GOLDFINGER, Erno. Mars News

(London): Modern Architectural Research Group, 1944-1945. 3 issues all published. Issues 2 and 3 titled Mars Report. Exceedingly rare publication from the Modern Architectural Research Group, a British architectural think tank founded in 1933 by several prominent architects and architectural critics including Maxwell Fry, F.R.S. Yorke and John Betjeman. The group proposed a radical plan for the redevelopement of postwar London the details of which were published in the Architectural Review in 1942. After creative differences the group finally disbanded in 1957. The honorary editor of these bulletins, Erno Goldfinger, was a founder member and one of the 20th century’s prime advocates of London tower blocks. He designed the often reviled Alexander Fleming House at the Elephant and Castle, Trellick Tower in Ladbroke Grove and Balfron Tower in Tower Hamlets. Goldfinger also designed 1-3 Willow Road in Hampstead, a set of three terraced houses constructed in concrete and faced in red brick. A number of cottages were demolished to allow for the construction, which was strongly opposed local residents including novelist Ian Fleming. it is suggested that because of this Fleming appropriated his name – and aspects of his character – with deliberate savagery for the villain and title of the James Bond novel. Erno Goldfinger consulted his lawyers when the book was published, prompting Fleming to suggest renaming the character “Goldprick”, but Goldfinger eventually settled out of court in return for his legal costs, and six copies of the novel. These three bulletins, include reports, news discussions, and the third explores ‘what is modern architecture’. The bulletins were produced only for fully paid up members (who at the height of the group totaled 84). All issues in good condition, stapled printed wrappers, edgewear and short tears. Rare, we have been unable to locate any other copies.


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