Postcards from a Peckham Car Park

On Friday August 19th The Modernist Magazine set up our stall A.P.O. a new indie publishing fair as part of Bold Tendencies at the top of a car park in Peckham.. here's what it all looked like.


Exhibition by Simon Phipps at the Foundry Gallery - 9 september - 27 october 2016

"Any piece of architecture worth being called architecture is usually both hated and loved"  Rodney Gordon – Architect ‘The Tricorn’, Portsmouth UK.

What do you think of when you hear the architectural term ‘Brutalism’? Love these concrete monolithic buildings or hate them the artist and photographer Simon Phipps is ready to challenge all your preconceptions of the Brutalist building in his solo exhibition in London: BÉTON BRUT. Simon Phipps has spent the last 15 years photographing and documenting Brutalist and buildings in the UK, creating a survey of photographic images that demonstrate the breadth of this contentious architectural style.
BÉTON BRUT showcases a new series of architectural photographs screen printed in monochrome onto brushed aluminum. Phipps' careful selection of materials for his work captures one of the properties of Brutalism, ‘its not concerned with the material, but the quality of the material, what can that material do?’ The use of a halftone screen and the aluminium moves the photograph away from the representational; it becomes more sculptural within the enhanced materiality of surface and ink. His photography plays with the viewer’s perspective of the buildings; he has an innovative way of looking at these dynamic constructions finding interesting new vistas and perspectives to capture our imagination.
A selection of Phipps extensive photographic inventory is also displayed in BÉTON BRUT where the curatorial arrangements highlight typological similarities and differences, revealing an analysis of form and structure. Using the placement of colour to highlight architectural details; stemming from Le Corbusier’s Polychromie Architectural, Phipps has used colour from the buildings he has resolutely documented and faithfully used these colours as an integral part of the exhibition in The Foundry Gallery.  BÉTON BRUT is curated by Elizabeth Goode.

About Simon Phipps

Simon Phipps is a London based artist whose work focuses on Modernist architecture. Phipps is the photographer for "THE BRUTALIST LONDON MAP" published by Blue Crow Media and supported by The Twentieth Century Society. His book "BRUTAL LONDON"  a photographic survey of brutalist architecture within the inner London boroughs will be published in November 2016. Phipps is also currently working on a project with Darren Umney about Netherfield - a modernist rationalist estate in Milton Keynes designed by Dixon, Jones, Cross and Gold. "BETWEEN THE RATIONAL AND THE NATIONAL: NETHERFIELD IN THE NEW SUBURBAN LANDSCAPE" will be exhibited at the Architectural Association and the Milton Keynes Gallery in 2017.

9 september - 27 october 2016

The Foundry Gallery 39 old church street, chelsea, london, sw3 5bs, uk


Back to Peckham

Publishing event / book fair

We're going back to our regular Summer haunt at Bold Tendencies in Peckham this August, but this year its a bit different, no Copeland Book Market but a new event A.P.O.  The Modernist will be making an appearance on the opening night at Show & Tell.

The opening night of About the Physical Object (APO) will be a one night only affair called: Show and Tell. A book fair, in which a wide variety of publishers display a wide variety disciplines on paper. Showing what they do and hopefully bringing along an artist or writer to do a book signing. Displaying In the hope of show the public that these books do not just come out of thin air. That there are individuals behind these words and pictures on the pages you read. So far, confirmed publishers consist of:

ABC, Bemojake, E.R.O.S. Journal, The Everyday Press, Fitzcarraldo editions, Loose Joints, Oddeye press, Nousvous, The Modernist, Morel Books, Rick Pushinsky / Hunter and James, South London Gallery, Hoxton Mini-press, The Plantation Journal, Trolley Books.

A.P.O. About Physical Object, a new eventhere to explore the physical aspects of book in all desired disciplines. Ranging from traditional publishing to performance arts.  Mini-click and Libreria/Robin Linde Production curate the Saturday and Sundays episodes, which will consist of unorthodox activities of producing publications of one kind or another. The events concentrate on the idea of the physical nature of publishing, photography and literature: All within the idea of the book and the physical object.

