‘…Farrell brings his skill and imagination to bear on proposals for making London a better city for humans.’ (Property Week, July 2010).
From the Back Cover
In this wholly new and dynamic view of London, renowned architect and urban planner Sir Terry Farrell joins up the dots and creates new connections between London′s past, present and future. By looking beyond the contribution of individual buildings to the city, Farrell creates a much larger and more exciting canvas, charting how the capital′s messy and complex shape has evolved over time from a series of layers – natural and man–made. This provides a whole series of revelations that allow us to see the city afresh: How might the natural bends in the river have impacted where and what was built? How have the Thames′ tributaries affected historic boundaries and development, played out in the Great Estates of Mayfair and Marylebone? How has the 19th century′s seemingly unplanned and opportunistic infrastructure of railway stations, canals, tube lines and sewers formed the basis for a new kind of metropolis with its own order and its won form? Illustrated with maps, archive photographs and paintings, as well as original sketches by Farrell, the book provides a vibrant and intriguing collage of London′s patterns and its history. It gives an account that stretches from the verdant banks of the Thames at Richmond and Kew to London Docklands and the heavily industrialised Thames Estuary, taking in some of London′s best known landmarks and sights. it also suggests ways of observing and learning from London today that are key to understanding how the capital might grow and change in the future. ′The most important and inspirational London book of the decade. it offers a physical description of the city that is both a perceptive analysis of its past and a vision for the future.′ – Dan Cruickshank ′Rare among today′s architects and planners, Terry Farrell really understands the texture of London. His eye misses nothing, from kerbstones, traffic Islands, walls and trees to a realistic vision of the city as a whole.′ – Simon Jenkins ′Terry Farrell has produced a first–class combination of historical insight, geographical observation and infrastructure analysis – the distilled thoughts of a true urbanist. Essential reading for anyone engaged in adding to London′s built environment, and a wonderfully illustrated story for more general readers.′ – Paul Finch, Chair, Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment (CABE)