'With intriguing descriptions placed adjacent to the photographs, as well as locations, architects and photo credits, the book acts as a complete itinerary of brutalist-inspired designs. For both nostalgia and posterity, the text is informative and, at the same time, emotive' - Aesthetica
Lost Futures: The Disappearing Architecture of Post-War Britain explores the rise and fall of buildings constructed in Britain between 1945 and 1979 that reflected the deep-rooted belief in architecture’s capacity to build a better world.
Through 35 examples, Author Owen Hopkins highlights the ideas and values that shaped these buildings' creation – and how changing external contexts, whether social, economic or political, as well as the buildings’ own internal characteristics, played a part in the subsequent demise and destruction of these ‘concrete monstrosities’.
The buildings featured range from the familiar, such as Robin Hood Gardens in London, Park Hill in Sheffield, Red Road Estate in Glasgow and Birmingham Central Library, to the lesser known, such as the Brynmawr Rubber Factory in Wales.
The book was published in tandem with Futures Found: The Real and Imagined Cityscapes of Post-war Britain, an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts’ architecture gallery.
- Author: Owen Hopkins, Manager of the Architecture Programme, Royal Academy
- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Date published: February 2017
- Language: English
- ISBN: 978-1910350621
- Product Dimensions: 23 x 17 cm
'Lost Futures … shows buildings that were awkward, cussed and sometimes unsaveable, but also majestic, romantic and unrepeatable, like the Trinity Square car park in Gateshead, Pimlico school in London and Birmingham central library. It’s hard not to feel, contemplating these works, that a layer of British history is being filleted away and that the evidence is being removed of a heroic period in British architecture' – The Observer
'Architectural writers need to accept that postwar architecture is now history, and if we are indeed to ‘learn lessons’, we need to research and understand it as such. It is to Hopkins’s great credit that, by and large, he succeeds in this admirable first attempt' - Icon
'Lost Futures … is a visual treat. In this 128-page book, author Owen Hopkins explores the rise of 35 buildings, which were constructed between 1945 and 1979, and also examines how social, economic and political factors contributed to their destruction - from Park Hill Estate in Sheffield to Hulme Crescents in Manchester. This was a period when many believed that architecture and innovative design could pave the way for a better future, and now thanks to Hopkins's contribution we have a record of the movement before it's razed. Featuring works by renowned architects such as Erno Goldfinger and Peter Smithson, Lost Futures is a must-read for all history and design buffs.' - GQ
'With intriguing descriptions placed adjacent to the photographs, as well as locations, architects and photography credits, the book acts as a complete itinerary of brutalist-inspired designs. For nostalgia and posterity, the text is informative and, at the same time, emotive.' - Aesthetica
'The journey from construction to demolition is charted by Owen Hopkins in Lost Futures: The Disappearing Architecture of Post-War Britain, a book which offers neither an attack or eulogy, but a balanced presentation of thirty-five post-war buildings built between 1945 and 1977 which are all now scheduled for destruction or major alteration' - The Courtauldian