Show & Tell: August 19th 5pm - 9pm


Bold Tendencies, Levels 7-10, 95A Rye Lane, London SE15, 4TG

Event : The Recommission for New Towns

Stevenage Museum hosts an open event on the past, present and future of UK new towns. A one day conference on 30th July will mark seventy years since the 1946 New Towns Act and the start of Stevenage new town, it aims to combine tours, talks and debate involving experts, amateurs and residents. 

Image from the JR James Archive on

Image from the JR James Archive on

The programme includes talks from author Ken Warpole, cultural regeneration expert Sarah Gaventa and filmmaker Christopher Smith, whose latest project is a feature-length documentary about life in Basildon called New Town Utopia. The day will also include tours of Stevenage by bike and foot as well as engaging new town residents past and present in talks and debates.

For more information and tickets visit or email

Social Construction : Modern Architecture in British Mandate Palestine

This month, the Israel Museum opens a major exhibition tracing the influence of international modernism on the architectural vernacular that developed in Palestine during the British Mandate period (1917-1948). Social Construction: Modern Architecture in British Mandate Palestine explores not only the beauty and functionality of the new architecture that developed in the early 20th century, but also the social values of the new land that were reflected in this style. Focusing on projects realized between 1930 and 1940, Social Construction features more than 60 archival photographs of the architectural icons of the time, together with roughly 40 interpretive drawings of these buildings, executed over 20 years.


Focusing on the major cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, Social Construction reveals how the development of these urban centers emerged from the influence of international modernism while forming a unique architectural language inspired by the ambitions to establish a new state and to create a new social order. The influx of immigration to Palestine following the Russian revolution of 1905 and the concurrent political upheavals in eastern Europe brought a generation of architects who embraced modernism as a new beginning. This imported language, defined by innovative geometric forms, spread across the landscape to create a uniquely local vernacular that expressed the ideological foundations of a new society. 

The master plans developed during the British Mandate for each of the region’s major cities exhibit varying degrees of modernist architectural influence, based on their existing urban footprints. Modernist materials and forms were also adapted in response to the climate and geography of the region. Tel Aviv in particular was perceived as a “blank slate,” open to the embrace of new architectural modes. 


Social Construction brings together archival photography with large-format, hand-drawn contemporary analytical drawings that are presented with back illumination to underscore the dimensional character of architecture in a dynamic display. Highlighting the architectural vocabulary of the time, the exhibition explores such attributes as double-layer façades, public use of rooftops, mixed expressions of public and private spaces’ engagement with the street, the intermingling of public sidewalks and private gardens, and the typology of workers’ housing. Several case studies will be featured, including such iconic projects as Shmuel (Sam) Barkai’s Aginsky House (1934) and Lubin House (1937); Alfred Goldberger’s Bat Galim Casino (1934); Dov Karmi’s Max Liebling House (1936); Theodor Menkes’ Glass House (1938); Zeev Rechter’s Angel House (1933); and Arieh Sharon’s Workers’ Housing ("Meonot Ovdim") (1937).

The exhibition draws inspiration from the extensive research of Israel Prize laureate and architect Ada Karmi-Melamede and architect Dan Price, whose accompanying book explores not only the functional aspects of this new architecture, but also the social values that shaped the defining language of this new architectural style. 



The exhibition runs from July 1 – December 31, 2016 at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. 
For more information about the exhibition, click here.
For more information about the accompanying book, click here.

Barbican: Building the Brutal

Building the Brutal, a newly launched website and book, showcases never-before-seen photographs of the final construction of one of the most iconic brutalist buildings in the country. Photographer Peter Bloomfield was commissioned by Henry Wrong - the first Managing Director of the Barbican Centre - to photograph the completion of the Barbican and has recently gifted his entire collection of over 1,400 negatives to the arts centre.

The rediscovered archive reveals the ambition and scale of the construction of what The Queen called 'one of the modern wonders of the world'; from trees being craned into the conservatory to the hand-finishing of the structure’s famously textured concrete walls. Also captured are the first events ever held at the centre in 1982 and period stylings of both the interiors and staff.

The book, currently available for pre-sale and published in mid-March, features more than 70 colour and black & white images in addition to a foreword by Jane Allison, Barbican Head of Visual Arts, and a feature on Peter Bloomfield.

Highlights of the website include a section titled 'Then and Now' which allows you to follow the Barbican from its origin to the present day, sliding between Peter Bloomfield's photographs and current photographs by Benjamin Elwyn.


