Reviews

  • "The best introduction to this most exciting and visceral period of British architecture – a learned and passionate book."

    Simon Bradley, author of The Railways
  • "Part history, part aesthetic autobiography, wholly engaging and liable to convince those procrastinators sitting (uncomfortably) on the concrete fence."

    Jonathan Meades
  • "A compelling and evocative read, one that is meticulously researched, and filled with insight and passion. Through Barnabas Calder’s personal narrative we gain a deep understanding and appreciation of a tough subject."

    Kate Goodwin, Head of Architecture, Royal Academy of Arts
  • "A fascinating odyssey through Britain's Brutalist landscape. The journey is sometimes breathtaking, but always insightful and informed. By its end, we understand the complexity, skill, and vision, as well as the politics, that created the buildings he explores in such loving detail."

    Elizabeth Darling, author of Re-Forming Britain
  • "Barnabas Calder is a self-outed lover of concrete, a man who doesn’t visit buildings but makes “pilgrimages”. He holds back on neither his praise for the objects of his passion, nor his wrath against those who threaten them. Buy this excellent book, read it and go out and hug your nearest lofty edifice in concrete and glass!"

    Neil Baxter, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • "This engrossing book by a fellow self-confessed concrete lover is both a witty travelogue and memoir and the clear-sighted history of Brutalist buildings. Barnabas Calder relishes the craftsmanship, the financial back stories, and the aims and ambitions of a diverse generation of architects, whose works deserve our sympathy."

    Catherine Croft, Director, Twentieth Century Society
  • "This celebration of all things concrete will please both its aficionados and those who find it hard to love … Calder’s distinctive approach is a combination of scholarliness with personal association … An engaging and accessible guide for those drawn towards these ex-monstrosities."

    Observer
  • "It’s not a history book … It’s chatty, anecdotal and thoroughly entertaining … My advice? Read the book, load up your mobile with some rock ‘n’ roll and Calder’s online photos, and go hug some concrete."

    Times Higher Education
  • "Calder provides the ideal eye-opening introduction for the curious general reader. It deserves a large audience … This is a charmingly personal book, authoritatively knowledgeable and spikily argumentative."

    Literary Review
  • "Calder wants to make an argument about the greatness of Brutalism as an architectural style. He writes beautifully."

    Owen Hatherley, London Review of Books