Climbing Great Buildings: Architecture TV

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Climbing Great Buildings

Architecture on Television – BBC 2 TV Series, Britain

8 Sep 2010

Climbing Buildings

Architecture TV series airing on BBC2 in the UK

St Pauls Dome - Climbing Great Buildings
photo from ITN

‘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.

Lloyds of London tower Blenheim House Coventry Cathedral - Climbing Great Buildings
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 - BBC 2 TV Climbing Great Buildings 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 - BBC Climbing Great Buildings TV series Lloyds Building London Layer Marney - Climbing Great Buildings TV programme
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 video

Link to the Climbing Great Buildings show on iplayer:

Glasgow School art Burghley House Caernarfon Castle
images from ITN

Climbing Buildings TV series images / information received 080910

The BBC 2 television series is already airing but coming up are these interesting British structures:

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

Glasgow School of Art

St Pancras

Coventry Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral

British Architecture – Links

English Buildings

English Architect

Architecture Articles – Selection

Architecture Narrative : article by Trevor Tucker. 24 Aug 2010

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

Sustainable Buildings – Building Issues : article by Adrian Welch

Newington Green Road Property, North east London, England, UK
Architects: NK Architects
Newington Green House
image : Robin Hayes
Newington Green Road House

House of Trace
Design: Tsuruta Architects
House of Trace
photo : Tim Croker
House of Trace

Comments / photos for the BBC 2 TV Series on Climbing Buildings page welcome