Tuesday, January 31, 2006

BRUNEL - THE LITTLE GIANT: Paddington Station

Brunel's career begins and ends in London.

Richard Wyatt takes a walk beneath the Thames through the world's first underwater tunnel. Isambard undertook this project with his father, Marc. The story of its construction is the stuff of nightmares.

Isambard's career almost ended before it had begun as he was trapped inside the tunnel when it collapsed. Isambard also built another crossing across the Thames. The Hungerford suspension bridge displayed cutting-edge Victorian engineering.

It was also very beautiful. Here Richard reveals the link that connects Hungerford with two more of Brunel's most famous Bridges: the Clifton Suspension and the Royal Albert Bridge across the Tamar.

Paddington station is one of the most beautiful industrial buildings of any era. Richard meets Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, architect of the Eden Project in Cornwall and the new Bath Spa, who is a great fan of Brunel.

Sir Nick won the contract to restore Brunel's station and this gave him a unique view of the man and his work.


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