Building the Brutal, published by the Barbican: £15

Microsite: here

Book presale: here


Concrete Concept - Brutalist buildings around the world: a special offer...

We've partnered with publishers Quarto to bring a discount/special offer to readers of The Modernist and to members of the Manchester & Sheffield Modernist Societies.

Concrete Concept offers a fully-illustrated global survey of this often divisive architectural style, profiling 50 of its most compelling and distinctive examples across the globe, from Leeds University and Preston Bus Station to Lisbon's Palácio de Justiça. Also included is 'An A-Z of Brutalist Architecture' by Jonathan Meades.

No modern architectural movement has aroused so much awe and so much ire as Brutalism. This global survey profiles 50 brutalist beasts around the world (built between the 1950s to 1970s) demonstrates how Brutalism infected popular culture. This is architecture at its most assertive: compelling, distinctive, sometimes terrifying. But, as Concrete Concept shows, Brutalism can be about love as well as hate. 

CHRISTOPHER BEANLAND lives in London and writes about architecture, culture and the arts for newspapers including The Independent, Guardian, Telegraph and various magazines around the world. He's also written two novels.

JONATHAN MEADES is a writer, journalist, essayist, film-maker. His books include three works of fiction - Filthy English, Pompey and The Fowler Family Business - and several anthologies.

©Preston Bus Station/Alamy

©Preston Bus Station/Alamy

To order Concrete Concept by Christopher Beanland for the discounted price of £16, including UK P&P (RRP £20), visit and enter the code CONCRETE02 at checkout. This offer is valid until the 15th February.

Order here

Call for contributions - Factory

'E' is dead, long live 'F'

So, here we go again with a new year and a new letter. We have now reached 'F' and 'F' is of course for Factory.

We are looking for essays or photo stories (essays of around 1000 words) that focus on theme Factory, in twentieth century architecture and design. Our main focus is architecture or art and design related to architecture (such as interiors, glass, murals, furniture etc.), these can be from anywhere in the world but we do like to feature lesser known examples.

As ever we encourage a creative interpretation of our theme, we are not strict. Please contact us if you are interesting in submitting an article, so we can gauge the range of articles to expect. (Please note, The Modernist is a volunteer led publication and so no fees are paid for contributions - I know, mean isn't it!)

Do contact us if you need any further information.

Copy deadline 30.08.15

Issue #17 Factory will be published in Winter 2015

Send all submissions by e-mail to editor[at]

Thank you.

the modernist magazine #15


Its good to get out, and sometimes we struggle to find the time but we have managed to bag up some mags and book our train ticket to Takeover 2015. So, come and say hello and maybe pick up some of those missing back issues.

Saturday 9th May, 12pm – 7pm, FREE

In the second event of our Takeover Series, we’ll be taking over 47/49 Tanner Street with a day that champions all radical publishing – from its independent bookshops and publishers to its DIY-ers; the small press, self-publishers, and zinesters.

A collaboration between Alternative Press and The London Radical Bookfair, the inaugural Takeover event took over Bishopsgate Institute in 2014. Spread over three floors, this was the first event of its kind to bring together U.K’s radical publishing and self-publishing communities.

Takeover 2015 will see us take this event to a new height by taking over an entire Victorian warehouse.

We aim to showcase the depth and breadth of the U.K small press scene. We welcome all exhibitors – from zinesters, comic folk, book artists, and illustrators; those who use a photocopier or a printing house; have been doing it for years or just starting out. And we are very excited to present this year’s Takeover Exhibitors and our First Publications Corner - a space dedicated to those new to the scene.

Saturday 9th May will see us literally takeover 47/49 Tanner Street – from the very top with our AROOO on the Roof to The Yard with our programme of screen-printing, game-playing, soap-boxing and zine-making.

Full details of the all the Takeover 2015 workshops and talks here.

Alongside this programme, we will also be hosting the second AP does Bread and Roses – an exhibition with 21 small press artists responding the books in this year’s B&R award shortlist.

Takeover 2015 is a free event – open to all.

Facebook event page here.

47/49 Tanner Street, London, SE1 3PL is a 10minute walk from London Bridge and Bermondsey stations. Buses 42, 78 and 188 stop just around the corner on Tower Bridge Road. Map here.

With support from and thanks to the Alliance of Radical Booksellers.