Brutal heritage: renewing London’s icons

From Tower Bridge to Buckingham Palace, Jasper Sutherland’s montages blend the traditional icons of London with brutalist housing in a reimagined cityscape

'Twin Tower Bridge'. Image: Jasper Sutherland
‘Twin Tower Bridge’. Image: Jasper Sutherland

What if London’s feted architectural icons were replaced with brutalist blocks? That’s he urban landscape imagined by designer Jasper Sutherland in his ‘Postcards to London’ series.

Mingling notions of tradition and monumentality, the postcard montages – created by pasting brutalist icons into ornate landmarks of London’s picture postcard history – seek to reference the often unusual juxtaposition of architectural styles in the UK capital, much of which remains as a legacy of the Blitz.

“London is both of the things in the picture – and more – but you have this layered spectrum,” explains Sutherland. “Grand wealth and imperial antiquity at one end and the changing face of modernity, often responding to social deprivation, at the other. What I find interesting is when this spectrum is compressed and ends up side by side as it is, all over London.”

“Part of my interest was sparked by the link between architecture and the ‘future’,” he adds. “We are always living in a vision of the future from the past. We do live in a postmodern city – something like a watered down 2019 LA in Blade Runner. London in the future is never going to look shiny and coherent because of its existing context. And that’s kind of what I love about it – it’s diverse to the point of incoherence, architecturally speaking. It doesn’t look ‘planned’ because things happen at distinct moments in time, in a very condensed amount of space.”

'Trellick Circus'. Image: Jasper Sutherland
‘Trellick Circus’. Image: Jasper Sutherland
'Heygate Palace / One below the Queen'. Image: Jasper Sutherland
‘Heygate Palace / One below the Queen’. Image: Jasper Sutherland
'Bovril Heights'. Image: Jasper Sutherland
‘Bovril Heights’. Image: Jasper Sutherland
'Apartments of Parliament / Second Home'. Image: Jasper Sutherland
‘Apartments of Parliament / Second Home’. Image: Jasper Sutherland
'British tele-column'. Image: Jasper Sutherland
‘British tele-column’. Image: Jasper Sutherland
'Abbey's Loft conversion'. Image: Jasper Sutherland
‘Abbey’s Loft conversion’. Image: Jasper Sutherland
'St Paul's Terrace of Alexandra'. Image: Jasper Sutherland
‘St Paul’s Terrace of Alexandra’. Image: Jasper Sutherland
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