What architects and planners can learn from Barry Parker, architect of the world’s first Garden City

Barry Parker

As Letchworth looks to expand for the first time in a generation, it is vital to understand the ideals that underpinned its creation

In the study of the history of planning and architecture Barry Parker (1867-1947) has most often been considered alongside his business partner (and from 1893, brother-in-law) Raymond Unwin (1863-1940) whose career developed into senior roles in national government, that gave him a much higher public profile. Pioneering work was undertaken by the Parker and Unwin partnership in their practice between 1896 and 1914, starting with New Earswick, then Letchworth Garden City and Hampstead Garden Suburb. Not to mention numerous co-operative housing schemes that provided garden city-style homes which were light and spacious for many people in the inter-war years and earlier.

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