A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, Paperback Book

A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Back in 1997, New Labour came to power amid much talk of regenerating the inner cities left to rot under successive Conservative governments.

Over the next decade, British cities became the laboratories of the new enterprise economy: glowing monuments to finance, property speculation, and the service industry-until the crash.

In A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, Owen Hatherley sets out to explore the wreckage-the buildings that epitomized an age of greed and aspiration.

From Greenwich to Glasgow, Milton Keynes to Manchester, Hatherley maps the derelict Britain of the 2010s: from riverside apartment complexes, art galleries and amorphous interactive centers,A" to shopping malls, call centers and factories turned into expensive lofts.

In doing so, he provides a mordant commentary on the urban environment in which we live, work and consume.

Scathing, forensic, bleakly humorous, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain is a coruscating autopsy of a get-rich-quick, aspirational politics, a brilliant, architectural state we're in.A"


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 408 pages, 250 black and white illustrations
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Architecture
  • ISBN: 9781844677009

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As usual with Owen Hatherley a deliberately provocative but never less than interesting take on development and regeneration in the major cities of the UK from the latter half of the 20th century onwards. Mr Hatherley has opinions and he is not shy of sharing them. A fan of classical modernism and its offshoot brutalism he has no time for the frippery of what he calls the pseudomodernism of odd shaped buildings with random finishes and cuddly names. The only quarrel I have with him is that though his criticisms regularly hit the spot he doesn't take the time to lay out clearly his own underlying principles. They might be easy enough to distill but it would be nice to have them laid out for us.

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