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The Brits Who Built the Modern World exhibition in London
February 10, 2014

The Brits Who Built the Modern World RIBA LondonIn February 2014 the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will open a brand new gallery at its Art Deco headquarters in central London. The opening exhibition, The Brits Who Built the Modern World, will tell the story of how a single generation of exceptional architects – born within five years of each other in the 1930s – gave 21st Century British architecture an unrivalled reputation around the world.
Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Nicholas Grimshaw, Michael and Patty Hopkins and Terry Farrell have designed many of the world’s landmark buildings, from the Reichstag in Berlin to the Pompidou Centre in Paris and The Peak in Hong Kong. What unites these six architects is that they left European modernism behind and became protagonists of the next movement in architecture, known as ‘high-tech’ or ‘industrial style’. Their inspiration came from cars, Meccano and engineers. They replaced typically modernist concrete with steel skeletons and lightweight, ‘clip on’, prefabricated materials. It was a style that each of them developed individually, but which they all successfully exported, turning it and them into a global commodity.
The exhibition also explores the changing identity of cities internationally: landmark buildings were increasingly commissioned to ‘brand’ or regenerate a city and few architects were more popular for the role than the six featured in the exhibition.
 
 
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