Brutalist London Map - review
Published by Blue Crow Media, November 2015
Brutalism as an architectural style has undergone something of a reappraisal over recent years. Trellick Tower, the Barbican and the Park Hill Estate in Sheffield have all been celebrated as leading examples of a post-war aesthetic that sought functionality over form, bold geometries that reflected the Le Corbusier-inspired futurism of new urban design.
Castigated and demonised over the decades by the press, such estates became synonymous with social deprivation and criminality, not to mention being used as the backdrop for any cinematic dystopia from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ to ‘Harry Brown’, brutalism has struggled to shrug off its negative connotations.
While many of the sites included on Blue Crow Media’s new London map have been given listed status, recent years have seen the demolition of iconic sites such as the Heygate Estate and Gateshead’s ‘Get Carter car park’, often in the face of strong public opposition, indicating that the verdict is still out on whether brutalism can be openly appreciated, if only from a sense of nostalgia.
The first of a new series of architectural guides by the independent publisher of maps and digital apps Blue Crow Media, ‘Brutalist London Map’ is well designed and presented, and has space to include a concise introduction from Henrietta Billings of the Twentieth Century Society.
Leaving aside the usual suspects such as the National Theatre and Balfron Tower, the map serves as a welcome reminder of striking buildings that have perhaps been forgotten, from the Welbeck Street Multi-Storey Car Park to Brixton Recreation Centre, as well as those that, were they not so prominent, might well deserve to be forgotten, such as the Hyde Park Barracks building.
The re-evaluation of, and renewed interest in, brutalism as a feature of Britain’s modern architectural history is surely welcome, and ‘Brutalist London Map’ is a must-have for anyone with even a passing interest in the variety of style and ideas in the built environment.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural styles.
- British post-war mass housing.
- Charles Waldheim - Landscape as Urbanism: A General Theory.
- Danish Architecture Center.
- 'England's Post-War Listed Buildings'.
- Erno Goldfinger.
- Habitat 67.
- James Crawford - Fallen Glory.
- Last Futures: Nature, Technology and the End of Architecture.
- London by Design - review.
- Owen Hatherley interview.
- Owen Hatherley - Landscapes of Communism.
- Sink estate regeneration plans.
- Trellick Tower.
Featured articles and news
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.
Read our introductory article on carbon capture and storage.