Saturday 26 January 2013


This week's favourite tumblr has to be Fuck Yeah Brutalism. Check out these lovelies:

Absolutely bloody brutal.

There would have been a time when this sort of thing would have made me bristle. After all, you don't have to be royalty to have an opinion on the "monstrous carbuncles" of post-war architecture. But I don't know. As I've got older I've begun finding something defiant and romantic about the sharp angles, the dour concrete, and the no-shit determination to scar a skyline. Like the very best art it kicks you in the guts and demands you acknowledge its presence.

As the tumblr's author notes:
My intention isn’t that ... you start designing Brutalist architecture, but that some of you begin to treat this (admittedly quite nebulous and often misunderstood) mode of building with a bit of respect. Brutalism was and is an essential episode in the history of modern architecture, and the more evidence of its presence we lose through negligence and demolition, the harder it is to see a complete picture of that history.

If one finds these buildings unwelcoming and discomfiting, remember the visceral feeling they engender, and reflect on the powerful yet subtle effect that architecture can have on your daily life. That is all.
Can you see the "beauty" in brutalism? Think it's worth preserving? Then sign the petition to save Preston Bus Station.


Yakoub said...

I prefer buildings that begins with the needs of individuals and communities, not the aesthetic traditions and desires of architects. Hence, I love venacular housing (see Paul Oliver's 'Dwellings'). The only architect to embrace the spirit of venacular housing in his own work was, as far as I know, Hassan Fathy (See James Steel's 'An Architecture for People').

Phil said...

Of course. More community input into the design of the buildings that get plonked down can only be a good thing. But that said our landscapes would be a poorer place if brutalism was dynamited and consigned to the rubble reclamation yard.