Max Fordham: Engineering Ideas, Engineering Change

A landscape photo showing an indoor exhibition venue, a lightbox with Max Fordham's photo on and it writes 'Engineering Ideas, Engineering Change'

Max Fordham, the acclaimed engineer, pioneer of sustainable building design, and much-loved and admired founder of our practice, passed away in early 2022.

We have gathered more about Max, his most notable projects and innovations, and the many memories and reflections that those who worked with him have shared. Our exhibition celebrating Max's life and work took place in early 2023 at the Building Centre in London. 
 

It told the story of Max as a pioneer of low-energy, sustainable building design through a curated collection of drawings, models, original letters and videos. 

A landscape photo showing an indoor exhibition venue, a lightbox with Max Fordham's photo on and it writes 'Engineering Ideas, Engineering Change'

Through seminal projects from the last 50 years, the exhibition highlighted many of his key ideas and their impact on the design of the built environment.

© Paul Vincent

A person reading the exhibition panel

© Paul Vincent

The architectural model of Max's House

Visitors were able to listen to Max speak about his approach to building design and the practice in his own words via an audio pod and film projector. A timeline of Max's life included letters and drawings from his childhood in Jamaica and about his education at the progressive Dartington Hall School.

©Paul Vincent

A quote printed on fabric showcasing in the exhibition

The exhibition included quotes from Max and information about projects.

© Paul Vincent

A close-up showing the exhibition panels

Featured projects included the Alexandra Road Housing Estate in Camden, Hulme 5 in Manchester, Tate St Ives, and Max's own home, Max Fordham House - the UK's first ever net zero carbon home.

©Paul Vincent

A child playing with Meccano on the table

There were books to read and Lego and Meccano to build.

©Paul Vincent