecture
on the Comparative Method. This became a standard reference
work, with updated editions published throughout the 20th century.
There was a major revision with the 6th edition in 1921, when much of
the text was rewritten by Fletcher and his first wife. This was over
twenty years after his father’s death, and for this edition his
father’s name was dropped, and the very numerous drawings replaced
by new ones by George G. Woodward and others. According to J.
Mordaunt Crook this edition concentrated 'on supplying an epitomised
history of world architecture' such that 'Fletcher turned a useful
handbook into a veritable student's bible.' Fletcher produced the
sixteenth edition shortly before his death in 1953.
A centenary 20th edition edited by
"A thundering classic appears again with useful additions. As Sir Banister Fletcher said, 'The study of architecture opens up the enjoyment of buildings with an appreciation of their purpose, meaning, and charm.' These words aptly summarise what this book has become for generations of students and architects. No serious fan of architecture should be without it." (American Institute of Architects). "..the whole point of Banister Fletcher is that it does cram everything into a single volume. It will remain one of the most thumbed tomes in Building Design's office library...above all, gloriously and frustratingly, invaluable." (Building Design, October 1996)
The Tree of Architecture
Banister Fletcher's A Tree of Architecture, 1896
Banister Fletcher's "The Tree of Architecture" is a schematic diagram detailing what Fletcher identified as the "branches" of architectural style beginning with five periods (Peruvian, Egyptian, Greek, Assyrian, and Chinese and Japanese) and culminating in the Modern American style. Initially published as a frontispiece in the first edition of Fletcher's A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method for the Student, Craftsman, and Amateur in 1896, the schematic was reproduced in each subsequent edition of the publication. Fletcher suggests a cross-cultural and historical evolution of architectural styles through a series of successive branches, some of which terminate prior to the Modern period including Mexican and Indian, while other lineages can be traced through multiple generations into the final apex of Modern style. Recent scholarship has been critical of Fletcher's hierarchical emphasis on the primacy of Western European architectural traditions. Legacy
John Seymour Lucas; Sir Banister Fletcher, FSA, 1917
In his will, he left a bequest to the Bartlett School of Architecture inaugurating an annual prize, the Sir Banister Fletcher Prize and Medal, in memory of his father, brother and himself. In his will, he left a bequest to the London Society to hold an annual lecture in his name. The Authors' Club, of which Fletcher was president, presents an annual Banister Fletcher Award for the best book on art or architecture.
Selected other works
Fletcher, Banister, Recent development of early renaissance in
England, London : C.W. Sweet, 1894
John Roan School
"ODNB": H. V. M. Roberts, 'Fletcher, Sir Banister Flight (1866–1953)', rev. Catherine Gordon, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 16 May 2012
McKean, John (2009) "Sir Banister Fletcher: Pillar to Post-Colonial Readings", The Journal of Architecture, 11 (2). pp. 187–204. ISSN 1466-4410 Rabbat, Nasser (2012) "Islamic Art at a Crossroads?," in Ed. Junod, Benoit; Kahlil, Georges; Weber, Stefan; and Wolf, Gerhard; Islamic Art and the Museum: Approaches to the Art and Archaeology of the Muslim World in the Twenty-First Century (London: Saqi Books, 2012), 79-80.
External links Media related to Banister Fletcher at Wikimedia Commons
WorldCat Identities VIAF: 100185901 LCCN: n86109795 ISNI: 0000 0001 2145 1175 SUDOC: 032802145 BNF: cb12376099r (dat