London – a bit of Brutalism

As you’ll know from my previous post, I’m a big fan of Brutalist architecture and I always look out for it when I travel. As you’d expect, London has plenty of great Brutalist buildings. I usually arrive in town by train at St Pancras station so the first half of this post is a little walk you can do from there, taking in a few classic examples of the genre.

My map here. The map place marks for modern buildings are the little office blocks.

First stop is the Brunswick Centre near Kings Cross which is a mixed shopping and residential development. Opened in 1972, it was put on the National Heritage List for England as a listed Grade II building in 2000. I used to do my grocery shopping here when I lived on nearby Grays Inn Road in the 90s.

Just a few streets away at 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury is the UCL Institute of Education, completed in 1979.

Another Bloomsbury Brutalist classic is the St Giles Hotel on Bedford Avenue.

Just down the road is Centre Point in the West End. Completed in 1966, it was one of London’s first skyscrapers.

My favourite collection of Brutalist buildings are on the Barbican Estate. It houses the Barbican Centre, home of the London Symphony Orchestra and the largest performing arts centre in Europe. Although voted ‘the ugliest building in London’ in 2003, I’d love to own a flat in one of the high rises one day.

There’s heaps more of course, the South Bank Centre and Trellick Tower to mention just a couple, but I can’t find my photos for those. To be continued!

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