Over the course of a few decades ending in the mid-’70s, architects such as Erno Goldfinger, Alison and Peter Smithson, and Sir Basil Spence made London a brutalist playground. Forty years later, many of the massive, concrete fortresses erected during this era are obscured in London’s busy architectural skyline, if they aren’t threatened by demolition. Which makes the Brutalist London Map the best way to explore this playground while you can.
The Brutalist London Map is a foldable, 16.5-by-23.5-inch map by Derek Lamberton of Blue Crow Media and Henrietta Billings of the Twentieth Century Society. It contains more than 50 notable examples of London’s Brutalist buildings, and where to find them: Denys Lasdun’s Institute of Education, Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower, and Robin Hood Gardens designed by Alison and Peter Smithson, among many others.
Not only does the map serve as a guide to where Brutalist architecture can be found and who designed it, it’s also a decent explainer on the key tenets of Brutalism and why London embraced it. Brutalism became popular after World War II largely because, in its acceptance of raw unfinished materials like concrete, it was both functional and affordable: an important consideration for a city that had to rebuild after being bombed for years.
Brutalism has since fallen out of favor, and many of the buildings on this map are likely to be destroyed in the next few years. If you’re heading to London soon, take the Brutalist London Map along with you and see them before they’re gone. (And if you’re not? Try playing with some Brutalist paper models instead.)