Michael Wilford: Composition and Character in Architecture

Work by Michael Wilford

Work by Michael Wilford photo / provided

Edgar A. Tafel Lecture Series

Michael Wilford, CBE, is an architect of international renown having designed prize-winning public and corporate buildings for governments, museums, universities, corporations, and private patrons in Europe, the U.S., Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Australia. For 35 years he was a principal in an architectural practice based in London with a satellite office in Stuttgart, Germany.

He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Bund Deutscher Architecten, the Singapore Institute of Architects, the Royal Institute of Arbitrators, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Wilford lectures throughout the world and has held visiting professorships at universities in the UK, U.S., Canada, and Australia. His work is published internationally and the subject of numerous exhibitions, films, and TV and radio programs. In 2001 he was awarded a Commander of the British Empire for services to architecture.


Composition and character are primary aspects of the art of architecture and determinants of the organization, form, and tectonics of buildings. Their consideration is fundamental to the practice of architecture. This presentation will describe the architectural objectives and strategies to achieve them, as set out in the recently published monograph. Wilford will use drawings and photographs of a variety of architectural projects (both finished buildings and competition designs) prepared over the last two decades as examples to demonstrate how these aspects have influenced and supported them.

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