The most visibly arresting buildings are, paradoxically, sometimes the most overlooked in the modern cityscape.
But the independent publisher Blue Crow Media celebrates unsung and anachronistic monuments. The company’s series of two-sided folded maps are part design manifesto, part urban architecture guide. On one side, notable structures are plotted out; on the flip side, black-and-white photographs highlight the selection, paired with the architects’ names, the dates built and the locations.
Derek Lamberton founded Blue Crow Media in 2009. The former journalist settled in London at National Geographic, then branched off on his own to create printed city maps and tandem smartphone apps. At first, he cataloged specialty coffee and craft beer venues in major cities. He published his first architectural map of London in 2015, laying out the city’s Brutalist buildings, a style exemplified by imposing structures, many of them concrete.
For each chosen destination — spanning Belgrade to Sydney — he scouts a writer, photographer, designer and developer to execute a city-specific vision. The Modern Berlin Map, introduced by the journalist Matthew Tempest, explores both the “neo-Classical gargantuanism of the buildings of the Third Reich” (like Tempelhof airport) and more recent edifices that transform “architecture itself into a kind of mourning” (like the Daniel Liebskind-designed Jewish Museum).