The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Best-Laid Plans… Uncompleted London, 1925-1995 - FULLY BOOKED

MI6 Building

Best-Laid Plans… Uncompleted London, 1925-1995 - Saturday 5 October 2019 - FULLY BOOKED

Led by: Chris Rogers

There have been many attempts to transform an entire district of London with a single architectural gesture; most failed, abandoned for reasons of cost, protest or fashion. But several did give rise to a building or two, buildings that today are seldom appreciated for the truly grand designs they represent.


Join Chris Rogers, author of the best-selling How to Read London – a crash course in London architecture, on a walking tour through the heart of the capital to discover the stories of these stranded survivors and learn how to recognise them as tantalising fragments of much larger schemes. We will board the Bloomsbury battleship and inspect its fleet of tenders, tread truncated streets in the sky above Covent Garden, connect the Whitehall blocks originally envisaged as ziggurats for bureaucrats and cross a bridge entirely lacking the dreamed-of shops, ice rink and open-air theatre to reach a Tate gallery that isn’t there.


Work by Michael Hopkins, Basil Spence, Richard Seifert, Terry Farrell, Dixon Jones, Denys Lasdun, Charles Holden and William Whitfield will feature. Amongst the buildings we will have access to is Frederick Gibberd’s Coutts bank in the Strand, which is being opened especially for us. Structured as a series of case studies with a perambulation for each, this autumn adventure will showcase eight decades of architectural ambition in London.


This is a very full day with a considerable amount of walking, including up and down stairs both inside and out; we will also navigate heavily-trafficked and popular tourist areas at certain points. Lunch will be find-your-own in the Parliament Square or Horseferry Road area at around 12:45pm.


Meet time/place: 9:00am, north east corner of Bedford Square WC1, by the yellow and black TfL walking sign. The nearest underground stations are Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street and Russell Square; please check with TfL nearer the time for any line/station closures

Finish time/place: 3:00pm, Vauxhall station

Members’ price: £25 Non-members: £35




Booking Closed

Unfortunately, booking is closed for this event and we are no longer able to accept new bookings.

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