A London-inspired set piece for the concrete apologist.
Brutalism—that much-misunderstood relic of postwar Modernism—is having a moment. Critics around the world are reconsidering its architectural legacy. England, the birthplace of the movement, has added several Brutalist buildings to its National Heritage List. And, naturally, there is a Tumblr.
Enter this set of paper cut-outs by the Polish design studio Zupagrafika. The “Brutal London” collection showcases five Brutalist landmarks built in the 1960s and 1970s: Aylesbury Estate, Ledbury Estate, Robin Hood Gardens, Balfron Tower, and Space House. Each model is printed on multiple sheets of recycled paper, ready to cut, fold, and assemble into a pint-sized complex, and comes with a brief note on the building’s construction.
Measuring about 14 centimeters in height, these illustrated models don’t loom with institutional menace like the real ones do (or did, in the cases of Aylesbury Estate and Robin Hood Gardens, currently in the process of demolition). But even at this small scale, the buildings retain their stark power.