MARS (Modern Architectural Research Group) (1933 – 1957)

MARS plan for London
MARS plan for London

Social and Technical Aspects of Modern Architecture

The MARS Group, or Modern Architectural Research Group, was a British architectural think tank created in 1933 by numerous famous architects and architectural critics participating in the British modernist movement. The MARS Group was created after several prior but unsuccessful attempts to establish an organization to promote modernist architects in the United Kingdom, similar to organizations created in continental Europe, such as France’s Union des Artistes Modernes.

When Sigfried Giedion of the Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne invited Morton Shand to put up a group to represent Britain at their meetings, the group was born. Maxwell Fry and F. R. S. Yorke were chosen as founding members by Shand and Wells Coates. A few colleagues of Tecton, another architectural firm, and Ove Arup and John Betjeman, a poet and contributor to Architectural Review, joined them. The group’s biggest hit was a display at the New Burlington Galleries in 1938, but it also put them in debt. The MARS group suggested a radical design for postwar London rebuilding, detailed in the Architectural Review in 1942. The club grew to roughly 58 members at its peak. Along with the movement, the group began to lose steam, and many members left due to creative differences. In 1957, the group was disbanded.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, June 19). MARS Group. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:26, May 28, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=MARS_Group&oldid=963298099

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