Three hundred and fifty years ago this fall, the Great Fire of London devastated England's capital city, destroying 13,000 houses and 84 churches in a blaze that lasted four days. Tomorrow, a new exhibit at the Royal Institute of British Architects imagines the different paths London's reconstruction could have taken.
Creation from Catastrophe: How Architecture Rebuilds Communities begins with alternative plans for the city after the Great Fire of 1666--for visitors to enjoy a few what-ifs and what-could-have-beens for one of the world's most beloved metropolises. From the press release: "The original drawings for five different plans for rebuilding London will be presented, showing the differing ideas of the time for rebuilding the city."
Take a look at architect Sir Christopher Wren's vision for the city with wide boulevards and plazas.
Does the design below look familiar to you Americans? Robert Hooke's design for London contained a more orderly grid design--like many of America's relatively younger cities.
Richard Newcourt's design, the ultimate grid, thankfully never had the chance to rob the city of its character, though following directions would have been a snap.
All of these plans and more can be seen alongside never-realized dreams for places like Chicago after its great fire, Lisbon after its earthquake, and even Hoboken after the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.
The exhibit opens on January 27 and will run until April 24, 2016. Visit the Royal Institute of British Architects for more information.