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Brutalism: The Latest Architecture and News

AD Classics: Crematorium at Vila Alpina / Ivone Macedo Arantes

© Estúdio Flagrante© Estúdio Flagrante© Estúdio Flagrante© Estúdio Flagrante+ 20

The Jayme Augusto Lopes Crematorium, popularly known as Crematorium of Vila Alpina, is located in Jardim Avelino, on the east side of the city of São Paulo. It was designed by architect Ivone Macedo Arantes - at the time an employee of the Cemetery Department of the City of São Paulo - and was inaugurated in 1974. It is considered to be the first crematorium in Brazil and Latin America and one of the largest in the world.

Brutalism and Collective Living in Europe, Through the Lense of Stefano Perego

Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano (1990, Milan, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano (1990, Milan, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

Genex Tower, Mihajlo Mitrović (1977-1980, Belgrade, Serbia). Image © Stefano PeregoRozzol Melara Complex, Carlo Celli, Luciano Celli y Dario Tognon (1969-1982, Trieste, Italy). Image © Stefano PeregoOrpheus & Eurydice Buildings, Jürgen Freiherr von Gagern, Peter Ludwig y Udo von der Mühlen (1971-1973, Munich, Germany). Image © Stefano PeregoHousing Complex, Otar Kalandarishvili y G. Potskhishvili (1974-1976, Tiflis, Georgia). Image © Stefano Perego+ 21

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.

Iconic William Pereira-designed Ziggurat in California May Be Demolished After a Government Sell Off

The Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel, California—better known to locals as the “Ziggurat” for obvious reasons—is reportedly at risk of demolition. The six-story, one-million-square-foot government services building is on the chopping block as the U.S. Public Buildings Reform Board, responsible for unloading federal facilities, will likely sell the structure as early as next year.

Photographing Brutalist Architecture (and Its Evolution) in Barcelona

Rodolfo Lagos shared a series of photographs capturing the Brutalist architecture of Barcelona, illustrating how the movement has evolved in this iconic city.

Concrete Siberia: Soviet Landscapes of the Far North

A photographic insight into the Soviet-era architecture of one of the most extreme, little-known and vast territories on Earth.
From the Ural Mountains to the Arctic Circle, the book features the extensive micro rayon of Siberia’s urban centers, the brutal landscapes of industrial monotowns, cosmic circuses, concrete theatres and opera houses, as well as prefabricated panel blocks, or panelki, erected on permafrost.

Spotlight: William Pereira

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.

Transamerica Pyramid. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/jkz/6371624443'>Flickr user jkz</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>Thene Building, LAX. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/132084522@N05/16747302728'>Flickr user Sam valadi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Jack Langson Library at University of California (Irvine). ImageCourtesy of <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UCILibrary.jpg'>Wikimedia user TFNorman</a> (public domain)Geisel Library. Image © Darren Bradley+ 12

American Architect Michael McKinnell Dies from Coronavirus Complications

Michael McKinnell, a British-born American architect, known for his work on the acclaimed Boston’s Brutalist City Hall, and co-founder of the Kallmann McKinnell & Wood architectural design firm, has passed away on March 27, 2020, at the age of 84, from COVID-19-induced pneumonia.

12 Important Modernist Styles Explained

Modernism could be described as one of the most optimistic styles in architectural history, drawing from notions of utopia, innovation, and the reimagination of how humans would live, work, and interact. As we reflected in our AD Essentials Guide to Modernism, the philosophy of Modernism still dominates much of architectural discourse today, even if the world that gave rise to Modernism has changed utterly.

As we say goodbye to 2019, a year that saw the centenary of the Bauhaus, we have collated a list of key architectural styles that defined Modernism in architecture. This tool for understanding the development of 20th-century design is complete with examples of each style, showcasing the practice of Modernism that lay behind the theory.

