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‘The Brits Who Built the Modern World’

A new exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA)

Head of Architecture, Chris Gaylord takes a look at a new exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) and explores the skilled and innovative work of a remarkable generation of British architects.  Born in the 1930s and including Sir Norman Foster and Lord Rogers, The Brits Who Built the Modern World showcases their work and their astounding contribution to the architectural landscape of the world.

The exhibition features the fearless forms made by a generation of designers born in the inter-war years which have had a profound effect on global architecture. The High Tech movement had its roots in post-war American technical know-how and the sheer exhuberance and mastery that arose from Paxton’s Palm Houses and the Crystal Palace.

Richard Rogers spoke recently to Jonathan Glancey for the Saturday Telegraph©, highlighting the impact that these striking structures had on both British and American architects of the time. Their power and influence can be seen today in the Pompidou Centre and the Lloyds Building.  The smart, light and bright steel-framed designs were a turning point for these architects, and so began an era of exceptional design and vision.  Latter-day manifestations of this spirit include the sculpturally beautiful Millau Viaduct by Foster (pictured), Farrell’s Delhi Rail Station and Roger’s Madrid airport.  Seductive and powerful, all are wonderful examples of a truly modern world.

A complementary three-part series of the same name begins this evening, Thursday 13th February at 9pm on BBC Four.