London is renowned for its diverse style of architectural designs, ranging from Tudor to Gothic, Georgian to Victorian and many more. The city itself is a magnificent mix of medieval and modern buildings that dot the city landscape. One of the later styles of architecture that flourished in the late fifties and sixties, was what came to be known as the Brutalist style of architecture.
If you are have a passion for exploring diverse styles of architecture, London is the city to visit on your next holiday. If you travel to the city in the tourist off-season, you could save money on accommodation expenses through any of the London hotels deals.
These are on offer at most of the hotels, including luxury hotels in the off-season. A good spot to stay in the city is the area of Paddington in Central London. One of the best hotels in the area in terms of price and facilities is the Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel London. Its location in the centre of the city offers easy access to key attractions, shopping venues and the many restaurants near Paddington station.
Some of the best examples of the Brutalist style of architecture to visit in London are:
One of the prime examples of Brutalism is the Southbank Centre, which is a world-famous destination for arts and culture in the country. It was built in 1951 to commemorate the Festival of Britain. The Southbank Centre is home to numerous venues that include the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Hayward Gallery and the Royal Festival Hall. Each of these host a variety of events at all parts of the year that include musical performances, theatre, variety shows, festivals, educational events and stand-up comedies among a host of other events.
Barbican Centre and Estate:
A Grade II-listed property, the Barbican Centre boasts of being the biggest conference and multi-arts venue in Europe. It is one of the most prominent symbols of Brutalist architecture in the country. The architects were Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and it was developed as a project that was intended to transform the city landscape, after the destruction of World War II. Its construction took over ten years and it was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982. The best way to explore this edifice is by taking a walking tour of the place. With elevated gardens and high-rise towers it is one of the most extraordinary architectural endeavours ever undertaken.
Royal Festival Hall:
The Royal Festival Hall is the largest venue at the Southbank and is a Grade II listed building. Its principal architect was Robert Matthew who was assisted by Peter Muro and Leslie Martin. The use of massive stretches of glass and a brilliant white facade give it an expansive and optimistic feel to it. The wide open interior was designed around staircases that are placed in symmetry with the design drawing inspiration from Nordic architecture. Its restaurants, foyers and bars were designed with an idea of being vast and open to all. This combined with the avant-garde open foyer policy allows access to the public all the days of the week. There are plenty of events held here that include free temporary exhibitions, concerts, plenty of bars and meeting areas.
The gallery is considered to be out of the leading contemporary art galleries in the world. It opened in 1968, with its first exhibition featuring the works of Henri Matisse and since then has played a seminal role in showcasing the art works of some of the world’s foremost artists. The gallery is closed for extensive renovation and is scheduled to be reopened to the public in 2018.
Queen Elizabeth Hall:
Although, the Queen Elizabeth Hall is also closed for renovation, its roof garden is accessible to visitors during the summer and in spring that offers fabulous views of the surrounding skyline. If you are feeling peckish there are a number of food trucks in the area that offer a host of savoury delights. There also are a number of restaurants in the Southbank, where you could enjoy a fine meal after which you could head to the National Theatre to watch a show. A great place to dine on the best of classic English cuisines is the Skylon, which also offers fantastic views over of the Thames.
The Macadam and Strand Buildings:
Located in King’s College across Waterloo Bridge, the King’s College Macadam Building was constructed by Troup, Steele & Scott. They collaborated with consultant E.D. Jefferiss Mathews on the project. Construction of the venue began in 1972 and was completed in 1975. It is home to King’s College Student Union, with six storeys perched atop a two-storey podium. Travel around the corner and on the Strand is the eponymously named Strand Building that is an extension of the college. There are plans afoot to demolish some period properties that are adjacent, to construct a new edifice that will complement the Brutalist style of the building.
It opened in 1976, and was designed by Denys Lasdun. From then it has received a mix reception from the public with some waxing eloquent about the edifice and others harshly critical of the place. In fact in a 2001, poll it was among the top 5 most admired and disliked buildings in the country. While it may come across as a concrete monstrosity externally, when you look at the construction techniques used and the elaborate details, you will develop a new-found admiration for the place. It is one of the most iconic symbols of Brutalism in Britain.
It is located on Fore Street and to arrive here you could saunter along Fleet Street (the legendary former newspaper industry centre), where you will pass St Paul’s Cathedral, till you arrive in Cheapside along the London Wall. It is one of the few remaining post-war livery buildings in London and was designed by Basil Spence. Completed in 1972, it is easily recognisable on account of its unique architecture that features ribbed and knapped concrete. It is a Grade II-listed property that recently was renovated at a cost of £8.5 by the architect De Metz Forbes Knight.