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BOOK

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REVIEW

London's Contemporary Architecture: An Explorer's Guide By Ken Allinson.Architectural Press, 2006. 264pp. £18.99

Ken Allinson's excellent userfriendly guide to recent London architecture now appears in an updated fourth edition. One reason why it's good is that Allinson avoids ip judgements to explore pros and cons in depth, with major schemes - the British Museum Great Court, the Sainsbury Wing, Paternoster Square - getting a page or more of small type, not just a paragraph. And though the focus is 'contemporary', he also includes historic buildings in the vicinity, sometimes pointing out affinities that readers might miss, as with Stirling's No 1 Poultry and Hawksmoor's St Mary Woolnoth. There are maps, many photos, occasional plans - and some quite sharp criticisms en route. Despite all the typos, it's a truly practical companion to the current London scene.

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