Space, Hope, and Brutalism


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English Architecture, 1945–1975

Elain Harwood

View Inside Format: HC - Paper over Board
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This is the first major book to study English architecture between 1945 and 1975 in its entirety. Challenging previous scholarship on the subject and uncovering vast amounts of new material at the boundaries between architectural and social history, Elain Harwood structures the book around building types to reveal why the architecture takes the form it does. Buildings of all budgets and styles are examined, from major universities to the modest café. The book is illustrated with stunning new photography that reveals the logic, aspirations, and beauty of hundreds of buildings throughout England, at the point where many are disappearing or are being mutilated.
Space, Hope, and Brutalism offers a convincing and lively overview of a subject and period that fascinates younger scholars and appeals to those who were witnesses to this history.

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Elain Harwood is Senior Architectural Investigator at English Heritage and is a Trustee of the Twentieth Century Society. 

“Her technical expertise is formidable, the research is thorough and she mostly avoids jargon. Altogether it is an astonishing achievement”—David Kynaston, Spectator

“This is a book for stylists, hipsters and anyone with an enquiring mind, as solid, chunky an austerely beautiful as a slab of shuttered concrete”—Ruth Guilding, Evening Standard

Space, Hope and Brutalism has done a job that needed doing, and it’s hard to see how it could have been done better.”—Alan Powers, Country Life

“In short, the book is set to become a standard work of reference for any student of its subject…a phenomenal corpus of information that is certain to inform ongoing debate… the post-war heritage deserves to be recorded and much of it needs Harwood’s admirable championing.”—Kenneth Powell, Art Newspaper 

“Elain Harwood’s magisterial Space, Hope & Brutalism offers us a chance to recapture some of the excitement felt during modernism’s high noon. It also allows us to reconnect this architecture with the social projects of which it was a central part. The book is enormous and comprehensive, mirroring some of the megastructural scale and bloody-minded ambition of its subject… Buy this book and learn to appreciate our built inheritance from an extraordinary time in British history”—Otto Saumarez Smith, Apollo

"Virtually every page is a visual delight and makes you fall in love again with buildings you already know, or immediately want to visit buildings you don’t know"—Eddy Rhead, The Modernist

“…outstanding on architectural family trees and provisional alliances. The sixty pages of biographies at the end of the book are absolutely invaluable... This book is a deflected history of that far-off era before frivolity, greed, instant gratification and accessibility came to be venerated and became manifest in the garish boasts that rise all around us.”—Jonathan Meades, Literary Review

“It is a superb resource, a new and elevated datum in the subject… her richly detailed presentation of an extraordinary range of buildings is itself a compelling argument: for the historical and cultural importance of post-war architecture, and the value of preserving it.”—Robert Proctor, The Tablet

“Brutalism may seem hard to love, but Harwood's mammoth survey of postwar English architecture makes a persuasive case for this modernist project . . . Essential reading for all students of modern English architecture.”—W. S. Rodner, Choice

“It has taken the author 18 years of research to complete this book. The result is beautifully written, well-illustrated and fully referenced. The author’s love for the buildings and their architects is evident throughout… I have no doubt many of us will find this an invaluable and inspirational resource.”—Annabel Downs, Garden Design Journal

“It is hard to imagine it being surpassed in comprehensiveness: the brief architects’ biographies at the end of the book alone are an invaluable resource… The overriding spirit of this book is ultimately one of optimism and generosity, of Harwood taking a lifetime’s knowledge and passion and making it available to the general reader in a book that will remain the standard work on the subject for years to come.”—Owen Hopkins, Burlington

“[S]plendid . . . Harwood far outdoes all previous contributions in terms of length and breadth, based on her relentless study of all conceivable sources . . .”—Stefan Muthesius, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

“Her judgements are well considered, the historical detail is abundant, and the photographs by James Davies are remarkable in their often eerie glamour”—Owen Hatherly, London Review of Books
ISBN: 9780300204469
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
736 pages, 9 1/2 x 11 1/4
340 color + 8 b/w illus.

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