Architectural education has always been fundamentally influenced by whichever styles are popular at a given time, but that relationship flows in the opposite direction as well. All styles must originate somewhere, after all, and revolutionary schools throughout centuries past have functioned as the influencers and generators of their own architectural movements. These schools, progressive in their times, are often founded by discontented experimental minds, looking for something not previously nor currently offered in architectural output or education. Instead, they forge their own way and bring their students along with them. As those students graduate and continue on to practice or become teachers themselves, the school’s influence spreads and a new movement is born.
Brutalism: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
Sculptor and jewelry designer, Cydney Ross explores the architectural passage of time through unconventional ceramics and mixed media. By over-firing, freezing, and thawing her materials, she simulates the swaying, slumping, and even collapsing of structure.
Since July 2018, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has hosted an exhibition exploring the architecture of the former Yugoslavia. “Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980” became the first major US exhibition to study the subject, through over 400 drawings, models, photographs, and films.
With the exhibition soon coming to an end, Martino Stierli (Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA) and Vladimir Kulic (Guest Curator and Architecture Historian) have presented a 7-minute-long video guiding viewers through the highlights of the exhibition.
Omnipresent plattenbau housing estates, monumental hochhäuser, cosmic milk bars; the post-war East Germany was rebuilt on concrete foundations to stand for the new modernity and shape the unique and no less controversial urban landscape of German Democratic Republic.
MODERN EAST: Build Your Own Modernist DDR is the new book by Zupagrafika celebrating socialist modernist and brutalist architecture of the former East Germany and allows you to playfully reconstruct some of the most intriguing edifices erected between early 1950s and late 1980s - from the massive plattenbauten of Rostock, through the icons of DDR-Moderne, like Kino International or Haus des Berliner
High-rise tower blocks, prefab panel housing estates, streets in the sky, new towns; some of the concrete constructions that once shaped the cityscapes of post-war Britain have stood the test of time, while others are long gone.
‘Brutal Britain’ by Zupagrafika (also author of ‘Brutal London’) celebrates the brutalist architecture of the British Isles, inviting readers to explore the Modern past of Great Britain and rebuild some of its most intriguing post-war edifices, from the iconic slabs of Sheffield`s Park Hill and experimental tower blocks at Cotton Gardens in London, to the demolished Birmingham Central Library.
Opening with a foreword by architectural
To strip a city of its architecture is to erase its history altogether. Despite a widespread public distaste for Brutalism, the brutalist era in architecture often went hand in hand with political movements promising an egalitarian vision in post-Stalinist Poland. What may now be considered austere and overbearing was originally intended to be anything but; the buildings today carry both an appreciation for their legacy and the burden of unwanted memories.
In a recent article in the New York Times, writer Akash Kapur documents his visit to Poland, bringing readers into his experiences and observations of this complex response to Polish architecture. From sharing its history to short anecdotes from interviews, the piece postulates whether these relics can become alive again.
This article was originally published on September 28, 2013. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
Hospital buildings, with their high standards of hygiene and efficiency, are a restrictive brief for architects, who all too often end up designing uninspiring corridors of patient rooms constructed from a limited palette of materials. However, this was not the case in Bertrand Goldberg's 1975 Prentice Women's Hospital. The hospital is the best example of a series of Goldberg-designed medical facilities, which all adhere to a similar form: a tower containing rooms for patient care, placed atop a rectilinear plinth containing the hospital's other functions.
Read on for more about this masterwork of humanist brutalism...
This is the only book to thoroughly document the world's finest examples of Brutalist architecture. More than 850 buildings - existing and demolished, classic and contemporary - are organized geographically into nine continental regions.
878 Buildings, 798 Architects, 102 Countries, 9 World Regions, 1 Style BRUTALISM. Presented in an oversized format with a specially bound case with three-dimensional finishes, 1000 beautiful duotone photographs throughout bring the graphic strength, emotional power, and compelling architectural presence of Brutalism to life.
From Marcel Breuer to Oscar Neimeyer and David Chipperfield to Zaha Hadid, this volume includes works by both classic and contemporary architects.
