Use card, not concrete, to recreate Britain’s Brutalist architecture

Architecture Media
Brutalist building toys made from paper (Courtesy Zupagrafika)

(Courtesy Zupagrafika)

Postwar Britain was a fervent breeding ground for brutalist architecture. That period enabled notable work from architects like the Smithsons, Goldfinger, Chamberlin, Powell, and Bon to dominate the British skyline. Many of these buildings have since been demolished. However, a few—mostly in London—remain as icons of that era. Now, thanks to Polish firm Zupagrafika, fans can construct these famed structures from card in their own home.

Brutalist building toys made from paper (Courtesy Zupagrafika)

(Courtesy Zupagrafika)

As part of a series called “Brutal London,” these cut-outs feature simple recreations of buildings such as Trellick Tower and the Barbican.

Assembly is easy: simply by cut out the facades and fold the building together. All you need are scissors and glue.

Brutalist building toys made from paper (Courtesy Zupagrafika)

(Courtesy Zupagrafika)

Richard Seifert & Partners’ cylindrical Space House is perhaps a less-brutal example from the collection.

Brutalist building toys made from paper (Courtesy Zupagrafika)

(Courtesy Zupagrafika)

The London series features six buildings; Robin Hood Gardens and the Aylesbury and Ledbury Estate are available alongside the aforementioned buildings. Additionally, each cut-out comes with an information pack outlining the technical information about the building, the year built, architects, and exact location.

Brutalist building toys made from paper

(Courtesy Zupagrafika)

In case that wasn’t enough, Zupagrafika also offers other cut-out architecture sets. “Blokoshka” is a series of Eastern Block dwellings of which can be connected and placed within each other in a Russian doll-like fashion.

Large prints of the cut-out facades (in each series) can also be purchased, although these are slightly more costly. A 27 x 40 inch print (on 200g satin paper) is priced at $30.

Brutalist building toys made from paper (Courtesy Zupagrafika)

(Courtesy Zupagrafika)

The paper used is 100% recycled and each cut out only costs just over $5. At such a bargain, fans of brutalism may be tempted to send a pack (or ten) to Prince Charles, the man who famously lambasted the structures and architectural style in the 1970s dubbing them “monstrous carbuncles.”

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