What to buy an architect and architecture lover for Christmas? Look no further than the Blue Crow Media gift guide! Here we highlight books and prints from some of our favourite authors, publishers and institutions such as the Barbican and the 20th Century Society – plus don’t forget to gift yourself with our must-have annual limited edition Brutalist Calendar 2023.
Brutalist Britain: Buildings of the 1960s and 1970s
For a life-long resource. This book by the indomitable architecture historian Elain Harwood and published by Batsford positions itself as an authoritative survey of the finest British examples of Brutalism. Representing the post-war landscape and still enduring today, the buildings featured include a wide range including Liverpool’s glorious Metropolitan Cathedral and Arlington House on Margate’s sea front.
Beautiful Brutalism photo book
For your collection. This signed limited edition book by photographer Jo Underhill brings together the first ten years of her ongoing personal photography project, Beautiful Brutalism, which documents brutalist architecture from around the UK. Working with Emily of Stanley James Press again on the book design and with a foreword by the photographer, Jo Underhill.
Walter Gropius, An Illustrated Biography
For a splurge. This visual biography of the life of Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, from Phaidon is a chunky coffee table book packed with images – telegrams, sketches, drawings, photographs, posters, brochures – and stories. Written by Magnus Englund and Leyla Daybelge, the book spans Gropius’ fascinating life story from childhood and his experiences in World War One, to the establishment of the Bauhaus, and his exile from Nazi Germany in London and the US.
The Blue Crow Brutalist Calendar
For the rest of the year. Our limited edition Brutalist Calendar is the gift that keeps on giving – celebrate each month with an awe-inspiring and influential example of Brutalist architecture around the world. Printed with vegetable-based inks on high quality FSC-certified recycled 300gsm paper by one of Europe’s most environmentally progressive family-owned printers, this calendar will provide connoisseurs of concrete with twelve months of Brutalist bliss.
Print of The Worlds End Estate
For the walls. This vivid print of the The Worlds End Estate in London’s Chelsea is part of Oscar Francis’ ‘Modern House London’ collection celebrating some of the most inspiring modernist housing from the 30's to the 70's found in the capital city. Oscar Francis is a London-based studio run by former architect Sarah Evans, an artist working with graphic prints and patterns to communicate the character of Modernist architecture.
Modern Buildings in Britain: A Gazetteer
For a critical perspective. This illustrated guide to modern British architecture published by Penguin is both informative and witty. Author Owen Hatherley applauds the ambition and explores the significance of Modernism in Britain, travelling from Aberystwyth to Aberdeen, from St Ives to Shetland, in search of our most important and distinctive modern buildings. Opinionated analysis accompanies 300 photographs accounting for the social and economic histories behind Brutalism, corporate Modernism, and Ecomodernist experimentation.
Royal Festival Hall Tea Towel
For the kitchen. This linen colourful tea towel from the C20 Society is the perfect functional architecture-inspired accessory. It features the print Festival II by artist Paul Catherall, depicting the Modernist Royal Festival Hall (1951) by Robert Matthew, Leslie Martin and Peter Moro. The tea towel is designed and made in England, and a purchase supports the C20 Society’s campaigns to protect outstanding twentieth century architecture, design and public art.
For a great read. This book by John Grindrod delves into the failures and successes of London’s architecture post-1980, connecting the dots between architecture and politics, and bringing our attention back to the personal stories instead of the ‘glossy corporate histories’ of architecture. Covering projects from the Barratt home to the Millennium Dome, from post-modernism to Passivhaus, Iconicon is a ‘a revelatory architectural grand tour and an endlessly witty and engaging piece of social history.’
Modernist Winter, Barbican Tower greeting card
For a festive greeting. This card illustrated by Stefi Orazi pictures with Barbican’s towers in winter in the snow. Available from the Barbican shop, it is made in the UK, printed using plant-based inks and supplied with a recycled envelope and plastic-free packaging. It’s leaving us feeling very cosy inside.
🎅 Click here to discover discounted maps and more on our gift ideas page. 🎁