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Brutalism: Post-War British Architecture [Hardcover]

Alexander Clement
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Jan 2011
The term Brutalism is used to describe a form of architecture that appeared, mainly in Europe, from around 1945 - 1975. Uncompromisingly modern, this trend in architecture was both striking and arresting and, perhaps like no other style before or since, aroused extremes of emotion and debate. Some regarded Brutalist buildings as monstrous soulless structures of concrete, steel and glass, whereas others saw the genre as a logical progression, having its own grace and balance.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The Crowood Press Ltd (20 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847972306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847972309
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 19.7 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Alexander Clement is a design historian whose interest in architecture began at school and intensified while studying the history of art at Staffordshire University, where he developed a particular interest in twentieth century building. After graduating Alexander maintained his interest, photographing buildings in the UK and overseas. He has worked as a museum curator and fine art auctioneer specializing in ceramics and Asian art since 1994, and has written on various aspects of design history for the Oxford New Dictionary of National Biography and Antiques Magazine amongst other publications. He is a member of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can a book on ugly builds be beautiful? 1 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase
These buildings are dreaded and degraded through the UK as Ugly and "carbuncles". However this book shows then in a new light. With lavish photographs and well written text that covers the design and the desginer behind the build its just a stunning view of buildings that normal are thought of eyesores.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book on 'ugly' buildings !?!?! 11 Feb 2011
When I saw the book advertised on a email mailshot I was intrigued. Where I live we have a love hate building, Brutalist in style, but I knew very little of the whole thing. I decided that I must get the book. I eagerly awaited delivery and as soon as it arrived I opened the covers and absorbed the contents; which is well written and beautifully described. Although friends asked why would I want a book on 'ugly' buildings I can only say once I read the book I no longer think they are ugly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity 2 Dec 2012
This is rather a disappointing book. Rather than looking at the theories underpinning this strand of post-war architecture it superficially says that it is about ethics and then offers a gazetteer of a disparate collection of buildings some of which may be important in the development of this strand and some which could not really be called brutalist at all ( Coventry Cathedral?).

It virtually ignores many of the more important buildings of the period such as the Park Hill flats in Sheffield which was the closest built example of Team X and the Smithsons' housing theory while highlighting a number of early 1970's buildings which, while interesting, are not particularly important examples.

There some inaccuracies such as the suggestion that the rear of the Festval Hall could be seen a precursor of brutalism whilst the elevation that he pictures was a result of the refacing and extension of the building in the 1960's and therefore could not influence a style with its origins in the 1950's.

The book could have worked a record of a period of building that has been under threat of demolition since fashions have changed but the photographs are not all that good and there are no drawings to back them up. All in all a lost opportunity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking journey 12 Feb 2013
By H. Hill
Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase
Alexander Clement's book Brutalism is a thought provoking journey into the subject of Brutalist Architecture. You find yourself being drawn into the discussion and by the end you recognise the endearing qualities of many of the buildings. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Architecture, construction, facilities management or aesthetics. It contains excellent source material for students.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 28 Oct 2012
By Owen
Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a bit of an amateur effort in my opinion. Some interesting buildings chosen as case studies of the most misunderstood movement in architecture but the text doesn't really shed much light on the ethic/aesthetic behind the buildings or give you any sense of how they work for the people who use them. I also have a big issue with the photographs which seem to come from the author's personal collection and are really no better than point and shoot holiday shots - often half the buildings are obscured by shade and none show the interior of buildings which are not open to the public. Overall, not great.
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