The Disappearing Post-War Britain’s Architecture in Pictures

Starting a Fresh

During the early post war years the world changed dramatically. America was established as the world’s super power and the UK’s former territories of the commonwealth had well established their independence. Britain’s Empire State was in conflict with a new age. Expectations and attitudes were shifting and the whole world was in the grip of a massive drive to modernise.

After the war, Britain needed to convince the world that they were still in the driving seat on the world’s journey for what was to come. In 1951, the Festival of Britain exhibition offered Britons who had experienced a rationed and weary number of war-torn years a glimpse of a better future through new architecture, design and audacious feats of engineering. It had a huge influence on British society, kick starting a process of state-led reconstruction and renewal across the UK.

In Pictures
Pimlico Secondary School, Lupus Street, Westminster, London, 1971
Built: 1970, Demolished 2010.
Architect: John Bancroft for Greater London Council, Department of Architecture and Civic Design
Tricorn Shopping Centre, Portsmouth, Hampshire, 1965
Built: 1965. Demolished 2004.
Architect: Owen Luder Partnership
Detail of Trinity Square, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, 1967
Built 1967. Demolished 2010.
Architect: Rodney Gordon for Owen Luder Partnership
ueen Elizabeth Square, Hutchesontown C, Gorbals, Glasgow, 1965
Built 1965. Demolished 1993.
Architect: Sir Basil Spence.
David Lister High School, Hull, 1965
Built 1965. Demolished 2012.
Architects: Lyons, Israel & Ellis
Cockenzie Power Station, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Lothian, 1971
Built 1967. Demolished 2015.
Architect: Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall & Partners
Park Hill Estate, Sheffield, 1961
Built 1961. Currently undergoing extensive redevelopment, first phase was completed in 2011.
Architect: Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith for Sheffield Corporation City Architect’s Department








Red Road Flats, Balornock, Glasgow, c.1969
Built 1969. Final six point blocks demolished in October 2015
Architects: Sam Bunton & Associates
Hulme Crescents, Manchester, 1972
Built 1972. Demolished 1994.
Architect: Hugh Wilson and J. Lewis Womersley








All photography by RIBA Collections and their respective photographers

Our Recommended Read

Author Owen Hopkins  has explored the rise of 35 buildings, which were constructed between 1945 and 1979, and has examined how social, economic and political factors contributed to their destruction or regeneration – from Park Hill Estate in Sheffield to Hulme Crescents in Manchester. This was a period when many believed that architecture and innovative design could pave the way for a better future, and now thanks to Hopkins’s contribution we have a record of the movement before it completely disappears. Featuring works by renowned architects such as Erno Goldfinger and Peter Smithson, Lost Futures: The Disappearing Architecture of Post-War Britain is a 128-page visually pleasing must-read for all interested in history and design. Click on the image below for information.

Lost Futures: The Disappearing Architecture of Post-War Britain by Owen Hopkins
Published by the Royal Academy of Arts, 18 February 2017, £12.95 hardback