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Showing posts from July, 2018

The London-Yorkshire Motorway

One of the main areas of interest for me is the work done by John Laing on the construction of the London-Yorkshire Motorway, more commonly known now as the M1. John Laing was responsible for the first 55 mile section of the motorway from south of Luton to Crick 1 . The construction of the motorway was described as "the most extended civil operation since the railways" and it may be no coincidence that it may be considered to have changed the way people thought about travel. The social and economic impact might not have reached the levels generated by the steam age but at the time  it was seen as ground-breaking, Howard Watkinson, Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation said that the motorway "would transform ideas of transport" 2 . London/Birmingham Motorway. The Minister for Transport with Sir Owen Williams at the official opening of the motorway on November 2nd 1959. © Historic England 2018 - The John Laing Collection #55732 There is a growing li

The Building of Coventry Cathedral

The building of Coventry Cathedral after the previous incarnation was all but destroyed in a German air raid was one of the "power and glory" contracts that John Laing won in 1956 and one that John Laing felt particularly strongly about 1 . The John Laing Collection has a number of albums which depict the development from many angles and includes both construction work and more presentational aspects such as the recording of visiting dignitaries and in particular members of the Royal Family. The images for the latter are often taken from newspapers such as the Coventry Evening Telegraph. One such image from the Leicester Evening Mail shows Sir Basil Spence showing Queen Elizabeth II a model of the new Cathedral in the grounds (it is assumed) of the ruins of the old Cathedral. Basil Spence explaining the site of the new Cathedral to Her Majesty The Queen Photograph by Leicester Evening Mail 23rd March, 1956. © Historic England 2018 - The John Laing Collection The fact

The Bartlett Summer School 2018

Have just spent an hour just getting a feel for the amazing variety of work that is on show - it gives a real sense of how great architecture's impact is and just how wide a spectrum of ideas, areas of influence and understanding of our past its study opens up. The detail that goes into the model making is incredible (a very small sample below). I particularly liked the Unit 26 work (Film) - I guess the moving image will always have a head start when it comes to engaging you on a whistle stop tour. The sequence including some Bladerunner style imagery was mesmerising (sorry I forgot to not the student details).