img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="")

Dover’s modernist masterpiece

Valeria Carullo

The 1957 modernist Dover Stage Hotel was designed by Hungarian-born Louis Erdi, one of the many refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe being celebrated at an RIBA conference

Stage Hotel Dover, 1957.
Stage Hotel Dover, 1957. Credit: Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Collections

As part of Refugee Week this month, the RIBA is holding an international hybrid conference on architects who came into contact with the institute in the late 1930s attempting to leave Nazi-occupied Europe. Some were major figures of the profession, but many are now little known, even forgotten. Among them is Hungarian-born Louis Erdi (1909-1975), who studied architecture in Zurich and Budapest. After working as assistant in his father’s practice, he opened his own in 1933 and worked on projects in Hungary, Yugoslavia and Switzerland. He then moved to London, as shown by his 1941 application for employment, held in the RIBA Refugee Committee Papers. Erdi worked as senior assistant with architect Donald Hamilton until 1947, when he started practising independently. A year later he became an RIBA member, proposed (among others) by Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. The Dover Stage Hotel featured in this photograph, extensively covered by the architectural press at the time, was sadly demolished in 1988.

The conference Displaced Lives will take place at the RIBA on 21-22 June