Brian Richards

Brian Richards, architect and transport expert, was born on 6 October 1928 in Somerset, UK and he was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond, before training as an architect at Liverpool University. He worked for architectural firms in Sweden (Sven Markelius), the United States (Wallace Harrison), France and Morocco before returning to London in the early 1960s. In Morocco he worked for ATBAT, the office run by Georges Candilis and Shadrach Woods. For them he designed a junior school in Casablanca. Through Candilis and Woods Richards became acquainted with the Team 10 circle, especially the Smithsons.

His best known building in Britain is the town hall at Gravesend equipped with a theatre. But Richards’ main interest concerned transport systems and urban development. From the mid-1960s onward he acted as a consultant to numerous cities and companies world wide. His view that ever-increasing private car use threatened to destroy cities is now common currency. He published three influential books on the subject: New Movement in Cities (1966), Moving in Cities (1976) and Transport in Cities (1990), which made a case for a new approach to urban mobility making cities safer and cleaner by restraining car use, calling attention for a pedestrian perspective and public transport systems. These ideas were exemplified in such designs as the Soho Route Buildings (1959 with Christopher Dean, presented by the Smithsons at Otterlo as part of their London Roads studies), the Eustion Station study project (1962, with Dean) and the Southampton bus and coach station project (1970-73).

Richards’ life partner, Sandra Lousada is a professional photographer; she documented the exchanges at the meetings. Both Richards and Lousada were frequently present at Team 10 meetings, still they did not consider themselves part of the group. They preferred to ironically call themselves ‘groupies’.
Brian Richards died on 19 December 2004. Sandra Lousada lives and works in London.