Nairn's Towns | From Notting Hill Editions
A new edition of Britain’s Changing Towns by Ian Nairn (1967), introduced, edited and updated by Owen Hatherley.
“These essays show him writing about cities and towns as wholes rather than as collections of individual buildings. In each of them, there are several things happening at once – assessments of historic townscape, capsule reviews of new buildings, attempts to find the specific character of each place…”
Sixteen short essays on places as varied as Glasgow and Norwich, Llanidloes and Sheffield, by the finest English architectural writer of the twentieth century.
Ian Nairn (1930–1983) made his name with a special issue of the Architectural Review in which he coined the term ‘Subtopia’ for the areas around cities that had been failed by urban planning. He was largely responsible for the volumes on Surrey and Sussex in Nikolaus Pevsner’s Buildings of England series, and published two guidebooks, Nairn’s London (1966) and Nairn’s Paris (1968), as well as presenting several BBC television series. His work has influenced writers as diverse as J. G. Ballard, Will Self, Iain Sinclair and Patrick Wright.
Notting Hill Editions is devoted to the best in essayistic nonfiction writing, taking its cue from the vivid contribution of the short text to European cultural life, judging that the moment is right to reinvigorate the essay.