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Churchill contains:
<-- See earlier
ALIB The Papers of Thomas Allibone
AMEJ The Papers of Julian Amery
AMEL The Papers of Leopold Amery
ANCG The Papers of Sir Angus Cunninghame Graham
AROH Ove Arup Oral History Project
ARUP The Papers of Sir Ove Arup
ASHB The Papers of Michael Ashburner
ASHM The Papers of Leslie Ashmore
ATLE The Papers of Clement Attlee, Earl Attlee
AUJO The Papers of Aubrey Jones
AVAR The Papers of A V Alexander
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The Papers of Sir Ove Arup

Title The Papers of Sir Ove Arup
Reference GBR/0014/ARUP
Creator Arup, Sir Ove Nyquist, 1895-1988, knight, consulting engineer
Covering Dates 1904–1989
Extent and Medium 90 archive boxes
Repository Churchill Archives Centre
Content and context

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)

Knighted: 1971

Died: 1988


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:

1963 CBE

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.

Access and Use

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

In Mixed

Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Sir Ove Arup, ARUP

Further information

Churchill Archives Centre also holds papers relating to the Arup Oral History Project (reference GBR/0014/AROH). The Royal Institute of British Architects Library also holds Arup's papers relating to the Modern British Architectural Research Group and Arup's sketch designs.

A copy of this catalogue is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, Kew and on the Janus website, http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/.

The collection was catalogued at Churchill Archives Centre in 1991. The catalogue was revised and updated by Natalie Adams in April 2004. The catalogue was revised again, and converted by Sandra Marsh in September 2006.

Index Terms
Arup, Sir Ove Nyquist (1895-1988) Knight, consulting engineer
Churchill/ARUP contains:
1 Diaries.
44 files.
2 General and Official Correspondence.
107 files.
3 Correspondence: Degrees, Honours and letters of congratulations.
15 files.
4 Publications and Draft Articles.
37 files.
5 Lectures, talks and speeches.
93 files.
6 Television and Radio.
7 files.
7 Project Papers.
87 files.
8 Technical Drawings.
48 files.
9 International tours and consultations abroad.
9 files.
10 Other interests.
7 files.

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