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Watch Buildings That Shaped Britain online: Episode 8 The Modern Age

Historian Simon Thurley concludes this fascinating series with a look at 20th century architecture. The horrors of World War I stimulated a design revolution that turned its back on history and tradition and went instead for simplicity and functionality. The modernists 'intellectualised' building, indicating that if you lived in a house like this, your life would be better. World War II gave the architectural brutalists an opportunity to demonstrate on a massive scale as German bombing destruction demanded widespread rebuilding of British centres. But ugly high-density towers and modernist structures were clumsy and unworkable solutions.

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