Dame Jane Drew (March 24th 1911 – July 27th 1996) was an English modernist architect and town planner who worked both in the United Kingdom as well as Africa and India. She received her qualifications at the AA School in London.
Shortly after her studies she became involved in the Modern Movement, through the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM), whose guiding spirit was the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Drew became one of the principal founders of the Modern Movement in Britain, which was represented by MARS (Modern Architectural ReSearch), CIAM's British subsidiary. MARS was an association of architects, painters and industrialists, and its stated principle was the "use of space for human activity rather than the manipulation of stylised convention". It was through this group that she met Henry Moore, Elizabeth Lutyens, and most importantly Maxwell Fry (one of the co-founders of the movement) whom she married in 1942.
Drew was active during and after World War II, designing social and public housing in England, West Africa, India and Iran. After the end of WWII she opened a practice with her husband as 'Fry, Drew and Partners'. With Maxwell Fry she worked in West Africa designing schools and universities. They also worked with Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, a new capital of the Punjab, Drew was responsible for most of the housing developments. She designed buildings in Ghana, Nigeria, Iran and Sri Lanka, and she wrote books on what she had learned about architecture there.
In London she did buildings for the Festival of Britain, and helped to establish the Institute of Contemporary Arts. She retired from the practice in 1977, but continued to travel and lecture abroad, receiving several honorary degrees.
Seven months before her death, she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).
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