Art Tour

Brutal Utopias: A National Trust Celebration of Brutalist Architecture - Brutalist Britain by Routemaster

26 Sep 2015 – 3 Oct 2015

Event times

10.30am – 4.30pm (5.30pm for drop-off at Southbank Centre).
Tours will begin at Southbank Centre and include the Lansbury Estate, the Barbican Estate, the Alexandra Road Estate, and conclude at Ernö Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower.

Cost of entry

£35 Adults, £30 concessions

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Southbank Centre

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Tube: Waterloo / Embankment
Directions via Google Maps Directions via Citymapper
Event map

A tour of Brutalist architecture in London aboard the National Trust’s 1962 Routemaster Coach. Led by architectural and cultural experts Tom Cordell and Joe Kerr, the tours explore the emergence and development of Brutalism in the city.


Saturday 26th September and Saturday 3rd October

Better-known for country houses, coastlines and cream teas, a series of pop-up openings of concrete Brutalist buildings of the 1960s may seem a significant departure for the National Trust.  However, for 10 days from Friday 25th September, the Trust is shining a light on a number of buildings across the nation exposing the significance of Brutalism, a movement that altered the landscape of Britain’s urban environment post war.

As part of the celebration, the National Trust is leading a UK-wide series of exclusive tours of Brutalist architecture in London, Sheffield and Norwich.

National Trust and Southbank Centre are joining forces to offer behind-the-scenes access to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery.  Visitors will get a unique view of the original fixtures and fittings, spaces never-before seen by the public, to mark the start of a two-year refurbishment programme of the 1960s buildings.

These tours will explore the Festival of Britain, Brutalism and Modernism.  Visitors will be led through underground tunnels, onto stages, into ventilation rooms, and above performance spaces, examining the roles of form and function in the vision, construction and reception of these buildings.


Other tour locations include Sheffield’s Park Hill Estate and the University of East Anglia in Norwich.   Park Hill, known for its famous ‘streets in the sky’, is Europe’s largest listed building and is undergoing extensive renovations by award winning property developer Urban Splash.  The celebrated campus of the University of East Anglia is considered iconic in its use of Brutalist sharp angles, rough concrete surfacing and exposed services in order to create functional and honest architecture.

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