University of Brighton Design Archives

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A black and white photograph showing the spiral staircase at the HMV headquarter building. Designed by Joseph Emberton. Taken from the Joseph Emberton Archive housed at the University of Brighton Design Archives.

Joseph Emberton

Black and white photograph showing the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, designed by Joseph Emberton, in Burnham-on-Crouch in 1931. Taken from the Joseph Emberton Archive housed at the University of Brighton Design Archives.

‘Royal Corinthian Yacht Club’. Burnham-on-Crouch (1931). Catalogue number: EMB-2-14-4.

Joseph Emberton (1889-1956) was one of Britain’s most significant architects during the inter-war period. His projects, introducing modern design to broad audiences, include the British Empire Hall at Olympia (1929) and Blackpool Pleasure Beach (1935-39). Emberton designed the striking Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Burnham-on-Crouch (1931), which represented Britain at the Modern Architecture: International Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1932. Five years later, two more buildings – the celebrated Simpson (Piccadilly) Ltd department store (now Waterstone’s flagship bookstore) for which László Moholy-Nagy designed displays, and the Southsea branch of Timothy Whites – were selected by MoMA for the exhibition Modern Architecture in England.

A black and white photograph of the exterior of the New Empire Hall, Olympia (1929-1930), designed by Joseph Emberton. Taken from the Joseph Emberton Archive housed at the University of Brighton Design Archives.

‘Exterior of New Empire Hall, Olympia’ (1929-1930). Catalogue number: EMB-2-3-67.

Comprising several hundred items, including photography, news cuttings and correspondence, the Joseph Emberton Archive is fully catalogued.

In 2015, the Design Archives collaborated with Pallant House to produce the first exhibition of his work for more than 30 years.

A collection of films created by Joseph Emberton can be accessed via the Screen Archive South East, the public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England, which is also located at the University of Brighton.

A button to press to browse this archive on the Archives Hub

A black and white photograph showing the interior of outfitting department on the ground floor of Simpson Piccadilly (Ltd) in 1936. Photograph by Arkin Bros Commercial Photographers. Taken from the Joseph Emberton Archive housed at the University of Brighton Design Archives.

‘Simpson Piccadilly (Ltd)’ (1936). Interior of outfitting department on the ground floor. Photograph: Arkin Bros Commercial Photographers. Catalogue number: EMB-2-7-11.

A black and white photograph showing the exterior of the Funhouse at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1953. Taken from the Joseph Emberton Archive housed at the University of Brighton Design Archives.

‘Blackpool Pleasure Beach’. Funhouse (1953). Catalogue number: EMB-2-11-3.

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Sirpa Kutilainen • January 1, 1998


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