Ove Arup graduated in 1922 from the Royal Technical College in Copenhagen as a Civil Engineer, and accepted a post in Hamburg with Christiani and Nielsen, a Danish firm specialising at that time in maritime projects. Within a year he moved to London and two years later he was promoted to the post of Chief Designer. Arup sections 7 and 8 respectively contain brochures and plans relating to the work of the firm.
In 1933 Arup joined J.L. Kier & Co. as a director and chief designer. The firm was committed to the development of reinforced concrete construction. Arup worked alongside the Tecton Group of Architects led by Berthold Lubetkin, and collaborated with Tecton over various projects including the design for the London Zoo Penguin Pool in Regent's Park.
Arup and a cousin, Arne Arup formed a firm of engineers and contractors, Arup & Arup Ltd in 1938. The approach of war saw Arup turning his attention to a study of rational shelter design -with the aim of achieving maximum protection as economically as possible (see ARUP sections 7 and 8).
By 1945 Arup had moved entirely to consulting work as a structural consultant to architects. He became the founder and senior partner of his firm, Ove Arup & Partners in 1948. The firm grew considerably during the early and mid 1960's, and offices were started up in far-flung locations including Dublin, Edinburgh, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
The subsequent expansion of the firm meant that by the mid 1970's the staff numbered over 2000, operating all over the world. Projects undertaken included the award-winning Sydney Opera House. Ove Arup was involved with this for more than 15 years and worked closely with the architect, Jørn Utzon.
Arup Associates was formed in 1963 as the embodiment of Arup's ideals of professional collaboration of specialists who functioned in small groups, to undertake the total design of buildings.
Born: 1895 (Newcastle upon Tyne)
Educated: Preparatory School, Hamburg; Public School, Søro, University of Copenhagen 1914 Degree in Filosofikum; Copenhagen Polytekniske Laereanstalt, 1922 Degree in Engineering, with reinforced concrete as a specialist subject.
Married: 1925 Ruth Sørensen (1 son, 2 daughters)
1922-1923 Designer, Christiani & Nielsen, Hamburg
1923-1925 Designer, Christiani & Nielsen, London
1925-1934 Chief Designer, Christiani & Nielsen, London
1934-1938 Director and Chief Designer, J L Kier & Co, London
1938-1945 Director, Arup Designs Ltd; Arup & Arup Ltd; Pipes Ltd; Consulting Engineer for schools, flats, air raid shelters (for Finsbury Borough Council), industrial projects, marine work (Air Ministry)
1949 Senior Partner, Ove Arup & Partners, Consulting Engineers
1955-1959 Chairman, Society of Danish Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland
1963 Arup Associates
1955 Visiting Lecturer, Harvard University
1968 Maitland Lecture, IStructE
1970 Alfred Bossom Lecture RSA
Honours and Awards:
1966 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture
1973 Gold Medal IStructE
1967 Hon DSc Durham
1976 Hon DSc Heriot-Watt University
1979 Hon DSc City University
1967 Hon ScD East Anglia
1974 Hon Dr Tekniske Hojskole, Lyngy, Denmark
1975 Fellow, American Concrete Inst
1965 Commander (First Class) Order of Dannebrog
1939 "Design, Cost, Construction and Relative Safety of Trench, Surface, Bomb-proof and other Air Raid Shelters", Concrete Publications Ltd.
1941 "Safe Housing in Wartime", Messers Gestetner Ltd.
1940 "London Shelter Problem"
1944 " Memorandum on box frame construction"
Contributions to technical journals (various dates)
The collection reflects Sir Ove's commitment to his philosophy of "Total design". It was his desire that architects and engineers should work together more closely, so that they could approach the problems of the Built Environment from a united standpoint. The papers fall into 10 sections, and include examples of project work, published articles and architectural plans.
The initial collection of Sir Ove Arup's papers was deposited in the Churchill Archives Centre on behalf of the Arup family and the Ove Arup Partnership in 1989. Additional papers were added in 1990.