Lost Futures : The Disappearing Architecture of Post-War Britain available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Lost Futures : The Disappearing Architecture of Post-War Britain

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'Its incisive, informed introduction is followed by a strong collage of entries on 35 demolished or threatened buildings. Each is illustrated with evocative contemporary photography from the Architectural Press, which presents them at a moment of hope, even expectation' - Icon Magazine

Lost Futures looks in detail at the wide range of buildings constructed in Britain between 1945 and 1979.

This book explores the rise and fall of buildings constructed in Britain between 1945 and 1979. Focusing on 35 varying examples, the book explores 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 their subsequent destruction.

Featuring work by architects such as Erno Goldfinger, Alison and Peter Smithson, Richard Seifert, James Stirling and Basil Spence, Lost Futures provides a vivid illustration of how architecture that was conceived to bring about a bold new future was lost along the way.

  • Author: Owen Hopkins.  Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Education at Sir John Soane's Museum
  • Hardcover: 128 pages | 70 colour illustrations
  • Date published: May 2021
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1910350621
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 18.0  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.' – Rowan Moore, 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.' – John Jervis, Icon Magazine

'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

'Although Britain’s post-war architecture has experienced a resurgence of interest in the past few years, much of it has either been demolished or marked for demolition. Lost Futures focuses on 35 of these structures built between 1945 and 1979, tracking the process from initial idealism to eventual demise'  – Disegno

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