16 Oct 2019 - 2 Nov 2019

Our city, like all urban environments, is a consequence of infinite decisions and chance events going back centuries. The architecture we see around us is shaped by macro scale influences such as politics, planning policies and economic fluctuations and at the scale of the individual - the eccentricities of a private client or the flamboyant creativity of a visionary architect.

A whole other very different city could be our experience now were it not for these choices and chance events. We will never know what most of these different versions of Norwich might have looked like. Sometimes however, schemes were developed by clients and designers that came tantalizingly close to existence. From competition entries that didn’t quite make it passed the judges to grand schemes that proved too costly to make it to construction. This unrealised city, this Unbuilt Norwich, often still exists on paper and hard-drives in the form of sketches, plans and elevations.

Public and private archives house a fascinating unbuilt city. This exhibition, with contributions from the archives and architectural practices across the city, has collated a tiny fraction of these unbuilt projects to show the diverse and imaginative proposals that never happened. From the whims of a pre-war architect imagining a bold, futuristic 21st century Norwich to the very serious multiple iterations of the cities landmark spaces and buildings.

We might be glad that some of the projects on display never came to fruition, others we might wish had. All display the extraordinary creativity of the dreamers who made this city we call home what it is.

UNBUILT Norwich forms part of the programme for FANN19