Ernő Goldfinger (November 11, 1902 – November 15, 1987) was born in Budapest and studied architecture in Paris. After moving to London in 1934, he won praise for austere, yet sensitive projects, notably his Hampstead home, and drew controversy for ambitious schemes at Elephant and Castle and Poplar.
Goldfinger became interested in architecture after reading Hermann Muthesius's Das englische Haus. He continued to recommend the book (a description of English domestic architecture around the turn of the century) for most of his life. In 1923 he went to study at the École nationale supérieure des beaux arts in Paris in the atelier of Léon Jaussely. In the following years he got to know many other Paris based architects including Auguste Perret, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. In 1929, before finishing his course, Goldfinger established a partnership and worked on a number of interior designs and an extension to a holiday home at Le Touquet.
He was strongly influenced by the publication of Le Corbusier's Vers une architecture, and became a fervent admirer of Le Corbusier's former mentor, Auguste Perret, an expert in designing reinforced concrete structures. This would later be an inspiration for Goldfinger when designing his own home.
In 1941 Goldfinger wrote: "Cities can become centres of civilisation where men and women can live happy lives. The technical means exist to satisfy human needs. The will to plan must be aroused. There is no obstacle but ignorance and wickedness."
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