Bowellism is a modern style of architecture heavily associated with
The premise is that the services for the building, such as ducts,
sewage pipes and lifts, are located on the exterior to maximise space
in the interior. The style originated with Michael Webb's 1957 student
project for a Furniture Manufacturers Association building in High
Wycombe. Webb coined the term in response to a comment on his
design by Sir
Nikolaus Pevsner in a 1961 lecture, in which he recalled
hearing the words: "within the schools there are some disturbing
trends; I saw the other day a design for a building that looked like a
series of stomachs sitting on a plate. Or bowels, connected by bits of
bristle". Thus this inside-out style was termed 'Bowellism' because
of how it recalled the way the human body works.
Richard Rogers and
Renzo Piano continued the style with the design of
Pompidou Centre in Paris, described as a "vast exercise in
Bowellism", so the floor space of the interior could be maximised
to fully appreciate the exhibitions.
Pompidou Centre in Paris (1977) by Rogers and Renzo Piano.
Lloyd's building in London (1978) also by Rogers.
Central Library of Rotterdam
Central Library of Rotterdam (1983) by Jaap Bakema.
Pompidou Centre, Paris
Lloyd's building, London
Rotterdam Library, Rotterdam
^ Geoffrey Howard Baker, The
Architecture of James Stirling and His
Partners James Gowan and Michael Wilford: A Study of Architectural
Creativity in the Twentieth Century, Farnham, Surrey / Burlington,
Vermont: Ashgate, 2011, ISBN 9781409409267, p. 158.
^ Radical Post-Modernism, ed. Charles Jencks, FAT, Architectural
Design 81.5, Profile 213, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 2011,
ISBN 978-0-470-66988-4, p. 107.
^ Simon Sadler, Archigram:
Architecture Without Architecture,
Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT, 2005, p. 23, 1.11, 1.12 caption,
calling bowellism a "micromovement".
^ Samantha Hardingham and David Greene, The disreputable projects of
David Greene, Architectural Association Publications 2007-10-01,
OCLC 811429228, pdf Archived December 17, 2013, at the Wayback
Machine. p. 44.
^ Jonathan Richards, Facadism, London: Routledge, 1994,
ISBN 9780415083164, p. 60.
^ Richard Rogers, Architects, From Here to Modernity, archived at the
Wayback Machine, 15 March 2004.
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