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Utopia London

Re-appraising the city's recent architectural history
Professor Patrick Abercrombie's 'Social and Functional Analysis' map of 1943 showed the capital as a series of communities and potential open space.
Professor Patrick Abercrombie's 'Social and Functional Analysis' map of 1943 showed the capital as a series of communities and potential open space.


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Love it or loathe it, London's Modernist architecture is as much a part of the city's historic fabric as the work of Wren and Adam. But has any style faced as many different interpretations and changes of fortune as that purveyed by the city's planners in the 1950s, and just how much do we understand about the zeitgeist in which it was created?

Utopia London, a documentary film by young director Tom Cordell, explores London's recent architectural history through the eyes of those who helped create it and those whose lives were shaped by it. Focusing on the London Cordell knew as a child, the film shows how architects such as Berthold Lubetkin, Neave Brown, Kate Macintosh and John Bancroft were working together in a spirit of optimism to revolutionise life in the city in the wake of the destruction wrought by World War Two war and the poor living conditions inherited from the Industrial Revolution.

The story goes on to explore how the meaning of these transformative buildings has been radically manipulated over subsequent decades, and, in comparing the attitudes of architects and planners then and now, poses the question; where do we go from here? 

 

Follow the link to City of Sound's verdict on the documentary and a trailer for the film

 

The next screening of Utopia London will be held by DOCOMOMO at the Alan Baxter building in the City of London on 14 December 2010.

 


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