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Brutalist architecture

Ruhr Valley
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Brutalist architecture

Hi,

I really like Brutalist architecture and London seems to offer some really nice buildings. Trelick Tower looks intersting, but is it worth to travel there and just to have a look at the building?

Would you recommend a visit to Thamesmead (even though it´s really far out of town)?

Maybe you´ve got some other ideas?

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1. Re: Brutalist architecture

Brunel University is where part of Clockwork Orange was filmed and I think that qualifies (it's certainly very ugly).

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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2. Re: Brutalist architecture

I'd say the Barbican Centre is an example of Brutalism. Balfron Tower in Poplar may be worth a look, along with some other tower blocks from the 1960s (a good reason to ride upstairs on some buses running through east London - spot the desired building).

Brunswick Centre, built in the 1970s, never quite managed to have any sort of soul when first built, and was a grim and echo-y place by the late 1980s. A bit of refurbishment and effort made to draw in the community have brought it back to life - it's worth seeing.

Sheffield
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3. Re: Brutalist architecture

Hayward Gallery and the National Theatre on the South Bank near Waterloo Bridge and station are pretty good examples as is the Royal College of Physicians (Denys Lasdun) in Regent's Park.

Unfortunately London and other British cities are full of grim, sixties architecture. Often referred to 'what the Luftwaffe failed to do, the town planners and architects finished off'

Boston
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4. Re: Brutalist architecture

Well, if you ever get to Boston take a look at Boston City Hall. Still controversial to this day.

boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/800px-…

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Boston
Boston
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Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Brutalist architecture

Forgive any repetition - you may wish to consider the following:

Lasdun's Royal College of Physicians, Royal National Theatre and Milton Court - Barbican Estate, Keeling House (First post-war listed Council House if I'm not mistaken (and I often am))

Drapers Gardens and Centre Point , Nat West Tower, Spacehouse, London Eustion (Office and Station) Tolworth House (Siefert)

Bancroft's Pimlico School (or what's left - haven't kept up with the demo or intended demo or partial demo or whatever is being undertaken…)

You'll have to read up on Skylon but you can see Powell's Churchill Gardens, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Hall and Lauderdale Tower (actually the whole estate).

In addition, see the British Telecom Tower (Bedford Yeats) and you may find it handy to read up a bit on Cedric Price and Peter Reyner Banham.

I'll echo the recommendations of others and cite Brunswick Centre; it is my favourite example. Rather interesting attempts to give it "a sense of place" lately, as we like to term it.

Off topic a wee bit - but you may want to see Embankment Place and the SIS Building Vauxhall as Farrell's post-modernism is often used as an example of how contemporary architecture can be more sympathetic to place rather than the "in-your-face" 60s and 70s examples

Hope that helps. Have fun.

Ruhr Valley
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6. Re: Brutalist architecture

Oh yes, I have been to Barbican Centre, that´s really great. And just by accident found Brunswick Centre. But I´ll put some of the others on my list. So thanks a lot.

Detroit, Michigan
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7. Re: Brutalist architecture

The US Embassy - the blight of Grosvenor Square. : )

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Brutalist architecture

badlydrawngirl, although you've been to the Barbican, you might be interested in walking tours of the Barbican (if you haven't been on one). They run on weekends, I believe and last about an hour and a half. I did one last fall, and found it fascinating and very informative. More info is here: www.barbican.org.uk/education/series.asp…

London, United...
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9. Re: Brutalist architecture

One of the flats at Balfron Tower (mentioned as a possibility by TravellerPlus) now has a life as a 'heritage flat' with art exhibitions and magnificent views. Open weekends or by appointment - free!.

www.towerhamletsarts.org.uk/index.lasso…

Brunswick Centre has been a bit homgenised, all painted white, Waitrose and middle market bouttiques and 'eateries'. Walked up there from work at lunchtime today and there was an Italian farmers market rtaking place in the less than brutal walkway. Brutalism for softies and foodies!

Edited: 16 April 2010, 21:28
Dartford
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10. Re: Brutalist architecture

If I was you I'd give Thamesmead a miss. Yes it is a wonderful example of Brutalist architecture but I would consider that part of the area not a nice or safe place for someone to wander.