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AD Classics: Park Hill Estate / Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith

04:00 - 27 January, 2017
AD Classics: Park Hill Estate / Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith, © Wikimedia user/Flickr user Paolo Margari (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
© Wikimedia user/Flickr user Paolo Margari (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

From its hilltop vantage point in the east end of Sheffield, UK, the Park Hill Estate surveys the post-industrial city which sprawls westwards. Its prominent location makes the estate highly visible and it has, over time, become engrained in the popular consciousness – a part of the fabric of the city. Although today it divides opinion, following its completion in 1961 it was hailed as an exemplary model for social housing. Designed by architects Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith under the supervision of Sheffield’s visionary City Architect John Lewis Womersley, the estate now stands as testament to an era when young British architects were revolutionizing the field of residential architecture with radical housing programs.

The Park Hill Estate was part of Womersley’s strategy to introduce more high-density housing to Sheffield, which he believed would foster a stronger sense of community than the ubiquitous back-to-back terraces.[1] This policy went hand in hand with an urgent need for slum clearance; The Park, a slum so notorious for its high crime rate that it was known locally as ‘Little Chicago,’ was demolished to make way for the estate.

After renovation. Image © Paul Dobraszczyk © Paul Dobraszczyk © Paul Dobraszczyk © Paul Dobraszczyk +17

Spotlight: Gottfried Böhm

04:00 - 23 January, 2017
Spotlight: Gottfried Böhm, AD Classics: Neviges Mariendom. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
AD Classics: Neviges Mariendom. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

The career of Gottfried Böhm (born January 23, 1920) spans from simple to complex and from sacred to secular, but has always maintained a commitment to understanding its surroundings. In 1986, Böhm was awarded the eighth Pritzker Prize for what the jury described as his "uncanny and exhilarating marriage" of architectural elements from past and present. Böhm's unique use of materials, as well as his rejection of historical emulation, have made him an influential force in Germany and abroad.

Campaigners Battle to Save Ove Arup's Brutalist Dunelm House in Durham

12:00 - 30 December, 2016
Campaigners Battle to Save Ove Arup's Brutalist Dunelm House in Durham, Dunelm House with Kingsgate Bridge in the foreground. Image © <a href='http://www.geograph.org.uk/more.php?id=2935919'>Geograph user Des Blenkinsopp</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
Dunelm House with Kingsgate Bridge in the foreground. Image © Geograph user Des Blenkinsopp licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Campaigners in the UK have launched a petition to save Durham University's Student Union Building, also known as Dunelm House, after the university announced its intention to demolish and replace the brutalist structure earlier this month. Designed in 1966 by Ove Arup and the Architects' Co-Partnership, the building is perhaps the most important 20th-century edifice in a city that is better-known for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed cathedral and castle.

Learn the Story Behind Alison & Peter Smithson's Brutalist Icon, Economist Plaza

14:00 - 23 December, 2016

In 2017, British news magazine The Economist will move to a new home, leaving behind its iconic home of 52 years, Economist Plaza.

The project represents the first major commission by British duo Alison and Peter Smithson, who would go on to have esteemed careers as champions of the Brutalist style. Located at 22 Ryder Street, not far from Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, Economist Plaza marked a significant breakthrough in tall building design, replacing the traditional streetfront of a podium and tower design with stairs and a ramp leading to an elevated plaza from which 3 buildings would rise.

Watch the video above to learn the story behind the project, and read more about the legacy the Economist will leave behind, here.

Inside the UK's New Attack on Brutalism

06:00 - 14 November, 2016
Inside the UK's New Attack on Brutalism, Royal National Theatre, London. Image © Studio Esinam / Rory Gardiner
Royal National Theatre, London. Image © Studio Esinam / Rory Gardiner

UK transport minister John Hayes has declared war on Brutalist architecture, The Independent reports. Citing public distaste for the functional, modern designs characterized by exposed concrete and brick masonry, Hayes warned against a revival of the style, referring to it as "aesthetically worthless, simply because it is ugly." Meanwhile, Hayes named Boris Johnson's New Routemaster and the redeveloped St. Pancras, Blackfriars, and King's Cross stations as specimens of exemplary design. At the heart of this ire is a push to rebuild a Doric arch outside Euston station, which was demolished in 1962.

