1st Edition

Model Britain The Architectural Models of Twentieth Century Dreams

By David Lund Copyright 2025
    244 Pages 19 Color & 113 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 19 Color & 113 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Throughout the twentieth century architectural models served as the miniature playgrounds in which the future of Britain’s built environment was imagined, and in drawing from the evidence provided by those models today, this book considers how architects, planners, and civil engineers thought about that future by presenting a history of yesterday’s dreams of tomorrow, told through architectural models.

    Focused not on the making of architectural models but rather the optimistic and utopian visions they were made to communicate, this book examines the possible futures put forward by one hundred and twenty models made by Thorp, the oldest and most prolific firm of architectural modelmakers in Britain, in order to reveal a century of evolving ideas about how we might live, work, relax, and move. From depictions of unbuilt city masterplans to those of seemingly ordinary shopping centres and motorways, the models featured trace a progression of the architectural, social, political, technological, and economic influences that shaped the design of Britain’s buildings, transport infrastructure, and its towns and cities during a century of relentless change.

    Illustrated with over one hundred and thirty photographs, this book will appeal to academics and historians, as well as anyone with an interest in architectural models and the history of Britain’s twentieth century built environment.


    1. Place

    2. Home

    3. Work

    4. Leisure

    5. Citizenship

    6. Transport

    Conclusion: Model Futures


    David Lund is Senior Lecturer in Modelmaking at Arts University Bournemouth, UK.