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Brutal London


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

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.

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