KWK Promes Selected to Extend Bunker of Arts Contemporary Art Gallery in Poland

06:00 - 7 November, 2016
KWK Promes Selected to Extend Bunker of Arts Contemporary Art Gallery in Poland, © KWK Promes
© KWK Promes

The winning proposal has just been announced for an extension to the Bunkier Sztuki ("Bunker of Arts") contemporary art gallery in Cracow, Poland. Out of 33 entries in the international competition, the underground design by Robert Konieczny - KWK Promes has been selected to be executed in the heart of Cracow's Old Town.

© KWK Promes © KWK Promes © KWK Promes © KWK Promes +25

New Map Celebrates Washington D.C's Brutalist Architecture

08:00 - 14 October, 2016
New Map Celebrates Washington D.C's Brutalist Architecture, © Deane Madsen
© Deane Madsen

City Guide publisher Blue Crow Media and Deane Madsen, Associate Editor of Design at Architect Magazine, have collaborated to produce the Brutalist Washington Map, which features 40 examples of Brutalist architecture in Washington, D.C. This is Blue Crowe's fourth architectural guide map, following their Brutalist London Map, Art Deco London Map, and Constructivist Moscow Map. One can only expect further releases on the horizon.

© Deane Madsen © Deane Madsen © Deane Madsen © Deane Madsen +13

Experience the "Brutal Faith" of Gottfried Böhm's Pilgrimage Church in Neviges

04:00 - 23 September, 2016
Experience the "Brutal Faith" of Gottfried Böhm's Pilgrimage Church in Neviges, Courtesy LOBBY Magazine. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu
Courtesy LOBBY Magazine. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

This exclusive photo essay by Laurian Ghinitoiu was originally commissioned for the fifth issue of LOBBY. Available later this month, the latest issue of the London-based magazine—published in cooperation with the Bartlett School of Architecture—examines the theme of Faith as "a fervent drive, a dangerous doctrine, a beautifully fragile yet enduring construct, an unapologetic excuse, a desperate call for attention and a timely consideration on architectural responsibility."

In 1986 the Pritzker Architecture Prize announced their first German laureate. In a speech at the ceremony in London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall, the Duke of Gloucester suggested that the prize “may not guarantee immorality,” inferring, perhaps, that not even the most prestigious award in architecture could compete with an œuvre so compact, focussed and enduring as that of Gottfried Böhm – a “son, grandson, husband, and father of architects.”

Courtesy LOBBY Magazine. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Courtesy LOBBY Magazine. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Courtesy LOBBY Magazine. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Courtesy LOBBY Magazine. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu +24

Basildon's "Failed" New Town: What Happened When We Built Utopia?

09:30 - 17 September, 2016

We are all familiar with the "utopian" towns of the 20th Century. Basildon, Essex, was one of the largest of those New Towns. It was founded in 1949, when Lewis Silkin, the Minister of town and country planning at the time, ambitiously predicted that "Basildon will become a city which people from all over the world will want to visit. It will be a place where all classes of community can meet freely together on equal terms and enjoy common cultural recreational facilities."[1] Nearly seventy years later, Basildon is left with a struggling local economy, splintered communities, and a fraction of the art and culture than what was originally hoped for. "New Town Utopia" is a documentary film that confronts this concrete reality with a question: “What happened when we built Utopia?”

Basildon Fire Station. Image © <a href='http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/261329'>Geograph user GaryReggae</a> licensed under <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> BasildonTown Square. Image © <a href='http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2575026'>Geograph user Stephen McKay</a> licensed under <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Freedom House, Basildon. Image © <a href='http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/261326'>Geograph user GaryReggae</a> licensed under <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Bell Tower, St. Martin's Church, Basildon. Image © <a href='http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/335962'>Geograph user Julieanne Savage</a> licensed under <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> +6

Photographer Raphael Olivier Explores the Suspended Reality of North Korea’s Socialist Architecture

09:30 - 8 September, 2016
Photographer Raphael Olivier Explores the Suspended Reality of North Korea’s Socialist Architecture, Ryugyong Hotel. Image © Raphael Olivier
Ryugyong Hotel. Image © Raphael Olivier

North Korea is one of the few countries still under communist rule, and probably the most isolated and unknown worldwide. This is a result of the philosophy of Juche – a political system based on national self-reliance which was partly influenced by principles of Marxism and Leninism.

