[Urbanstudy] Concrete jungle: why brutalist architecture is back in style

Vinay Baindur yanivbin at gmail.com
Tue Aug 1 23:56:11 CDT 2017


https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/sep/28/grey-pride-brutalist-architecture-back-in-style


Concrete jungle: why brutalist architecture is back in style

>From Washington DC to London, concrete edifices aren’t to everyone’s taste,
but they’re here to stay – and people have learned to love these sights
[image: A Metrorail train pulls into the McPherson Square station in
Washington DC.]
<https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/sep/28/grey-pride-brutalist-architecture-back-in-style#img-1>
A
Metrorail train pulls into the McPherson Square station in Washington DC.
Photograph: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

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<https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/sep/28/grey-pride-brutalist-architecture-back-in-style#comments>

Felix Salmon <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/felix-salmon>

Wednesday 28 September 2016 18.38 BSTLast modified on Wednesday 28
September 2016 23.00 BST

Mies van der Rohe
<https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2002/nov/30/architecture.artsfeatures>
was
born first, in 1886, in Aachen, Germany. Le Corbusier
<https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/sep/11/le-corbusier-india-architecture-1965>
arrived
the following year, and 250 miles to the south, in La Chaux-de-Fonds,
Switzerland. Mies went on to become the godfather of the
steel-and-glass international
style <https://www.britannica.com/art/International-Style-architecture>;
Corbu, enamored with the possibilities of concrete, essentially created
brutalism
<https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/18/raw-concrete-beauty-of-barbarism-barnabas-calder-review>.
Which means that not only were the two architects great builders in their
own right; they were also responsible for creating the greatest sibling
rivalry in the history of architecture.

Le Corbusier’s brutalism took an early lead, not least because of
concrete’s cost advantage: it is cheap and abundant, the second most
consumed material in the world, after water. Brutalism also had the
art-historical advantage of fitting easily into a centuries-long narrative.
The monumental brutalist vaulting of the Washington Metro, for instance, is
uncannily similar to that found in largest concrete dome in the world – the
2,000-year-old Pantheon, in Rome.
[image: A mass Donna Summer roller disco tribute takes palce outside Boston
City Hall.]
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