This website contains profiles of Modernist buildings in Britain. Each profile contains a description and history of the building, photographs and a location information. The following list of sites are Modernist buildings are "Modernist". Click the building name or the "read more" link to view the building profile.
Marina, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN40 1DP
The Victorian era saw a rapid growth of seaside resorts around the coast of Britain, fuelled by a number of factors. In Britain, working conditions for workers were improving, driven by worker's unions and increased acceptance of workers rights. The 1871 Bank Holidays Act granted workers four days when banks and offices were closed, the first guaranteed holidays for workers across Britain; while in 1909 Trade Boards Act created four trade boards that could determine minimum wages in certain industries, giving more workers higher wages. The expansion of the railways pushed out from the major cities to reach smaller seaside towns.
Together, increasing household incomes and improved transport links to the seaside allowed tens of thousands of working-class Britons to take day trips to the seaside. Entrepreneurs seeking to take advantage of these waves of visitors developed a unique brand of British seaside entertainment from Punch and Judy shows to donkey rides; from candy-floss, to ice-cream and sticks of rock.
Increasing rivalry between neighbouring resorts saw seaside towns commission architects and planners to design and build the very best amenities: piers, lidos, hotels, pleasure gardens and pavilions, all designed to tempt the holiday-goers. By the end of the 1930s some 15 million Britons annually were taking a holiday at the seaside.
Bexhill-on-Sea was no exception. As its population expanded and its popularity as a seaside resort grew the mayor, the 9th Earl De La Warr, formulated an idea for a centre for arts and entertainment for the town. In 1933, an international competition... Read more »
Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA
Standing in West London is one of the capital's premier exhibition centres, Earls Court. Famous for hosting exhibitions, trade shows and concerts, for many years Earls Court played host to the British Motor Show where iconic cars such as the Jaguar E-type and Morris Minor were officially unveiled to the public. The centre traces its history back to 1887, but the current landmark structure at the site was designed by American architect Charles Howard Crane (1885-1952) in 1937.
The main building at Earls Court has a concave facade formed of two outer blocks and a recessed central section. For many years the building retained its original unadorned concrete-faced facade (as illustrated) but this was subsequently covered with cladding, which also concealed the original windows with a layer of additional glazing. The outer blocks of the main facade carry two later additions - large advertising hoardings used to promote events at the exhibition centre - beneath lettering spelling 'Earls' on the affixed to the top of western block and 'Court' on the eastern block.
The central section comprising five bays. The bays are filled tall windows, with each window topped with a square motif. The central bay motif depicts a knight - an Earl - atop a horse. From left to the right the remaining motifs depict science and industry represented by meshed cog wheels, music represented by musical instruments, sports represented by a tennis racket and archery target, and a thistle and leaves representing flora and fauna.
There is a projecting,... Read more »
Horsenden Lane, Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 7NP
Standing on Horsenden Lane in Greenford, Middlesex (just off the A40 Western Avenue), Perivale is an underground station on the western part of the Central Line. Until the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a many separate private companies, together operating a fragmented service to passengers.
In 1933 the London Passenger Transport Act brought together public transport in London under the control of the London Passenger Transport Board. Tube lines, buses, coaches and trams were combined, although overground lines operated by the mainline railway companies were not included. Along with a massive merger and restructure of the combined assets of the disparate range of companies, London Transport embarked on a works programme to expand and improve the network. Essentially the private companies had barely managed to make a decent enough profit to reward shareholders and reinvest in the network, so much work was required.
Using deep tunnels to push out into the suburbs and then above-ground lines, the Underground network was to expand greatly in the proposed 'New Works Programme'. The 'New Works Programme' saw the development of new line extensions, additional tunnelling and track work, new and redeveloped stations and new rolling stock. The programme, introduced in 1935, planned for five year's development. However, the outbreak of the Second World War saw plans put on hold.
In post-war Britain London Transport was much less able to embark on an ambitious programme of works. Not only did the network suffer bomb-damage, but rolling stock, tracks and stations had been pressed... Read more »