In recent years though, the country has loosened its restrictions on tourism, allowing access to a limited number of visitors. With his personal photo series “North Korea – Vintage Socialist Architecture,” French photographer Raphael Olivier reports on Pyongyang’s largely unseen architectural heritage. ArchDaily interviewed Olivier about the project, the architecture he captured, and what he understood of North Korea’s architecture and way of life.

The Workers Party Foundation Monument . Image © Raphael Olivier Pyongyang International Cinema House. Image © Raphael Olivier Pyongyang Ice Rink . Image © Raphael Olivier Overpass. Image © Raphael Olivier +21

See Paul Rudolph's Orange County Government Center Dismantled Over 4 Seasons With These Photos

09:30 - 23 August, 2016
See Paul Rudolph's Orange County Government Center Dismantled Over 4 Seasons With These Photos, Spring – April 7, 2015. Image © Harlan Erskine
Spring – April 7, 2015. Image © Harlan Erskine

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "A Brutal Dismantling."

As soon as photographer Harlan Erskine discovered the plans to demolish Paul Rudolph's iconic Orange County Government Center in New York, he knew he needed to bear witness to its demise. Beyond admiring the building's dynamic form, the photographer recognized its continued impact on architecture today, particularly noting its influence on Herzog and de Meuron's "Jenga tower."

Visiting on four separate occasions throughout 2015 and 2016, Erskine captured the dismantling of this iconic Brutalist work with stunning severity. See the building's final seasons below.

Winter – March 8, 2015. Image © Harlan Erskine Winter – March 8, 2015. Image © Harlan Erskine Spring – April 7, 2015. Image © Harlan Erskine Spring – May 28, 2016. Image © Harlan Erskine +24

2 Classic Marcel Breuer Buildings At Risk for Demolition to Meet Opposite Fates

16:40 - 2 August, 2016
2 Classic Marcel Breuer Buildings At Risk for Demolition to Meet Opposite Fates

In the past few weeks, the fates of two classic Brutalist buildings by architect Marcel Breuer were determined – with differing results. For the Atlanta Central Library, it was good news, as the Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to support the renovation of the building, saving it from the wrecking ball. Meanwhile, the American Press Institute in Reston, Virginia, was not so lucky, as Fairfax County’s board of supervisors voted to tear down the building to make room for a new a townhouse development project.

AD Classics: The Barbican Estate / Chamberlin, Powell and Bon Architects

04:00 - 12 July, 2016
AD Classics: The Barbican Estate / Chamberlin, Powell and Bon Architects, © Joas Souza
© Joas Souza

On the 29th December, 1940, at the height of the Second World War, an air raid by the Luftwaffe razed a 35-acre site in the heart of the City of London to the ground. The site was known as the Barbican (a Middle English word meaning fortification), so-called for the Roman wall which once stood in the area. Following the war, the City of London Corporation—the municipal governing body for the area—started to explore possibilities to bring this historic site into the twentieth century.

© Joas Souza © Joas Souza Gilbert House piloti. Image © Joas Souza Defoe House. Image © Joas Souza +28

A Filmic Adaption of Ballard's High-Rise Is a Visceral Complement to a Dystopian Vision

09:30 - 20 June, 2016
A Filmic Adaption of Ballard's High-Rise Is a Visceral Complement to a Dystopian Vision, The Brutalist high-rises in Ben Wheatley’s new film were inspired in part by Ernö Goldfinger’s Trellick and Balfron towers in London. Image Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
The Brutalist high-rises in Ben Wheatley’s new film were inspired in part by Ernö Goldfinger’s Trellick and Balfron towers in London. Image Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as “Dystopia in the Sky."

