Edwin Rickards

By Timothy Brittain-Catlin

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Edwin Rickards was the most flamboyant of Edwardian architects: his buildings were said by John Summerson to fizz like champagne.

During a short working life, launched at the age of 25 by winning the competition to design Cardiff City Hall with his partners H.V. Lanchester and James Stewart, he completed four spectacular baroque buildings.

Rickards’ work was unique in Edwardian architecture for his personal combination of French and especially Austrian sources. Working closely with H.C. Fehr and Henry Poole, leading practitioners of the New Sculpture, he designed two of the major monuments of the period.

As well as being one of the best freehand draughtsmen in London, he was also a prodigious caricaturist. With a foot in the demi-monde and an endless appetite for architectural and personal adventure, Rickards was an unforgettable figure to everyone who met him.

Illustrated throughout with stunning new photography by Robin Forster and by Rickards’ own sketches and drawings, this book portrays his close friendship with the novelist Arnold Bennett who described him, along with H.G Wells, as one of ‘the two most interesting, provocative, and stimulating men I have yet encountered’, and his meteoric career that ended with his early death.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Little Rickards
  • Chapter 2: City of Palaces
  • Chapter 3: You Never Know Your Luck
  • Chapter 4: Material to the Core
  • Chapter 5: Big Rickards Notes
  • List of Works
  • Bibliography


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Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 168
  • ISBN: ISBN:9781837645077 (Paperback) | eISBN:9781837642724 (PDF)


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