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Brutalist Architecture

I learned something new today: the ugly concrete building style of the 50s to the 70s, exemplified by Le Corbusier, has a name. It is called Brutalist Architecture (the term brutalist originates from the French béton
brut
or "raw concrete," but the name does fit the style
well):

The movement was initiated by French architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, known more popularly as Le Corbusier. The Brutalist approach was marked by an unashamed display of building functions and construction using poured concrete in a way that did not disguise the rough materials with which buildings are made. Brutalism [sic] completely rejected the classical norms of beautification and decoration for hard angles, rough surfaces, and exposed plumbing and machinery.

Link | Brutalist Architecture at Wikipedia | Brutalist Architecture Flickr pool

(Photo: Barbican Centre in London by GarySmith70 [Flickr])


Le Corbusier was Swiss French. Even though he changed nationality later on in life, I think the Swiss stake claim to his nationality, he is on the Swiss 10 Franc note.
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Brutalist Architecture is much like Techno music.

Some can work within the field and create genuinely beautiful innovative things using the strengths and limitations of the medium.

But most everyone else is using the medium to disguise their mediocrity with ill used technology that abrades peoples soul.
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There is actually a brutalist church building in D.C.

They think it is so ugly, they want to change it, but some people applied for it to be a historical landmark, because it's architectural styles is so unique. So this group of people are pretty much stuck with this ugly building :)... quite humorous.

Lew
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I admit that I've taken the picture of the building on the story cover, but only because it simply amazes me with its ugliness. The entire complex of the Barbican seems the very opposite of its original community-oriented philosophy.
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Brutalism [sic] completely rejected the classical norms of beautification and decoration for hard angles, rough surfaces, and exposed plumbing and machinery

Sounds more like Britney Spears the Anne Coulter. If had caught a glimps of Ann Coulter's plumbing I think I might feel the need to rip my eyes and out fill the sockets with salt to clense myself from the evil.
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Thanks for sharing this. I managed to get lost in the Barbican a few weeks ago, looking for what I *thought* was the real Thomas More house. Come to find out, it was just one of their building names. It's not the prettiest of building complexes, but I've always loved it anyway.

I just ran through several dozen of the flickr images, and I agree - some can make it gorgeous, and some can be just horrifying. But, I'm wondering if the levels of graffiti on them has anything to do with it.

Also, I'm wondering if Brutalist Architecture just looks better in black and white, or if that's just me. :-)
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My home town of Melbourne, Australia, is home to lots of brutalist architecture (much now protected) but my favourite has to be my local swimming centre - the Harold Holt Memorial Pool. The amusing thing about that is that it's named after Harold Holt, a former Australian Prime Minister - who went missing, presumed drowned, when swimming...

http://blog.adonline.id.au/brutalist-architecture/
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I'm a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Our entire college is done in a brutalist style. Consequently, we've been named the 11th ugliest college in the nation by the princeton review for the last decade or so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIT
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I don't like the style at all.
When a building looks like it it's either
1.An orthopedic device
2.Something from the machine room
3.A parking garage (when it's not)
Something is wrong.
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