15 April 2008

Disapointing architecture, but not in the north

As somebody with an amateur interest in architecture I was really looking forward to the new series on BBC 2, Dan Cruickshank's Adventures... in Architecture, simply because it has the word "architecture" in the title and having Dan Cruikshank doing the arm waving gives the programme some gravitas.

Sadly it has not so far (after two episodes) lived up to expectations. Again the reason is simple, there is little architecture in it. Instead the programme concentrates on the life styles and habits of different people with means that it is more like the sort of programme that you would like Michael Palin to do.

A much more rewarding look at architecture came from the recent two parter Magnetic North from Jonathan Meades in which he "travels from the flatlands of Flanders to Germany's spectacular Baltic coast in an attempt to decipher exactly what northernness entails."

Not only was this a more interesting, entertaining and intellectual programme but the subject matter, the architecture of northern Europe, is one that particularly interests me. Indeed, the main triumph of the programme was that it explained to me how the architectural style developed and why it appeals. It also added a few more cities to my "must visit" list.

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