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Brutal London


Brutal London: A Photographic Exploration of the Post-War Modernist Architecture of London
By Simon Phipps

A photographic exploration of the post-war modernist architecture of London.
Finalist for the British Book Design & Production Awards, Photographic Books, Art / Architecture Monographs.

  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 150 × 200mm
  • Pages: 192



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About the Book


‘The image provided by Brutalism, an architecture of sensual extremes, is often an extraordinary and unfamiliar experience for the city explorer. There can be something thrilling about the aggressive and brash vocabulary of board-marked concrete, exposed aggregate, hard-edged brick and heavy sectioned timber, the expressed palette which displays the truth of its materials and a disdain for the frivolous.’

Brutal London presents a new photographic look at a side of the capital which has been ignored for too long. The raw concrete and imposing mass of Brutalist architecture is undeniably part of the fabric of London’s landscape – both visual and social – and part of our urban history. Momentum is now growing to celebrate, reclaim and preserve buildings which were once written off or allowed to decay.

This collection of unique and evocative photography by Simon Phipps casts the city in a new light. Arranged by Inner London borough and with full information on all buildings featured, Brutal London takes in famous examples such as the Trellick Tower, the Brunswick Centre and the Alexandra Road Estate, as well as lesser known housing and municipal spaces. It serves as an introduction to buildings the reader may see every day, an invitation to look differently, a challenge to look up afresh, or to seek our celebrated Brutalism across the capital.

In his new book Brutal London, Mr Phipps expounds upon his clear passion for brutalist architecture, in a collection of his own black-and-white shots of such properties as the Thamesmead development in London (where Mr Stanley Kubrick shot many scenes of his 1971 film A Clockwork Orange) and the Barbican Centre, as well as many under-appreciated properties such as Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, or the Cotton Gardens estate in Kennington, Lambeth. The book, arranged in boroughs with accompanying maps, functions as something of a walking guide to London’s best brutalist buildings, accompanied by thoughtful notes from Mr Phipps that offer convincing, and somewhat romantic interpretations of these buildings’ austere geometry and physical narratives.
– Mr Porter

About the Author


Simon Phipps is a photographer and the creator of the New Brutalism collection of photography on Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter. He is a graduate in sculpture from The Royal College of Art. He grew up in Milton Keynes where his parents were architects involved in the design of the city. He has forthcoming exhibitions of his photography at the Foundry Gallery and The Architectural Association.


September Publishing

September Publishing is an independent publisher of an award-winning list of illustrated and non-fiction books. Founder, Hannah MacDonald started September Publishing in 2014, following a twenty-year career in publishing at Andre Deutsch, Random House and HarperCollins, as well as writing two of her own novels. She specialises in a creative approach to shaping books with debut authors, brands and personalities, and has published multiple top ten bestsellers across memoir, media, sport, history categories. Starting an independent publisher was a natural extension of a life-long, escapist pleasure in buying, reading and – above all – sharing good books.

September focus on books that will expand readers’ worlds, either feeding passionately held interests or inspiring new journeys in literature and art. From the very beginning the publishing house has a clear mission: to be a fair-share publisher. They are determined to ensure that authors receive a fair share in the sales of their books. September are also unusual in that they prioritise creative collaboration – work with the best creatives and consultants.

The September team have always worked remotely, meaning a consistent team and a business whose profits are funnelled back into the books, not into expensive overheads. Since 2014 they have worked alongside some of the most renowned designers in the UK, developed fine new talent via their intern programme, and built careers and long-term publishing programmes with new literary writers, artists and subject experts.

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