A few months ago, French architect Renée Gailhoustet was awarded the 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize. As housing challenges continue to embattle Paris and other French cities today, Gailhoustet was a timely choice, her body of work in the Paris suburbs – stretching back to the 1960s – still functioning today as compelling case studies to a social housing approach that concurrently embraces community and has a uniqueness of form.
Brutalism: The Latest Architecture and News
Sometimes sculptural and expressive, sometimes monolithic and monotonous, the Brutalist architectural style is equal parts diverse and divisive. From its origins as a by-product of the Modernism movement in the 1950s to today, Brutalist buildings, in architectural discourse, remain a popular point of discussion. A likely reason for this endurance is — with their raw concrete textures and dramatic shadows, brutalist buildings commonly photograph really well.
Munich – Bavaria’s capital since 1506 – is a city with layers and layers of history. Its many years as a rising architectural epicenter have left an interesting and unique mix of buildings. From Middle Age churches and cathedrals to contemporary synagogues. From skyscrapers to small pavilions. Brutalism to Art Nouveau. Munich’s architecture is truly extensive and marvelous.
Though not acknowledging Munich’s beer wonders would be wrong, the only mention of this substance would be in the stunning buildings (like the new Paulaner HQ by Hierl Architekten) that contain them. Yes, other aspects of the city are grandiose, but let’s focus on Munich’s top attraction: its architecture.
After living surrounded and fascinated by post-war concrete architecture in Europe in his early years, Sawosko moved to Taiwan where he eventually realized that Modernism had heavily influenced Taiwan as well. "I felt that [Taiwan's distinctive style of architecture] deserved more recognition", explains Jakub in conversation with ArchDaily via Instagram.
In the central Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, in a large lot between Austria Street, Agüero Street, and Del Libertador Avenue, stands the current building of the Mariano Moreno National Library, designed by architects Clorindo Testa, Francisco Bullrich, and Alicia Cazzaniga.
Built on the basis of the project that won first prize in a national competition in 1961, and completed in the early 1990s, it has become a landmark of modern Argentine architecture and an example of the variant of 20th century expressionism known as "brutalism".
Although there is much conflict surrounding the term Brutalist, there are certain constants and patterns within the movement that offer a concrete idea of the movement and its place in contemporary architecture.
The buildings that adhere to Brutalism—an off-shoot of the Modern Movement that erupted between 1950 and 1970— stand out in part to their constructional sincerity- that is, keeping no secrets about the materials that went into their creation, their bold geometry, and the asperity of their textures and surfaces. Reinforced concrete is the predominant material in Brutalist works thanks to its prominent and dramatic texture, which is put on full display.
The origins of brutalism can be traced to the UK in the 1950s during the post-war period. However, there is no clear record of its initial boundaries or theoretical frameworks. Despite this, it is widely agreed that it sought to uphold constructive sincerity as its main value and that it had, in the execution of Le Corbusier's Marseille Housing Unit (1952), a turning point for its global diffusion (Casado, 2019). For authors such as Banham (1966) or Collins (1977), constructive sincerity in Brutalist buildings does not only refer to material or technical criteria, but also to moral, political or ethical ones. These variables, in nations such as Peru, were fundamental and built an aesthetic while trying, through and from architecture, to construct an idea of a country. This essay seeks to be an approximation to these ideas and experiences.
The Petroperú building, jointly designed by architects Walter Weberhofer and Daniel Arana Ríos, was the result of a state competition held by the military government of Velasco Alvarado in the early 1970s. The building, strategically located in the capital of Peru, within the prosperous district of San Isidro, was designed to house the recently created state company in charge of the whole petroleum process of the country (Petroperú S.A.). The monumental building, built and inaugurated in 1973, became the symbol of the newly installed regime.
For centuries and centuries we’ve built – and the diversity in our global built environment is a testament to that. The many different cultures around the globe have had different ways of building throughout history, adapting locally found materials to construct their structures. Today, in our globalized present, building materials are transported across the globe far from their origins, a situation that means two buildings on completely opposites sides of the world can be more or less identical.
The term ‘Architect’ can be open to interpretation much like the reverence of an Artist. However, the universally recognized definition of the role is regarded as one who designs and plans buildings, a key member in terms of building construction. Architecture as a profession presents itself as a very diverse occupation. As an Art and Science in every sense, it offers insight into a vast range of subjects that can be applied to a range of different ventures.
Often Architecture students are offered with such a rigid path, constrained with these short-sighted ideas that an Architect must follow a particular direction to flourish in the field. When in fact it is interesting to note the vast opportunities that arise when given opportunity to diversify. Here are the Architects that have branched out and become successful fashion designers …
Marcel Breuer’s Pirelli Tire Building, a beacon of Brutalist architecture in the United States, is being reimagined as a hotel by development company Becker and Becker. After being abandoned for years, the structure was sold to architect and developer Bruce Redman Becker in 2020 with plans to transform it into a sustainable 165-room hotel. The sculptural concrete structure aims to be a model for passive design hotels using its unique architectural features and innovative adaptive reuse techniques.
"Demolition is a waste of many things – a waste of energy, a waste of material, and a waste of history," says Pritzker-winning architect Anne Lacaton. In recent years, refurbishment and adaptive reuse have become ubiquitous within the architectural discourse, as the profession is becoming more aware of issues such as waste, use of resources and embedded carbon emissions. However, the practice of updating the existing building stock lacks consistency, especially when it comes to Brutalist heritage. The following explores the challenges and opportunities of refurbishment and adaptive reuse of post-war architecture, highlighting how these strategies can play a significant role in addressing the climate crisis and translating the net-zero emissions goal into reality while also giving new life to existing spaces.