Stirling, Sir James Frazer

Stirling, Sir James Frazer,

1924–92, British architect, b. Glasgow, grad. Univ. of Liverpool school of architecture (1950). Settling in London, Stirling worked in partnership (1956–63) with James Gowan, and became known for straightforward and functional modernist public buildings influenced by early 20th-century modernism and executed mainly in brick, rough-finished concrete, and glass, e.g., Ham Common flats, London (1958), and the Univ. of Leicester engineering building (1963), his early masterpiece. After Stirling formed (1971) a partnership with Michael Wilford, he made a transition to architectural postmodernismpostmodernism,
term used to designate a multitude of trends—in the arts, philosophy, religion, technology, and many other areas—that come after and deviate from the many 20th-cent. movements that constituted modernism.
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 and became one of its most notable practitioners. Stressing a humanistic approach, he designed buildings at once classical and experimental, geometrically abstract structures in a variety of shapes and a wide range of colors. Among these works are the Stuttgart Art Gallery, Germany (1984), buildings for Harvard's Fogg (1984) and Sackler (1985) museums, the Social Science Research Center Berlin, Germany (1987), the Clore Gallery, Tate Gallery, London (1987), and Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore (1996). The winner of the 1981 Pritzker Prize, Stirling was knighted in 1992.


See R. Maxwell, ed., James Stirling: Writings on Architecture (1998) and N. Crinson, ed., James Stirling: Early Unpublished Writings on Architecture (2009); biography by M. Girouard (1998); studies by P. Arnel and T. Bickford, ed. (1984), D. Sudjic (1986), M. Wilford, ed. (1998), and A. Berman, ed. (2010).