Cologne’s Die Bastei (The Bastion) restaurant looking remarkable by night in the 1930s.  It was built in 1924 and designed by Wilhelm Riphahn, much damaged in WW2 and restored in 1958.

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The East End in captivating colour

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David Granick’s remarkable photos of the streets of London East End have lain unseen in the archives of Tower Hamlets Local History library since his death in 1980. Now unearthed by photographer Chris Dorley-Brown, a selection has been published in book form by Hoxton Mini Press, a what a capivating window into another age it provides.

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These beautifully composed images, and there many more in the book, were almost all shot on Kodachrome 64 film, which adds its own other-worldly colouration to the collection. Highly recommended.

The East End In Colour 1960-1980, by David Granick, is published by Hoxton Mini Press at £16.95.

Brutalism’s brilliant gazetteer

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The editors of this marvellously comprehensive book may
describe brutalist buildings as “concrete monsters” but they do so with an
affection which permeates the whole volume. Following definitions of the
movement’s three phases, a series of short illustrated essays look at the history
and appeal today of brutalism, and its remarkable flowering from the 1950s
onwards in general and specific areas such as church building, university campuses,
and even Japanese town halls.

All of that would constitute a slim but
satisfying book on its own. But then come the next 450 pages, examining 120
brutalist buildings in detail from 12 global regions. This magnificent survey, brilliantly
illustrated with photos and plans is not only a gazetteer of the best of the world’s
brutalist buildings, but also a call to action. As the editors note, there are
no agreed preservation routines for structures such as these and the genesis of SOS Brutalism was the idea of
creating a ‘red list’ of brutalist buildings at risk. Not all of those featured
are under threat by any means, but a persuasive case is made time and again to
preserve the best.

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Great Britain and Germany are heavily featured as you might
expect, but there is a great deal of pleasure to be had in seeing how the style
flowered in Africa, India or the Middle East. You  can open this book at almost any page and find
something wondrous – not least Khalil Khoruy’s Interdesign Showroom in Beirut,
or the Palace of the Arts in Tashkent.

A comprehensive database is included listing some 986
further buildings, noting those under threat and those, alas, already demolished.

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SOS Brutalism is
published by Park Books at €68 and includes a companion volume of
papers presented at the Berlin brutalism symposium of 2012. An exhibition with
the same title is currently running at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in
Frankfurt, and the campaigning side of SOS Brutalism is represented on this website.

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