Café L’Aubette/ Theo van Doesburg. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia user Claude Truong-NgocBarcelona Pavilion / Mies van der Rohe. Image © Gili MerinVilla Savoye / Le CorbusierVitra Design Museum / Gehry Partners. Image © Liao Yusheng+ 13

Modernist San Francisco Map: Guide to Modernist Architecture in Bay Area

Guide map to Modernist architecture across San Francisco and the Bay Area. This two-sided folded map with original photography by Jason Woods is edited by Mitchell Schwarzer, Professor at California College of the Arts, and author of numerous books about architecture. The guide features over fifty influential examples of Modernist and Brutalist architecture from Berkeley and Oakland to Palo Alto and San Mateo. Details for individual buildings are supported by an introduction to Modernism in the Bay Area by Schwarzer. Architects featured include Vernon de Mars, Beverley Thorne, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Pier Luigi Nervi,

Spotlight: Gottfried Böhm

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.

Neviges Mariendom. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Neviges Mariendom. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Bensberg Town Hall (1963-1969) in Bensberg,Germany. Image © <a href=‘https://www.flickr.com/photos/seier/3301293417’>Flickr user seier</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a>Neviges Mariendom. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 10

Brutalist Beirut: Showcasing a Forgotten Modern Heritage

In recent years, people started to regain interest in a movement that dates back to the last century; a movement, first introduced during the 1940s and 1950s, through the works of Le Corbusier and Alison and Peter Smithson. With monolithic structures, modular shapes, and impressive massing, Brutalism highlights architectural integrity. This movement is highly characterized by rough, raw, and pure surfaces that underline the essence of the substances in question. Spread across the globe, architects have adopted and developed their own vision of this modern movement, creating contextual variations.

In the midst of all the chaos currently taking place in the city of Beirut, we look back on the Lebanese capital’s hidden Brutalist gems. To shed the light on a movement that's often neglected and forgotten, Architect Hadi Mroue created a series of images that highlight the Lebanese Brutalism movement as well as its evolution as an important part of the Lebanese modern heritage.

Belgian Architect Juliaan Lampens Passes Away at 93

Belgian architect Juliaan Lampens has passed away at the age of 93, in Ghent, Belgium. Known for his brutalist houses and his skillful use of concrete, wood and glass structures, the architect has created some of the most famous works from the last decade, including House Juliaan Lampens – Van Hove, House Vandenhaute – Kiebooms, and Kerselare Chapel.

© Sandra Fauconnier/ From Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 InternationalCourtesy of A+U 523: Juliaan LampensCourtesy of A+U 523: Juliaan Lampens© Paul M.R. Maeyaert/  From Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported+ 7

Concrete Seoul Explores Brutalist Architecture in South Korea

Blue Crow Media has released its latest map exploring brutalist concrete architecture in Seoul, South Korea. The map is edited by Korea University-based architectural historian Professor Hyon-sob Kim, with original photography by Yongjoon Choi. The guide offers a unique look at Seoul’s unsurpassed history of concrete architecture from the 1960s to today.

Courtesy of Yongjoon Choi , © Blue Crow MediaCourtesy of Blue Crow MediaCourtesy of Yongjoon Choi , © Blue Crow MediaCourtesy of Blue Crow Media+ 12

London's Shades of Grey

Rarely does one see brutalist architecture in the city of London. Primarily, these buildings were perceived as rebellious and grotesque, only to become the "go-to" style for commercial and governmental buildings after the Second World War. Nowadays, with the real estate market demands and dominance of contemporary architecture, these monumental grey structures are gradually fading away.

Santiago-based architect and photographer Grégoire Dorthe developed the passion of photography during his military service, when he realized that through his images, he is able to freeze moments and preserve what will be lost with time. In his photographic series titled "Brutal London", the Swiss photographer captures the raw forms and graphic qualities of the city's brutalist architecture, before these buildings meet their end.

© Grégoire Dorthe© Grégoire Dorthe© Grégoire Dorthe© Grégoire Dorthe+ 53