Dan Cruickshank

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A Brief Biography of

Dan Cruikshank


Dan Cruickshank (born 26 August 1949) is an architectural historian and television presenter, currently working for the BBC, and lives in Spitalfields, London. As a young child he lived for some years in Poland. His father was a journalist based in Warsaw. On a holiday with his family he visited the delightful square in Krakow and it was there he fell in love with architecture. He has a daughter.


Professional career


Cruickshank holds a BA in Art, Design and Architecture and was formerly a Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Sheffield and a member of the London faculty of the University of Delaware. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgian Group and on the Architectural Panel of the National Trust.


He has served as Historic Buildings Consultant for Robert Adam Architects since 1999 and has been involved in the repair and restoration of many historical buildings including Spencer House in St James’s, Heveningham Hall in Suffolk and numerous early eighteenth century houses in Spitalfields and other parts of London.


His professional publications include London the Art of Georgian Buildings, The National Trust and Irish Georgian Society Guide to the Georgian Buildings of Britain and Ireland and ‘’Life in the Georgian City’’. He edited the 20th edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s History of Architecture and Timeless Architecture: a study of key buildings in architectural history and is a contributing editor to Architects’ Journal, The Architectural Review and Perspectives on Architecture.


Television work


Cruickshank began his career with the BBC as consultant, writer and presenter on the architectural programmes One Foot in the Past and The House Detectives. He also contributed films to the Timewatch and Omnibus strands.


In 2001 he wrote and presented the series Invasion in which he examined attempts and plans to invade Britain and Ireland over the years by exploring coastal fortresses and defensive structures around the coast of the country to discover their military heritage.


Further series included Britain's Best Buildings examining architecturally- or culturally-significant buildings in Great Britain,Under Fire visiting museums and buildings in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel to see how recent warfare has affected the country's historic artefacts, and What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us focusing on the scientific, technological and political changes of the 19th century.


In 2003, Cruickshank presented a documentary entitled Towering Ambitions: Dan Cruickshank at Ground Zero following the debate and discussion that led to the selection of Daniel Libeskind's design for the World Trade Center site in New York City; while in 2005 he presented a documentary on the Mitchell and Kenyon collection - a set of rolls of nitrate film taken in the early 20th century, depicting everyday life in Britain, which were discovered in 1994 in Blackburn.


Perhaps his greatest success to date came with Around the World in 80 Treasures, charting Cruickshank's five-month trip around the world to visit eighty man-made artefacts or buildings that he has selected, in order to chart the history of mankind's civilisation. A BBC television series and book, first broadcast in 2005.


In 2006, Cruickshank presented "Marvels of the Modern Age", a series focusing on the development of modernism in design, from Greek and Roman architecture, to Bauhaus and the present.


Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture, a 2008 series in which he travelled around the world visiting what he considered to be the world's most unusual and interesting buildings.