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Additional Book Information

Series: Notting Hill Editions
ISBN: 9781912559510
Pages: 176
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

From Notting Hill Editions

Modern Buildings in London

by Ian Nairn, introduction by Travis Elborough

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As one of the few architectural critics to eschew purely aesthetic modes of analysis, Ian Nairn’s timeless books on modern urban cities have been hailed as some of the most significant writing about contemporary Britain, while also being praised as alternative “guidebooks” for curious travellers. First published in 1964, Modern Buildings in London celebrates the character of buildings that were immediately recognisable as “modern” in 1964, many of which were not the part of the well-known landscape of London but instead were gems that Nairn stumbled across.

Written “by a layman for laymen,” Nairn’s take on modern design includes classic buildings such as the Barbican, the former BBC Television Centre and the Penguin Pool at Regent’s Park Zoo as well as schools, old timber yards, ambulance stations, car parks and even care homes.


To call Ian Nairn a great architectural writer is too restrictive; he was a great writer who happened to write about buildings and places.
Irish Times

Once you discover [Nairn] you want to read everything he’s written.
Daily Telegraph