Category: Book Reviews


Disappointment and Failure in Architecture

Our latest  author visitor to the bookshop  is Timothy Brittain-Catlin, he is Senior Lecturer at Kent School of Architecture and has recently published Bleakhouses: Disappointment and Failure in Architecture, a compelling catalog of architectural losers and failures that sets out to explore the underside of architecture, often ignored by architectural historians and critics.  In this book you’ll get acquainted with the three groups of losers in the architecture profession as well as the bullies, the sissies, the disenchanted and the stories behind some of the buildings they left behind.  Once you’ve finished reading this book, you’ll have learnt a new way of looking at architecture.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin signing copies of "Bleakhouses"

Timothy Brittain-Catlin signing copies of “Bleakhouses”

We asked Timothy to sign a handful of copies of his book which are now available from the bookshop at £17.95.

ISOKON: Spies, Writers and Artists

lawn road flatsHave you ever wondered what Soviet secret agents Arnold Deutsch and Melita Norwood, Bauhaus exiles Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, and a number of artists, and writers such as Henry Moore, Nicholas Monsarrat and Aghata Christie have got in common? Neither have I. Read on if you’d like to find out.
This week, our latest book recommendation comes from one of our most faithful supporters, Katherine Pelton. This avid reader has a passion for urban planning, and visits the bookshop nearly every week searching for new titles to add to her extensive library. Her latest find is a quirky and unusual biography of one of London’s most important modernist buildings:
“The Lawn Road Flats or Isokon building, a celebrated structure of the Modern Movement by architect Wells Coates, is often included in writings about the architect, architectural theory or buildings of the period. ‘The Lawn Road Flats: Spies, Writers and Artists’ by David Burke (£25) is a rare glimpse into the life of the building. From the first inhabitants through to the aftermath of the Second World War, this book describes everything from complaints about the quality of flats, through to the intrigue and glamour that surrounded them. It provides a snap shot into what it was like to live there and is a reminder that we cannot always be sure of who our neighbours really are! K.P.”