On this walk we’ll follow the boundary between the old London boroughs of Finsbury and Shoreditch to see and compare how companies and institutions of the 1930s used architecture to make it clear that they were part of the motivational zeitgeist of that time.
The Jazz Age designs of the early 20th century were about breaking boundaries – out with the old and in with the new – a movement towards a brighter future, a clean, uncluttered world, leaving behind the fussy flounces and flourishes of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, looking to a brave new tomorrow.
But it’s taken decades for us to reach this level of appreciation. Consider that at the time of their construction, not everyone would have been happy to live opposite a glass, metal and concrete façade – many people must have found it rather shocking.
And then in the 1960s and 70s many magnificent examples of that era were demolished without fanfare. Today we’d be cleaning them up and converting them into hotels or luxury apartments.
We'll also look at some modern buildings that echo the stylised designs of the 1930s and we’ll consider whether they too will stand a similar test of time.