Carscapes The Motor Car, Architecture, and Landscape in England Kathryn A. Morrison, John Minnis

Publication date:
15 Jan 2013
Paul Mellon Centre
448 pages: 286 x 241mm
225 color + 75 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

When the motor car first came to England in the 1890s, it was a luxury item with little practical purpose—drivers couldn't travel very far or quickly without paved roads or traffic laws. Thus began a transformation that has affected the architecture, infrastructure, and even the natural environment of the country. Carscapes relates the history of the car's impact on the physical environment of England from its early beginnings to the modern motorway network, focusing especially on its architectural influence.

The authors offer a detailed look at the litany of structures designed specifically to accommodate cars: garages, gas stations, car parks, factories, and showrooms. Presenting a comprehensive study of these buildings, along with highways, bridges, and signage, Carscapes reveals the many overlooked ways in which automobiles have shaped the modern English landscape.

Kathryn A. Morrison and John Minnis are senior investigators at English Heritage.

'Carscapes is a very welcome revisionist blast. […] Carscapes is a magnificent survey of Britain’s (rather mixed) architectural response to the most influential product of the last century.' Stephen Bayley, Architecture Today

'Carscapes a mine of information and a remarkable achievement. It is the result of many years of painstaking research on the part of the authors, who have successfully brought together in one volume an enormous range of interesting material about the way in which the motor car has influenced our built environment from its invention in the late 19th century to the present day.' Automobile

'Our car, our roads [Carscapes argues] aren’t just the means by which we get to see our country: they’ve become a crucial part of the British scene… Morrison and Minnis venture beyond the idea of ‘blight’ to consider the car and its ancillary services calmly and steadily as a defining (and by no means detrimental) influence on modern life.' Michael Kerrigan, The Scotsman

'High readable… This is social history that is easily accessible, enjoyable to read and beautifully illustrated. It also offers a glimpse into England’s motoring future as much as its past.' Octane Magazine

'An important and valuable volume, far from being merely a hand-book for twentieth century architectural historians or a nostalgic ramble for petrol-heads. As one would expect from the combined efforts of the respected publishers and English Heritage, it is superbly produced with excellent old and new photographs as well as with clear and informative maps and diagrams. More significantly, it is readable, scholarly and explains everything in the landscape attributable to the existence of the motor-car between 1890 and 2012.' Christopher Taylor, Landscape

Page spreads