JohnFCTurner Kathrin Golda-Pongratz
31/10/2022 Historic Archive

This Wednesday, October 26, the British architect John F. C. Turner’s library and archive, the result of his donation to the COAC’s Historical Archive, arrived in Barcelona. Turner’s collection consists of books, writings and other documents, a material totaling approximately 65 linear metres.

The donation of this fund has been possible thanks to the work of Dr. Kathrin Golda-Pongratz, architect and professor at the UPC-ETSAV and the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture; and architect Volker Zimmermann. Both have been collaborators with John F. C. Turner in the last ten years and are editors of the book “John F.C. Turner. Self-construction: for an autonomy of living. Writings on housing, urban planning, self-management and holism” (Pepitas de Calabaza 2018), FAD Award 2019.

John F. C. Turner was born in 1927 in London, and has dedicated his studies to the research and practice of self-built housing, interested in the relationship of users with architecture and urban planning.  Architect by the Architectural Association in London, at the age of 30 he went to Peru, where he remained until 1965, carrying out advisory tasks in the settlements and neighbourhoods of the Peruvian towns. He was an observer and collaborator in the formation processes of self-built housing neighbourhoods in Lima and Arequipa. Between the end of the 60s and the 70s, Turner published the
essentials of his work, especially ‘Freedom to Build’ and ‘Housing by People’, translated into many languages. He published numerous articles on this subject in specialised journals and participated in congresses and cooperative consultations on housing and habitat around the world. After receiving the Alternative Nobel Prize, Turner continues to work and thinks that good housing experiences, bottom-up urbanism and old local community practices will be a safe orientation on an ecological path that we don’t have to wait any longer to start to go across.