Drawing Out Meaning

20th-century architecture: Tecton

Explanatory drawing of Finsbury Health Centre, London

Explanatory drawing comparing traditional health centres with the proposal for Finsbury Health Centre, London, 1938
Designer: Lubetkin and Tecton
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections

This is one of a set of cartoon-like drawings prepared for an exhibition in Finsbury Town Hall to show the improvements the new Finsbury Health Centre would bring. According to these playful drawings, Tecton, a group of London architects that included Berthold Lubetkin, designed a new centre that was practical, clean, modern and attractive. The drawings help to encapsulate the optimism of architects like Tecton working in the 20th century who believed that architecture could be used to improve society.

Tecton's proposal was to improve the health of the citizens of Finsbury by centralising healthcare and medical services in a single place, while offering patients a 'cheerful atmosphere'. Built before the creation of the National Health Service, the building is considered groundbreaking in terms of design and healthcare provision.

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