It's that time of year where we send our Christmas lists off to Santa, so we thought we would do a quick gift guide for the modernist at heart. Most of the books featured were published this year, but we have also included a few from 2019 that we missed at the time.
First up is Luke Agbaimoni’s The Tube Mapper Project, a wonderful photographic journey around the tube network, capturing the hidden beauty of the underground world we all travel through but seldom notice. The project takes in Underground, Overground and DLR stations, and features poetry inspired by the tube and the city it serves. Luke also has Tube Mapper 2021 calendars available, both book and calendars can be purchased HERE
Mark Amies is a writer and broadcaster who is a regular feature on Robert Elms BBC London Radio show. Out of his appearances grew London’s Industrial Past, an exploration of the factories that were once the backbone of the capitals manufacturing industry. In the first half of the 20th century every neighbourhood had a factory, producing everything from biscuits to aircraft. Featuring archive images and illustrations, it's the perfect gift for the local history enthusiast. The book is available HERE
Moving northwards, Brutal North: Post War Architecture in the North of England is the new book from Simon Phipps, the man behind the Brutal London and Concrete Poetry books. The book focuses on the post war concrete buildings of the north, with buildings such as the Park Hill Estate in Sheffield and Preston Bus Station shown in all their glory through Simon’s powerful monochrome imagery. The book can be bought HERE
Lukas Novotny published the excellent Modern London book last year, illustrating the capital architecture from the 1920s right through to the present day. Lukas also has a range of gifts available, from christmas cards to bookmarks to illustrations, perfect for the design buff in your life (even if that's you). All of them can be found HERE
If you want to explore some Modernist neighbourhoods (more of which later..). Stefi Orazi has been producing a set of walking guides over the last 6 months, covering the best places to wander and see some of the best modernist architecture. So far, the guides cover Highgate, Hampstead, Archway & Belsize Park, Brussels, Blackheath and Bloomsbury to Barbican via Barnsbury. The guides are available individually or as a set which can be gift wrapped). Get them, and much more from Stefi’s site HERE
If you like maps and want something further afield, Blue Crow Media have you covered. Their architecture and design maps take in everywhere from Chicgao to Tbilisi, via our own capital. You can see the full selection HERE.
For the post war architectural devotee, two books published this year may be of interest. Richard Seifert: British Brutalist Architect by Dominic Bardbury chronicles the career of Seifert and explores 12 of his most famous buildings from Centre Point to the Natwest Tower. The other book is The Architectural Association in the Post War Years by Patrick Zamarian, an exploration on the role of the Architectural Association in the forming of post war architecture in Britain. Architects such as Neave Brown, Richard Rogers, Ted Cullinan, Nicholas Grimshaw, and nany, many more attanted or taught there, making it a crucible of design and ideas.
If you want to get the architecturally minded in your circle something truly important, then what could be better than membership to the 20th Century Society? The C20 have been dedicated to saving, publicizing and exploring the buildings and design of 20th Century Britain and beyond. Becoming a member means you will relieve the C20 Magazine a few times a year plus their annualish C20 Journal, discounts on a range of talks and tours, and most importantly the knowledge that your money is helping preserve the architecture you love. You can also purchase their book 100 20th-Century Gardens and Landscapes, featuring a contribution from yours truly!
Of course we can’t end with mentioning our own Guide to Modernism in Metro-Land. If you haven't got it already, we think it is the essential guidebook to discovering the modernist treasures of London’s suburbs. Featuring chapters on 9 London Boroughs and 2 counties plus maps, descriptions of each building and colour photographs. You can get your copy HERE.
Whatever you get and give, we hope you all have a happy and safe Christmas!
All these books, plus a few others, can be seen on our Bookshop.org page HERE