For architects, if I may generalize an entire professional community, there are few novelists as cultishly beloved as J.G. Ballard. Borges or Calvino have their fair share of admirers, but to borrow an adjective more frequently applied to buildings, Ballard is the most iconic of literary figures—especially for readers of a concrete-expansion-joint persuasion. Witnessing war as a child, training in medicine, and thereafter writing from a rather bloodless middle-class patch of suburbia, Ballard spun tales of urban life that continue to be uncomfortably visceral.

Zupagrafika Honors Brutalism in Paris with Paper Models

16:30 - 18 May, 2016
© Zupagrafika
© Zupagrafika

Following “Brutal London,” Zupagrafika has released another collection of illustrated paper cut-out models, “Paris Brut," which portrays the Brutalist architecture of Paris from the late-’50s through the 1970s. The set features buildings from the city’s arrondissements and banlieues, the latter of which became a central locality for Habitation à Loyer Modéré, a type of public-private, rent-controlled housing in France.

Paris Brut is made up of six illustrated models to assemble: Orgues de Flandre, Les Choux de Créteil, Cité Curial-Michelet, Cité des 4000, Centre National de la Danse and Plan Voisin interpretation. The whole set is eco-friendly (printed on recycled paper and cardboard), and includes a short technical note on each building’s architect, year of construction, and exact location.

Brutalism and Culture: How St Peter's Seminary is Already Shining in its Second Life

09:30 - 8 May, 2016
Brutalism and Culture: How St Peter's Seminary is Already Shining in its Second Life, Built in 1966, St. Peter’s Seminary is hidden away in a forest 20 miles outside Glasgow. Image Courtesy of Courtesy Tom Kidd / Almay via Metropolis Magazine
Built in 1966, St. Peter’s Seminary is hidden away in a forest 20 miles outside Glasgow. Image Courtesy of Courtesy Tom Kidd / Almay via Metropolis Magazine

Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's celebrated St Peter's Seminary—once voted Scotland's best modern building—has for too long been a victim of fate, left to decay after it was abandoned just 20 years after its completion. Fortunately, plans are well underway to restore the building. This article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Ruin Revived," explains how even in its ruined state, the dramatic brutalist structure is already showing its value as a cultural destination.

Modernist architecture, it used to be said, was inadequate because the machined materials of modern buildings wouldn’t lend themselves well to picturesque ruination. What, minus the taut skins of glass and plaster, could these stark, boxlike carcasses possibly communicate to future generations?

St. Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, Scotland, is a forceful rejoinder to that jibe. Built in 1966 and abandoned 20 years later, the seminary has settled into a state of pleasing decrepitude. Glass and plaster are long gone. The concrete remains largely intact but stained, spalled, and spoiled. Entire roofs and staircases have caved in. The only fresh signs of life are the aprons of graffiti draped all over the “interiors.” Yet, the sense of the place lingers, its noble forms still remarkably assertive—jutting forth from the dense surrounding forest—and optimistic.

Concrete Concept: Brutalist Buildings Around the World

18:00 - 25 April, 2016
Concrete Concept: Brutalist Buildings Around the World, Concrete Concept: Brutalist Buildings Around the World by Christopher Beanland.  Published by Taylor & Francis
Concrete Concept: Brutalist Buildings Around the World by Christopher Beanland. Published by Taylor & Francis

Author of "ConcreteConcept: Brutalist Buildings Around the World" Christopher Beanland will take us on a journey through some of the most iconic as well as some of the unknown treasures of Brutalist architecture around the world. Why were they built, what do they mean and how are they seen today? Are some of the things we'll get to find out about some of the Brutalist Beasts featured inside Beanland's new book. 

Spotlight: William Pereira

08:00 - 25 April, 2016
Spotlight: William Pereira, Geisel Library. Image © Darren Bradley
Geisel Library. Image © Darren Bradley

Winner of the 1942 Acadamy Award for Best Special Effects, William Pereira (April 25, 1909 – November 13, 1985) also designed some of America's most iconic examples of futurist architecture, with his heavy stripped down functionalism becoming the symbol of many US institutions and cities. Working with his more prolific film-maker brother Hal Pereira, William Pereira's talent as an art director translated into a long and prestigious career creating striking and idiosyncratic buildings across the West Coast of America.