Brutalist architecture – During university years, London-based designers Chris Prosser and Ian Flood used to play chess and concoct the architectural skylines of their dreams to compete in theoretical games. Their Skyline Chess project takes iconic architecture from around the world and pits the greats against each other.
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The new London Brutalist Edition transforms six iconic Brutalist buildings into architectural chess pieces. We looked into the iconic features, stories and fate of the 6 iconic buildings selected by Skyline Chess.
“We both studied architecture and worked in London and love its varied built form,” says Ian Flood, Co-Founder of Skyline Chess. “We’ve always wanted to build on our original London set and add new versions, and the Brutalist Edition allowed us to capture a very definite period of the city’s architecture on the chess board”.
THE SET – The graphic forms of the buildings translate really well into chessmen. The highest quality materials have been selected to create beautiful and unique objects for both the chess player and design enthusiast alike. Each piece is hand-cast in resin in the UK.
The darkness of the resin makes for a perfect concrete setting for each of the buildings. A hand screen-printed Corian playing board follows the brutalist design.
- RELATED STORIES: read more about London architecture and design on Archipanic…
THE PIECES – In the London Brutalist Edition the pawns featured are the terraced housing of the Alexandra Road Estate which was designed by Neave Brown and completed in 1978 in North London. Constructed from site-cast, board-marked white and unpainted reinforced concrete the The ‘Rowley Way’ complex, as locals calls it, features 520 apartments, a school, community centre, youth club, heating complex, and parkland.
One Kemble Street is cast as the rook. The cylindrical 16-storey tower was designed by George Mash in 1968 and built using a façade of precast cruciform blocks of white concrete joined by dowels and dry grout.
The instantly recognisable Trellick Tower in East London is perfect as a knight. Opened in 1972, the Brutalist high-rise residential architecture by Ernő Goldfinger has a long, thin profile, with a separate lift and service tower linked at every third storey to the access corridors in the main 31-storey building.
102 Petty France office block by Fitzroy Robinson & Partners with Sir Basil Spence (1976) plays the bishop. The 14-storey concrete tower features protruding elements at the upper and lower floors. It now houses the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.
Centre Point is a regal queen. Designed by George Mash, the 33-storey tower was one of London’s first skyscrapers. Built as speculative office, it remained vacant for several years after its completion in 1966. It was occupied by housing activist; in 2015 it was converted from office space to luxury flats.
Cromwell Tower from the Barbican Centre stands proud as the kings of Brutalist London. The 42 storeys and 123 metres high building is among London’s tallest residential skyscrapers.
PINTEREST: discover the Brutalist side of London in our dedicated board!