William Whyte

The Battle of Big Ben

Mr Barry’s War: Rebuilding the Houses of Parliament After the Great Fire of 1834

By Caroline Shenton

Oxford University Press 288pp £25 order from our bookshop

Architects rarely live in houses they have designed themselves. The avant-garde modernist Berthold Lubetkin, for instance, planned the pioneering new town of Peterlee from an old farm in rural Gloucestershire. George Gilbert Scott, that eminent Victorian campaigner for Gothic architecture, designed many of his neo-medieval buildings while living in a well-appointed Georgian terrace. And small wonder, for architects know far better than anyone else just how awful the process of building actually is.

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