David Dimbleby presents this landmark six-part BBC documentary series telling the dramatic story of Britain's architecture - the extraordinary buildings that define a nation and which grew out of the experiences and beliefs of the British people. How did we get from the fortified tower to the grand open mansion and back again to the gated communities of today? How did we lose the marketplace to the out-of-town shopping mall? When did it become so important how libraries and prisons look? What does the way in which we arrange our city centres say about us? Can architecture really make a difference to our quality of life? This authoritative account of 1000 years of change in Britain's buildings tackles these questions and many more. Episodes are: 'The East - A New Dawn', 'The Heart of England - Living it Up', 'Scotland - Towering Ambitions', 'The West - Putting on the Style', 'The North - Full Steam Ahead' and 'The South - Dreams of Tomorrow'.
Anchored by the impassioned presence of David Dimbleby, How We Built Britain is a terrific documentary series that follows its host on a journey of Britain’s architectural heritage.
Spread across six hours, it’s a diligent, patient journey too, allowing plenty of time and space to tell some of the extraordinary stories that underpin the buildings and work that Dimbleby discovers. How We Built Britain takes in the breadth of the British mainland, and fascinating stories are never far away.
What’s more, How We Built Britain is happy to pose many questions, attempting to uncover the appropriate answers too. What led to the modern day shopping centre, for instance? How, over the last 1000 years, has architecture developed? And has it been of benefit? What defined the look of certain types of buildings? These and many more posers are ably tackled by an intelligent and rewarding piece of television.
Grounded by strong photography, an unwillingness to resort to gimmicks, and a focus on good, honest documentary making, How We Built Britain is a terrific piece of work. Engaging, educational and with a broad appeal, it also boasts welcome rewatch value, and is also likely to ignite a desire to explore what lies beyond your front door. Excellent stuff. --Jon Foster