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Dreaming The Impossible: Unbuilt Britain
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21:08 13 Nov 2013
A brilliant series and Dr Olivia's voice is a model of clarity. I hope she is allowed to do more programmes for the BBC.
18:12 2 Sep 2013
An enthralling series of programmes. I liked the format of parallel presentation of two comparable schemes from different eras. I also discovered Colvin's 'Unbuilt Oxford' many years ago: the plan to build a road tunnel under Christ Church Meadow (happily unrealized) was astonishing.
16:34 2 Sep 2013
Watched this all on iplayer, the series was fantastic. I really hope there's a second series or more to come as it really was one of the most interesting and well presented programs 'watched for ages.
10:30 28 Aug 2013
gedparker is mistaken if he thinks that John Poulson had anything at all to do with the 1961-63 redevelopment plan for Newcastle, designed by the City Planner Wilfred Burns at the behest of T Dan Smith. And while he is entitled not to like the plan, he is again mistaken in likening it to Bruce's Glasgow plan. The Burns plan pioneered the concept of 'conservation districts' in Britain - areas of townscape value worthy of preservation - which were enshrined in national law and practice as 'conservation areas' some years later, in 1967. Smith himself prevented the redevelopment of areas in the neoclassical city centre - the area now known as Grainger Town. If anythging, Bruce's Glasgow plan was similar to the 1945 Newcastle plan drawn up by the city engineer Percy Parr, which also posited a more or less complete demolition of the city centre, though unlike Bruce's Corbusianism Parr's plan was a mixture of beaux-arts boulevards and sub-Hugh Ferris sykscrapers.
An excellent series. I too would like to see more. One suggestion: Peterlee: the high rise town proposed by Lubetkin (and scuppered by the NCB), and the Science City proposed by T Dan Smith when he was chairman of the development corporation in the later 1960s (and here Poulson DID play a part).
23:39 27 Aug 2013
Dear Olivia, what a brilliant series, but woefully too short in the number of episodes.
I hope you get a recommission for more excellent insights - and you made a great presenter. Thank you for such a well-researched, informative series.
20:16 27 Aug 2013
Many thanks for all your enthusiastic and appreciative comments. I’m really glad that you enjoyed the series – we certainly enjoyed making it for you.
Steven – I’m delighted that you’re planning to use ideas from the programmes with your KS3 pupils – I really hope it gets them excited about architecture, design and history.
I’m sorry, John Frewen-Lord, that you found the use of imperial measurements less than satisfactory. The irony of the apparent ‘xenophobia’ of this is not lost upon me, given the subject matter of the second programme. The reason that we did not use metric was indeed – as pacques’s comment suggested – because of the historical context. As a researcher, I couldn’t resist looking into things a bit further, and I see that you have a particular interest in this matter, having written a book on the subject of going metric: it evidently should have been required reading for all of us working on the programme!
On the subject of books, many of you have asked if there are plans to publish a book based on the series. There are certainly more than enough schemes to fill a volume, but at present that isn’t on the cards. I really do recommend to you the books that I mentioned in my blog post – 'London As It Might Have Been' and 'Unbuilt Oxford'. Hopefully they will go some way to satisfying your appetites for more unrealised projects. They are both extremely well written and illustrated and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Thanks too for your suggestions about future projects – who knows...
23:16 26 Aug 2013
Marvellous programme of revelation, and the Beeb at its best. Hope the wonderful Olivia will be set to work on further episodes sooooon! CB
23:00 26 Aug 2013
Excellent programme, really well done. Just so glad that the plan for Glasgow wasn't implemented. Many really interesting buildings and neighbourhoods were lost in carving the M8 through the city, truncating it from the west end, so had the plan gone ahead the entire character of the city centre would have been lost. Considering many of the high rise developments of the 60's are now being razed what would Glasgow have become now? I suspect many of the shiny new modernist buildings emerging along the Clyde will go the same way in 40 years or less. Many other cities must have had similar plans so the scope for further shows on this theme must be there surely.
22:44 26 Aug 2013
A well researched and interesting new perspective on architectural history broadcasting.
I look forward to the next episode...
22:33 26 Aug 2013
Wonderful programming, great history; allowing vast imaginary pondering. I truly love the use of the correct measurement, as it would have been utilised at the time of conception and design.
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