Plymouth: Vision of a modern city
By Jeremy Gould
The print version of this book is now out of print and unavailable.
An e-book edition is available to buy from e-book retailers (ISBN 978-1-84802-322-2, £3.99).
There is also a link above to a low res pdf which is available to download free of charge.
- Examines the landscape and architecture of post-war Plymouth
- Attractively illustrated with contemporary and newly commissioned photographs and drawings
- Will appeal to planning and conservation professionals, students of architecture and town planning, and the people of Plymouth
Post-war reconstruction offered unparalleled opportunities to the developing profession of urban planners to cast off the constraints imposed by historic infrastructure and produce a new vision of urban living, expressed in rationally designed city centres linked to suburban precincts and with modern integrated transport systems.
Plymouth is the foremost English example of post-war reconstruction on the grand scale, laid out to the designs of the most influential urban planner of the day, Sir Patrick Abercrombie. This book explains the circumstances which led to the development of Abercrombie's Plan for Plymouth (1943) and shows how the plan was implemented in the period 1945-62. Discussion of the overall scheme for the renewed city is complemented by description of the different zones which made up both the central area and the new suburbs, and attention is paid to the landscape forms and architectural styles employed in civic, commercial and residential areas. The significance of what was achieved in Plymouth will be assessed and international context is provided by comparison with British and European examples of contemporary planning. Urban regeneration programmes pose a threat to the legacy of the post-war reconstruction period, and the listing of post-war buildings is often contentious and contested.
Finally, a discussion of the conservation issues raised by present-day plans for renewal in Plymouth will contribute to current debate about the formulation of policy relating to the buildings and landscapes of the post-war era.
- The Plan for Plymouth
Plymouth before the War
Patrick Abercrombie and A Plan for Plymouth
The Plan described
Precedents for the Plan
- Realising the Plan 1945-51 and 1951-62 (the City Centre)
Abercrombie, William Crabtree and Thomas Tait
Revisions to the Plan – City Architect and City Engineer
Roads and ring roads, transport and cars
Zoning versus mixed uses
Armada Way and Royal Parade
First buildings: brick and Portland stone. Opening of Dingles. Thomas Tait and the architecture of mass. The architecture of the 1940s/1950s.
The completion of the city centre – New George Street to Mayflower Street
Feature buildings: banks, institutions and the Pannier Market, Guildhall, St. Andrew’s Church. The Civic Centre.
Changes in materials and composition
Sculpture and applied art
- The Abercrombie suburbs
Housing: Louis de Soissons and Hector Stirling
Churches and schools
A38 Parkway and the Tamar bridge
- Completing the Plan and its significance
Completion of the Plan 1962-2000
The significance of the Plan and criticism
British contemporaries: Coventry, Canterbury, Exeter, Hull etc.
European contemporaries: Le Havre, Amiens, Rotterdam (Lijnbaan)
- The Conservation of the Plan
The survival of the Plan
The Mackay Vision 2003
Conservation area and issues
Further reading (bibliography)
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