Written by two architectural historians, this isn't a book for petrol-heads: there is hardly any technical information about cars. Instead the book opens our eyes to the huge impact that the car has had on the appearance of our towns and countryside since it first arrived in the late 19th century. There are chapters on every aspect of this including car factories, car parks, sales showrooms, petrol stations, roads and motorway services - none of this architecture would exist without the car.
|1920s petrol station in Devon - the owner's bungalow is to the left and matches the roof above the pumps
|The Daimler hire garage in Bloomsbury, London about 1931.
In post-war England car ownership was still relatively low but for the lucky minority the car represented the freedom of the open road, individualism and hope. The sometimes fanciful images associated with advertising were exotic and luxurious but the architecture was often Brutalist.
A fascinating perspective and a highly recommended book.
|This Brutalist multi-storey car park dominated the skyline of Gateshead from 1967
until it was demolished in 2010. The rooftop café never opened.