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The Landscape and Architecture of British Post-War Infrastructure

Conference, Keynote Address and Field Visit

Manchester School of Architecture in collaboration with The Modernist Society

Supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art


In the post-war period large-scale infrastructural projects were built to match prevailing cultures, economic and political demands. The physically engineered landscapes that were produced signposted the rapid socio-economic and technological development following the cessation of conflict. The effect of such unprecedented and widespread infrastructural projects on both rural and urban landscapes was comparable to the impact of the industrial revolution in the UK. 

The scope of the work not only impacted on the physical landscape, but also the collaborative roles of architecture, landscape architecture, engineering and planning professionals. Co-operation and co-production were key in the British context and this mode of working informed new ideas and methods which in turn produced exceptional landscape compositions.

This multi-disciplinary conference and accompanying keynote event, supported by the Paul Mellon Centre, in collaboration with The Modernist Society, and hosted at the Manchester School of Architecture, will explore the relationships between landscape and architectural design in the production of infrastructure. Over four sessions examining Power, Roads, Urban Infrastructure and Transnational Infrastructure, speakers will explore the form, type, material, topography, composition and the relationships of these topics with the socio-cultural, political and economic settings of the post-war period. 

Tickets can be purchased for all events separately, or there is also a combined ticket.

Conference full abstracts will be uploaded here in the coming weeks...



The Landscape and Architecture of British Post-War Infrastructure

Keynote Address 

Thursday 14th February 2019, 17.30-19.30

BZ403, 4th Floor, Benzie Building, Manchester Metropolitan University


Elain Harwood (architectural historian with the Historic England division of English Heritage; the author of Space, Hope, and Brutalism: English Architecture, 1945-1975; specialist in post-Second World War English architecture)

Hal Moggridge (founding partner of Colvin & Moggridge; former Professor of Landscape Architecture at Sheffield University; past President of the Landscape Institute and commissioner of the Royal Fine Art Commission)



The Landscape and Architecture of British Post-War Infrastructure


Friday 15th February 2019, 09.00-17.30

BZ403, 4th Floor, Benzie Building, Manchester Metropolitan University


Session 1 – Power  

Chair – Dr. Martin Dodge (Manchester)

Juliana Kei – Pylon-Spotting in Architectural Magazines c.1950

Linda Ross – Post-war planning in the nuclear north, 1954-63

Laura Coucill – Magnox: the Legacy of the CEGB

Luca Csepely-Knorr – Landscapes of coal as ‘third nature’


Session 2 – Roads

Chair – Bruno Notteboom (KU Leuven)

Megan McHugh - National Identity, Landscape and the Early Motorway in England

Peter Merriman – Motorway modern: landscape architecture, movement and the aesthetics of roads in post-war Britain

Richard Brook – Scammonden: Landscape Co-production in the Motorway Age


Session 3 – Urban Infrastructures

Chair – Prof. Nick Dunn (Lancaster)

Mike Dring - Wavy Concrete Panels - Cultural Anchors in the Post-War Urban Landscape

Janina Gosseye – Multimodal/Multifunctional Megastructures Reimagining Flows and Nodes in Post-war British New Towns 


Session 4 - Transnational Infrastructure

Chair – Prof. Stephen Graham (Newcastle)

Gary Boyd - Infrastructure in the making of modern Ireland

Neta Feniger and Roy Kozlovsky – The influence of Sir Colin Buchanan on the planning of Tel Aviv 

Awni Kirti Patni – Landscapes of dams in (independent) India 

(Refreshments and lunch will be included in the conference fee.)



The Landscape and Architecture of British Post-War Infrastructure

Field Visit

Saturday 16th February 2019, 09.00-17.30

Meet outside Manchester School of Art, Benzie Building, Boundary St. West

The field visit will take us by coach to Heysham 2 nuclear power station, designed by Powell and Moya and opened in 1981. We will also take in the sights of Forton (Lancaster) Services on the M6 and a few other Lancastrian infrastructural gems. Ticket sales will close 15th January 2019 to enable security protocols for rare access to this site. (NB. lunch is not provided, so please bring your own.)

Earlier Event: February 11
Later Event: March 7
MANCHESTER: Leading the Way?