What Can Be Learnt From The Smithsons’ “New Brutalism” In 2014?

Alison and Peter Smithson (year unknown)

Sheffield born Alison Gill, later to be known as Alison Smithson, was one half of one of the most influential Brutalist architectural partnerships in history. On the day that she would be celebrating her 86th birthday we take a look at how the impact of her and Peter Smithson’s architecture still resonates well into the 21st century, most notably in the British Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. With ’s Robin Hood Gardens, one of their most well known and large scale social housing projects, facing imminent demolition how might their style, hailed by Reyner Banham in 1955 as the ”new brutalism”, hold the key for future housing projects?

How Will Architecture Respond to a “Boom” in UK University Spending?

Courtesy of University of Manchester

With the recent news that Dutch practice Mecanoo, along with Penoyre & Prasad, have been selected for a £200 million new engineering campus at the University of ManchesterAmanda Baillieu of BDOnline argues that they ”need to set their ambitions a whole lot higher.” Alongside’s Manchester’s announcement, universities in , Newcastle and Oxford also recently announced a big investment in their campuses. The trick, Baillieu suggests, will be in ensuring the architecture is not “safe and office-like” (which fits universities’ “business-like” mindset). As we enter a “golden age” in university capital investment, educational architecture will be playing a central role. Read the article in full here.

Four Post-War UK Buildings Given Heritage Status

The Spectrum Building / Foster + Partners. Image © Richard Davies, Courtesy Foster + Partners

Four post-war buildings, including the Spectrum Building by Norman Foster and Capel Manor House by Michael Manser, have been elevated to the Heritage List by the ’s Architecture and Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey. Upon announcing the news, the Minister commented that in spite of ’s ”fine and wonderful built heritage it’s sometimes forgotten that we have many outstanding modern buildings too.” His listings show that “architecture in this country is very much alive and well in the modern world.”

Read more about the buildings after the break…

iQuarter / Cartwright Pickard Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Cartwright Pickard Architects
Location: Sheffield,
Year: 2009
Area: 94,000 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Cartwright Pickard Architects

  

Park Hill / Hawkins Brown with Studio Egret West

© Daniel Hopkinson

Architects: Hawkins Brown with Studio Egret West
Location: ,
Landscape Architects: Grant Associates
Main Contractor: Urban Splash Build Ltd (North)
Structural Engineer: Stockley
Services Engineer: Ashmount Consulting Engineers Limited
Project Area: 130,000 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Daniel Hopkinson, Keith Collie and Peter Bennett