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Hackney’s brutalist architecture showcased in new book

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:00 11 January 2017

The De Beauvoir Estate. Picture: Simon Phipps / Extracted from Brutal London by Simon Phipps.

The De Beauvoir Estate. Picture: Simon Phipps / Extracted from Brutal London by Simon Phipps.

Archant

You’ve probably walked past these buildings – and ignored them – dozens of times. But photographer Simon Phipps feels it’s time we started to celebrate the post-war brutalist architecture that is all over the capital.

Shoreditch Fire Station. Picture: Simon Phipps / Extracted from Brutal London by Simon Phipps. Shoreditch Fire Station. Picture: Simon Phipps / Extracted from Brutal London by Simon Phipps.

His new book, Brutal London, showcases some of the better-known examples, like the Trellick Tower and the Barbican Estate, as well as lesser-known housing sites, schools and buildings.

Simon, who runs the New Brutalism accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, wants people to look at the designs in a new light as an important part of London’s urban history. Brutalist architecture flourished from the 1950s to the 1970s and was used by governments across the world. Its imposing and uncomfortable designs were seen as a reaction by the younger generation to the optimism of their parents’ age. If you’re looking for an example close to home, there’s plenty of them.

The Arden Estate. Picture: Simon Phipps / Extracted from Brutal London by Simon Phipps. The Arden Estate. Picture: Simon Phipps / Extracted from Brutal London by Simon Phipps.

There’s the Arden Estate in Hoxton Road, built between 1968 and 1972; the Crown Estate in Victoria Park Road, built in 1966; and the De Beauvoir Estate, built over 10 years from 1965.

There’s also Shoreditch Fire Station in Old Street, which Geoffrey Horsfall designed for the LCC architects’ department and was built in 1964. Three years later work started on the new Clissold Park School, now named Stoke Newington School.

Clissold Park School. Picture: Simon Phipps / Extracted from Brutal London by Simon Phipps. Clissold Park School. Picture: Simon Phipps / Extracted from Brutal London by Simon Phipps.

Brutal London is out now on September Publishing at £14.99.

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