The House of Soviets is a Russian brutalist building designed by architect Yulian L. Shvartsbreim. Located in the center of Kaliningrad, the building has been abandoned since mid-construction. However, its inhabitants recognize it as the most important urban landmark in their city. They usually refer to the structure as "the face of the robot," since its strange shape conjures images of a robot buried up to its neck, only showing its face.
Toronto-based photographer Ruta Krau has captured stunning photographs of the Andrews Building, one of Canada’s most noted brutalist buildings, and a celebrated part of Toronto's concrete architecture. Designed by John Andrews, architect of Toronto’s iconic CN Tower, the Andrews Building embodies the Modernist ethos of connecting with the surrounding environment, balanced above a ravine and emerging as a stepped pyramid from a natural ridge.
Krau’s photographs capture the rough, natural aesthetic of the Modernist building, with béton brut concrete stamped with the patterns of the timber used to mold the poured-concrete structure. Visible on both the interior and exterior, this texture compliments terra-cotta-colored floor tiles and wood-paneled feature walls.
Coffee machines and garden gnomes aside, Brutalist fanatics have a new means of expressing their love for the controversial modernist style, with credit to Frankfurt-based artist Guido Zimmermann. His beautifully-crafted “Cuckoo Blocks” reinvent the traditional Black Forest cuckoo clock with a modernist Brutalism inspired by the architecture of the late 1960s.
More than an aesthetic centerpiece for Brutalist fanatics, the clocks are in fact a response to a decline in the middle class caused by increasing rent prices in modern metropolises.
If you think you’ve seen this handsome fella before, you have; except he was wearing a flashy red hat and an old blue robe, attempting to protect your house from thieves. Luckily, gnomes have gotten quite the modern makeover. Thanks to the collaboration between Plato Design and designer Pellegrino Cucciniello, you can finally get rid of the kitschy little guy, and replace him with NINO, the modern, brutalist gnome.
Appreciated within the industry but often maligned by the general public, brutalism came to define post-war architecture in the UK, as well as many countries around the world. In his 1955 article The New Brutalism, Reyner Banham states it must have “1, Formal legibility of plan; 2, clear exhibition of structure, and 3, valuation of materials for their inherent qualities as found.”
One Kemble Street, a 16-story cylindrical office block originally named "Space House" and designed by George Marsh and Richard Seifert, clearly exhibits all of these characteristics, creating a landmark in the heart of London that remains as striking today as it was upon its completion in 1968. Photographing the Grade-II listed building throughout the day, photographer Ste Murray manages to beautifully capture the building’s essence, celebrating its 50 year anniversary while also highlighting the intrigue of its form in a way that suggests parallels to contrasting ideologies.
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.
Modernity certainly does not have to be characterized by ugliness, but we may well have to make some revisions in our standards of beauty.
— Edward J. Logue
pinkcomma gallery is proud to present Brutal Destruction, photographs of concrete architecture at the moment of its demise. The exhibit is curated by Chris Grimley of the architecture office over,under. The exhibit opens 12 April, 2018 from 6–9 p.m., and the will be on display through May 03, 2018.
Why the Restoration of the Southbank Undercroft Is a Landmark for Both Architecture and Skateboarding
The Southbank Undercroft, which lies beneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall along the River Thames in London, has been the subject of much debate in recent years following a proposed closure and redevelopment in 2013. Long Live Southbank, an organization born out of this threat of expulsion, gave the diverse community who call the space home a voice. After 17 months of campaigning, they were successful in ensuring the Undercroft was legally protected and fully recognized as an asset of community value. Since then, the group of activists has begun another groundbreaking journey.
In partnership with Southbank Centre, Long Live Southbank recently launched a new crowdfunding campaign to restore the legendary Undercroft. The restoration project will cost £790,000 and is set to open in 2018, improving Londoners’ access to free creative spaces in the heart of the City. These types of space are becoming increasingly rare and the restoration effort reflects a desire to celebrate the authentic cultural sites that make London the vibrant landscape it is.