Britain In Their Sites

Tristram Hunt tells the story of architectural change in Britain over 60 years, tracing the country's changing idea of itself through three controversial public building projects.

Episodes

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012009052420150601 (BBC7)
20150602 (BBC7)

In 1948, Peterlee was the future, an exciting New Town planned by architect Berthold Lubetkin for the Durham miners he idolised.

Tristram asks why Lubetkin, most famous for London Zoo's Penguin Pool, left Peterlee before a single house was built.

As he looks back at Peterlee's troubled birth, Tristram dissects the furious debates which Lubetkin's failure sparked, and which marked the beginning of Britain's post-war architecture wars.

Tristram Hunt tells the story of architectural change in Britain over 60 years, tracing the country's changing idea of itself through three controversial public building projects.

In 1948, Peterlee was the future, an exciting New Town planned by architect Berthold Lubetkin for the Durham miners he idolised. Tristram asks why Lubetkin, most famous for London Zoo's Penguin Pool, left Peterlee before a single house was built.

. In 1948, Peterlee was the future, an exciting New Town planned by Berthold Lubetkin.

In 1948, Peterlee was the future, an exciting New Town planned by Berthold Lubetkin.

As he looks back at Peterlee's troubled birth, Tristram dissects the furious debates which Lubetkin's failure sparked, and which marked the beginning of Britain's post-war architecture wars.

Tristram Hunt tells the story of architectural change in Britain over 60 years, tracing the country's changing idea of itself through three controversial public building projects.

In 1948, Peterlee was the future, an exciting New Town planned by architect Berthold Lubetkin for the Durham miners he idolised. Tristram asks why Lubetkin, most famous for London Zoo's Penguin Pool, left Peterlee before a single house was built.

022009053120150602 (BBC7)
20150603 (BBC7)

Tristram Hunt tells the story of architectural change in Britain over 60 years, tracing the country's changing idea of itself through three controversial public building projects.

In 1961, London's Euston Station and its famous Arch faced demolition. A landmark building in the history of railway architecture, battle raged over Euston's future. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was lobbied, banners were unfurled and British Rail architects drew up plans for a new, more modern station.

As he looks back at Euston's troubled reinvention, Tristram dissects the furious debates sparked by the demolition and asks what Euston tells us about the changing value of Britain's past and our enthusiasm for the future.

. The debate over the decision to rebuild London's Euston Station in 1961.

The debate over the decision to rebuild London's Euston Station in 1961.

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was lobbied, banners were unfurled and British Rail architects drew up plans for a new, more modern station.

Tristram Hunt tells the story of architectural change in Britain over 60 years, tracing the country's changing idea of itself through three controversial public building projects.

In 1961, London's Euston Station and its famous Arch faced demolition. A landmark building in the history of railway architecture, battle raged over Euston's future. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was lobbied, banners were unfurled and British Rail architects drew up plans for a new, more modern station.

As he looks back at Euston's troubled reinvention, Tristram dissects the furious debates sparked by the demolition and asks what Euston tells us about the changing value of Britain's past and our enthusiasm for the future.

032009060720150603 (BBC7)
20150604 (BBC7)

Tristram Hunt tracks the creation of the skyline of Canary Wharf.

Tristram Hunt tells the story of architectural change in Britain over 60 years, tracing the country's changing idea of itself through three controversial public building projects.

Tristram tracks the creation of the skyline of Canary Wharf, from the old docks of the Isle of Dogs to the new tall towers of Canada Square, with insight from architects, planners and politicians.

The Isle of Dogs was the subject of thwarted regeneration attempts over the years, until in 1979 Michael Heseltine was put in charge of inner city regeneration in Thatcher's new administration. The government created the London Docklands Development Corporation, introduced 'enterprise zones', relaxed planning legislation and axed business rates for 10 years in an attempt to get investors to build on this near-derelict land.

But British architects had to stand back and watch as American architectural firms won key contracts for the buildings - that is, until their grand masterplans collapsed in the 1990s when major developers went bankrupt.

Today, the skyline of Canary Wharf is one of London's landmarks. Tristram asks what its story tells us about Britain's recent architectural history.

03 LAST2009060720150603 (BBC7)
20150604 (BBC7)

Tristram Hunt tells the story of architectural change in Britain over 60 years, tracing the country's changing idea of itself through three controversial public building projects.

Tristram tracks the creation of the skyline of Canary Wharf, from the old docks of the Isle of Dogs to the new tall towers of Canada Square, with insight from architects, planners and politicians.

The Isle of Dogs was the subject of thwarted regeneration attempts over the years, until in 1979 Michael Heseltine was put in charge of inner city regeneration in Thatcher's new administration. The government created the London Docklands Development Corporation, introduced 'enterprise zones', relaxed planning legislation and axed business rates for 10 years in an attempt to get investors to build on this near-derelict land.

But British architects had to stand back and watch as American architectural firms won key contracts for the buildings - that is, until their grand masterplans collapsed in the 1990s when major developers went bankrupt.

Today, the skyline of Canary Wharf is one of London's landmarks. Tristram asks what its story tells us about Britain's recent architectural history.

. Tristram Hunt tracks the creation of the skyline of Canary Wharf.

The Isle of Dogs was the subject of thwarted regeneration attempts over the years, until in 1979 Michael Heseltine was put in charge of inner city regeneration in Thatcher's new administration.

Today, the skyline of Canary Wharf is one of London's landmarks.

Tristram Hunt tracks the creation of the skyline of Canary Wharf.

Tristram Hunt tells the story of architectural change in Britain over 60 years, tracing the country's changing idea of itself through three controversial public building projects.