By Adam Sharr,Stephen Thornton

This e-book is set a misplaced international, albeit one under 50 years previous. it's the tale of a grand plan to demolish such a lot of Whitehall, London’s historical govt district, and substitute it with a ziggurat-section megastructure inbuilt concrete. In 1965 the architect Leslie Martin submitted an offer to Charles Pannell, Minister of Public development and Works in Harold Wilson’s Labour executive, for the wholesale reconstruction of London’s ’Government Centre’. nonetheless reeling from battle harm, its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century palaces stood because the patched-up headquarters of an imperial forms which had as soon as ruled the globe. Martin’s plan - on no account modest in belief, scope or scale - proposed their alternative with a posh that will span the roads into Parliament sq., reframing the homes of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. The undertaking was once no longer performed within the demeanour envisaged via Martin and his affiliates, even though a shocking variety of its proposals have been applied. however the un-built structure is tested right here for its insights right into a distinct second in British heritage, whilst a useful technological destiny appeared not only attainable yet coming near near, it appears sweeping away an anachronistic Edwardian institution to get replaced with a brand new meritocracy solid within the ’white warmth of technology’. The Whitehall plan had implications way past its particular web site. It was once imagined through its architects as a systematic research into excellent construction types for the long run, a massive improvement of their undertaking to unify technology and paintings. For the political actors, it represented a tussle among executive departments, among those that believed that Britain had to discard a lot of its Victorian and Edwardian ornament within the identify of ’professionalization’ and those that sought to maintain its ornate finery. Demolishing Whitehall investigates those tensions among principles of expertise and background, technological know-how and paintings, socialism and el

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Demolishing Whitehall: Leslie Martin, Harold Wilson and the Architecture of White Heat by Adam Sharr,Stephen Thornton

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