The Rebirth of History (1980-present)

By 1966, memory had secured its triumph. In architectural terms, it found this in the re-expression of brutalist images in the urban forms of the day. Within the year, the great clock on the tower of St Pancras, so symbolic of Victorian time, also, finally, acquiesced. It broke down, and stopped. No one felt motivated to restart it.

St Pancras

However, once this melancholic journey had been completed, and the last black slabs erected, time could be reborn. And, in 1992, time retakes its central position in the City, in the form of an over-sized sundial set into the ground above the Tower Hill Tube station extension, itself a brutalist remnant from the early 1970s. With memory purged, there is place enough for time.

tower hill clock copy

And, for the first time in almost a century, urban forms rooted in florid historicist reference reappear. Mirroring the utopic, almost pre-lapsarian, visions for Hampstead Garden Suburb in 1906, Quinlan Terry added some villas in the early 1990s to the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park:

Regents park villa

The Unreal City of Memory had been completed, the Ideal City of History could be resurrected.