Charlie Luxton, the presenter of this three part series makes a good inital point as he cruises in a stylish motor car past a row of nondescript surburban houses. Why, he asks, do we commonly discuss new cars, but not new houses? The fact is, as he eloquently puts demonstrates, many of our domestic buildings are dull and forumlaic - but there are alternative approaches, as developments in Manchester, Utrecht and, er, Hackney and Sutton, bear witness. "British housing was the envy of the world at the start of this century" he says, but he probably means the last one.
While programmes that instruct viewers on how to ruin a perfectly good room with some MDF and the aesthetic sense of a Barbara Cartland character have hit the heights of popularity, there is little corresponding interest about the way in which houses are built.
The second of these two programmes about modern architecture is entitled "Why developers are ripping us off" and looks at the way in which bland housing has become the norm for developers too lazy to stretch their design criteria.
Written and presented by Charlie Luxton, a man whose disapproval is rendered with the same explosive vigour as his enthusiasm, this programme visits new housing projects that are environmentally sound, efficentin their use of space, attractive and cheap. From the "sprouting apartments" of Montpelier, based on the structure of tree-houses, to the energy saving BedZed Peabody Trust development in Sutton, these buildings represent housing that is modern but not ugly or expensive.
Stalking the cold grey concrete of London's worst housing estates, Luxton points out that architects retreated in shame after the failure of these would-be Utopian mass-housing schemes of the 1960s. With these new projects, argues Luxton, they can now earn back some of the public's respect.
- Old Master
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Not at all bad, if not groundbreaking.
no pun intended).
First programme favoured those "anyway but straight" continually moving, camera angles and too much presenter - not showing the thing you are supposed to see must be the new black.(Anyone who has seen Streetwise or many "youth" oriented holiday shows will know what I mean about the camera angles,- serious Dramamine stuff!).
Last one more watchable without fear of having suddenly to be sick.
Interesting separate but terraced housing from the Netherlands, much self build using industrial technology and that upmarket middle classy eco friendly terrace in the UK country side that turns up regularly.
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