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Shaping London: The patterns and forms that make the metropolis

ISBN: 978-0-470-69996-6
288 pages
December 2009
Shaping London: The patterns and forms that make the metropolis (0470699965) cover image


In this wholly new and dynamic view of London, Farrell looks beyond the contribution of individual buildings to the city. He creates a larger, more exciting frame, charting how the capital’s messy and complex shape has been hewn out of a series of layers – natural and manmade, so the Thames and the natural landscape gets as much attention as the railway infrastructure, the roads and the canals. This provides a whole series of revelations that allow us to see the city afresh: How might the natural bends in the river have impacted where and what was built? How have the Thames’ tributaries affected historic boundaries and development, played out in the estates of Mayfair? How is the Roman plan for the city of London still discernible in today’s street patterns?

Illustrated with original sketches, maps, archive photographs and paintings, this book provides a vibrant and intriguing collage of London’s patterns and its history.


•             The Thames at West London, Central London, Docklands and the Estuary

•             Tributaries

•             Canals

•             Railways

•             The London Underground

•             The natural landscape

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Table of Contents



The River: 'Liquid History'.

Rural Upper Thames.

The Urban Thames.

The Docklands.

Estuary Thames: London's Engine Room.

The Tributaries.

London's Infrastructure: Inventing the Metropolis.



The Tube - London Underground.

London's Roads and Pavements: Emerging Conflicts.

Inner Roads.

Outer Roads.

Pedestrians, Cyclists and Buses.

Occupying the Land.

Landscapes, Parks and Gardens.

Conclusion: London's Urbiculture.

Masterplanning and place-making work by Terry Farrell.

Bibliography by Chapter.


Picture Credits.

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Author Information

Sir Terry Farrell is one of the world's foremost architects and urban planners. Through his imagination has been shaped and inspired by the many cities where he has lived and worked, it is London that he has become most closely associated with. During forty years in practice, Farrell has transformed London's skyline and animated the banks of the Thames with his Charing Cross Station and M16 headquarters buildings. It is, though, through his long-term involvement in London's urban planning - through specific projects, as well as through advocacy and initiating public debate - that Farrell has made his greatest contribution to this great metropolis. He is currently the government champion for the planning of the Thames Gateway Project and the Mayor's architecture and planning lead for the Outer London Commission. He also works with and for many London boroughs and for public and conservation agencies such as English Heritage.

'Britain's best known urban planner, - Evening Standard, 24 July 2009

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Shaping London: The patterns and forms that make the metropolis (US $75.00)

-and- Mathematics of Space (US $45.00)

Total List Price: US $120.00
Discounted Price: US $90.00 (Save: US $30.00)

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