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Glasgow’s mid-century architecture is being celebrated with a new book encouraging people to take a fresh look at some of the city’s brutalist buildings.
BRAW CONCRETE showcases some of the most iconic - if divisive - sites of the city, seeking to capture the spirit of everyday life in Glasgow through its architecture.
The book takes a journey from east-to-west and through central-Glasgow, with a collection of photographs and text that give an insight into the creation and significance of mid-century architecture to the city.
Stakis Ingram Hotel, Wolfson Centre, Empire House and Savoy Centre all feature, alongside the Bourbon Building, Kentigern House, Queen Margaret Union, Adam Smith Building, Rankine Building and Hillhead Library.
Following on from the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 26, which Glasgow played host to a year ago, BRAW CONCRETE also calls into question the environmental consequences of the city being pressured to demolish some of these perfectly serviceable buildings, which would have lasted thousands of years - all due to their aesthetic.
BRAW CONCRETE is co-authored by Glasgow-based architect Alan Stewart, director at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, who studied at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, and Peter Halliday, writer, photographer, and enthusiast of post-war architecture.
It is being published by The Modernist Society, a creative project dedicated to celebrating and engaging with twentieth century architecture, through publishing, events, exhibitions and creative collaborations.
Co-author Peter Halliday comments: “If you were to wander down a Glasgow street and pick a few people at random, it is unlikely that any of them would hold much affection for the city’s post-war concrete buildings. Yet, Glasgow is home to some of the most audacious and courageous architecture of the mid-century era.
“The architects who designed these buildings believed that, through their work, they were putting in place the institutions and infrastructure that would befit a modern, progressive city. This book encompasses the spirit of optimism that gave birth to these buildings. It was all about building a better world – literally.”
Jack Hale, Co-founder of the Modernist Society, says “Brutalist architecture can be divisive, but there’s no denying that these buildings are unique, original, and a significant part of Glasgow’s heritage. Whatever you may think of them, you would have to agree that the book itself is a thing of beauty and a fitting tribute. We hope it helps people to appreciate the value of this period of Glasgow’s architectural history.”
Braw Concrete is available to pre order from 4th of November
Notes to editors:
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About The Modernist Society:
Founded as The Manchester Modernist Society in 2009 by Jack Hale, Eddy Rhead and Maureen Ward, The Modernist Society is a creative project dedicated to celebrating and engaging with twentieth century architecture, through publishing, events, exhibitions and creative collaborations.
Publishing arm 'the modernist' was established in 2011, initially publishing as a quarterly printed magazine. the modernist is now developing into a small press, publishing limited editions about 20th century architecture and design. The editor of the modernist is Ashiya Eastwood.
The Modernist Society enjoys the support of its excellent Patrons: Jonathan Meades and Johnny Marr. The Modernist Society is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.