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Last edited 11 Dec 2020
Architecture maps - review
Published by Blue Crow Media (2016)
Following on from their ‘Brutalist London map’ (reviewed here), the independent publisher Blue Crow Media have expanded their portfolio, with four new architecture maps. Each double-sided map is beautifully designed and presented, and was clearly researched and compiled by enthusiasts.
Regardless of whether you take them out on a walking tour, or simply use them to decorate a coffee table, these are well worth getting hold of.
This gorgeous black-and-silver map details some of the best examples of London’s Art Deco, which flourished in the 1920s and 30s. Art Deco buildings were designed by some of the renowned artists of the time, such as Eric Gill and Serge Chermayeff.
Moscow is perhaps less familiar or documented in terms of its architectural history, and this map highlights many fascinating and intriguing examples of the creative and avant garde Constructivist form.
Typical of the early Soviet era, Constructivism was a rejection of traditional ornamentation and instead embraced geometrical forms, straight lines and angles in a way that inspired the more familiar style of Brutalism.
The reason for this abundance of Brutalism in the post-war era was a substantial renewal strategy for large urban areas as well as a federal government plan to construct new buildings to house its agencies which were not to be identifiable from their architecture. Brutalism, being materially economical and with its raw ambiguity and stark, sometimes imposing, form was seen as the ideal choice.
After Albert Speer’s plans for a Third Reich ‘Germania’ were reduced to rubble by Allied bombing, the city was split in two, resulting in some disparate architectural developments – from the pre-fabricated ‘plattenbau’ social housing to the futuristic Fernsehturm TV tower, and ‘sci-fi Brutalism’ such as the Bierpinsel (see below).
While the post-reunification modernism has its detractors, especially regarding the rebuilt Potsdamer Platz, the map picks out genuinely impressive works from the likes of Peter Eisenman and Norman Foster, which combine to give the impression of an eclectic and engaging architectural city.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural styles.
- Art Deco.
- Brutalist London Map - review.
- Constructivist architecture.
- Danish Architecture Center.
- ‘England’s Post-War Listed Buildings’.
- London by Design - review.
- Owen Hatherley - Landscapes of Communism.
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