Made By Mrs M

Brutalism in Bloomsbury

Architecture, LondonKate Marsden

I headed out into town on a very very blustery day a couple of weeks ago, without the intention of ticking buildings off the Brutalist London map (and I didn't have it with me) but I ended up at Russell Square, and well, couldn't not really!

So, first up we have SOAS...

I photographed two buildings here, although the map only refers to the SOAS Library on Thornhaugh Street, which was designed by Denys Lasdun & Partners in 1965-8 and was built from 1970-4 (this one's Grade II listed) - I believe its the building below, but if you know and I'm wrong, please correct me!

And then of course The Brunswick Centre which is opposite Russell Square tube station. This was designed by Patrick Hodgkinson in 1961-66, completed by TP Bennett and Partners and built from 1967-72. I have memories of staying at the Royal National Hotel on Woburn Place when I was at college (it may have changed in the last 20 years but my memories of these stays are of deafening noise and a lot of mould!), and we used to walk over to a Spar (I think) in The Brunswick Centre to stock up on Pot Noodles and Babycham (stay classy Kate!).

My first real (not just a day trip) experiences of London were based in Russell Square, so it's always nice to go back. At the time I said I loved it but could never live here (which amuses me now I have for 18 years) - this might've had something to do with single glazed windows overlooking Woburn Place though rather than anything else!!

No trip to Bloomsbury is complete without a wander around the British Museum (or just stepping inside to look at the wonderful roof - this wasn't here 20 years ago...).