Climbing Great Buildings: Architecture TV

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Climbing Buildings

Architecture on Television – BBC 2 TV Series, Britain

8 Sep 2010

Climbing Great Buildings

Architecture TV series airing on BBC2 in the UK

‘Climbing Great Buildings’ is showing every night for the next couple of weeks, BBC2 at 6.30pm. Architectural historian Dr Jonathan Foyle (Chief Executive, World Monuments Fund) was a novice climber before he was shown the ropes by Britain’s top female climber, Lucy Creamer. Using industrial rope access techniques they explore British icons like the Lloyds building, Glasgow School of Art, St Pancras and Coventry Cathedral.

St Pauls Dome Lloyds of London tower Blenheim House Coventry Cathedral
images from ITN

From St Paul’s Cathedral to Caernarfon Castle, the series had unprecedented access to the finest buildings in the UK. Remarkably, each agreed to take part, even though many were very fragile structures in poor condition. The riggers (industrial rope access firm Wallwalkers) had their work cut out ensuring the climbing team didn’t damage irreplaceable 500-year-old terracotta on a Tudor building or knock bits off gothic sculptures 240ft up Lincoln Cathedral’s central tower.

St Pancras vault St Pauls Cathedral Dome Lloyds of London Building Climbing Great Buildings Team
images from ITN

The challenge for each programme was to climb to places and positions unreachable by any other means. From a postman’s walk 100ft above the nave of Durham Cathedral to inspect the ribbed vault, to a zip line from the top of the Lloyds building 300ft above the city, the climbs never fail to excite, revealing the hidden glories of the buildings from a unique perspective.

Lloyds Building atrium Liver Building Lloyds Building London Layer Marney
images from ITN

Climbing Great Buildings video from YouTube with an interview with Ian Burton, the camera operator who climbed with Lucy and Jonathan. Ian’s background is in adventure filming:
Climbing Great Buildings

Link to the Climbing Great Buildings show on iplayer:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ts2sg

Glasgow School art Burghley House Caernarfon Castle
images from ITN

Climbing Great Buildings TV series images / information received 080910

The series is already airing but coming up are:

New College Oxford
Layer Marney
Burghley House
St Paul’s Cathedral
Blenheim Palace
Clifton Suspension Bridge
St Pancras
Glasgow School of Art
Liver Building
Coventry Cathedral
Lloyds Building
Imperial War Museum North

BBC TV Architecture – BBC Four Architecture Season, 2016

Structures featured on Climbing Great Buildings

Lloyds Building
Lloyds Building
photo © Adrian Welch

Glasgow School of Art

St Pancras
St Pancras Station
photo © Nick Weall

Coventry Cathedral
Coventry Cathedral
building photo © David Lawson

St Paul’s Cathedral

British Architecture – Links

English Buildings

English Architects

Architecture Articles – Selection

Architecture Narrative : article by Trevor Tucker. 24 Aug 2010

Sustainable Building Design : article by Trevor Tucker. 18 Aug 2009

Sustainable Architecture – Building Issues : article by Adrian Welch

Comments / photos for the Climbing Great Buildings page welcome

Climbing Buildings : page