THE NEW BRUTALISM ETHIC OR AESTHETIC PDF

At present, it equates to: large buildings, sometimes of concrete, constructed sometime between World War II and the end of the s. The sheer number of projects this describes is staggering, and many of the architects responsible for them in fact despised the term. We need to relearn the story of this pervasive locution. As Peter Smithson pointed out in a late interview:. And by analogy: there is a way of handling gold in Brutalist manner and it does not mean rough and cheap, it means: what is its raw quality? Eventually this group formed a part of The Independent Group, which is credited with launching Pop Art.

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At present, it equates to: large buildings, sometimes of concrete, constructed sometime between World War II and the end of the s. The sheer number of projects this describes is staggering, and many of the architects responsible for them in fact despised the term. We need to relearn the story of this pervasive locution. As Peter Smithson pointed out in a late interview:.

And by analogy: there is a way of handling gold in Brutalist manner and it does not mean rough and cheap, it means: what is its raw quality? Eventually this group formed a part of The Independent Group, which is credited with launching Pop Art. For them, Brutalism was not a style but something else, hence:. Up to now Brutalism has been discussed stylistically, whereas its essence is ethical. In fact, a series of think pieces had appeared in journals before the Smithsons managed to complete their first building, the Hunstanton Secondary School seen here.

In he published an essay summarizing the defining characteristics of this new style as follows:. Banham later published what he purported to be the definitive statement on The New Brutalism, comprising an international selection of buildings. His contention was that the interplay of ethics and aesthetics defined production and reception of brutalism.

The trouble is, Banham excluded most of the buildings we now regard as brutalist. Surely, the binary put forward by Banham is much too blunt and exclusionary. In order to rethink the word brutalism itself, it may be useful to return to the dictionary.

A bit convoluted, but you get the point. Universally recognizable by its severe, abstract geometries and the monolithic use of concrete, block and brick — this attitude called brutalism became a consensus approach to monumentalizing modern architecture. If this story of Brutalism is indeed about consensus, our primary question should be: what made this uncompromising, imposing, and frankly quite impractical attitude so seductive?

Commissioned when Rudolph was appointed dean at the Yale School of Architecture, the completed building is overflowing with quotations and citations of the history of architecture. When we talk about Rudolph, we have to talk about the fire. Known for talking big and building little, the Smithsons were never as successful as their books would have you believe. Their largest project, Robin Hood Gardens council housing in London, is one of the worst failures of urban renewal during the brutalist moment.

Its foundering hurt their reputations, and larger commissions never came their way. Unlike Rudolph, however, the Smithsons regained their stature by changing their attitude. Their work in the s traced a shift away from the unhomely airs of brutalism toward a sophisticated engagement with Postmodernism, and a more open embrace of history.

The story of brutalism reminds us that once upon a time, there was disciplinary consensus. Successful or not, the results of this peculiar convergence are all around us, reminders that we could all use an attitude adjustment.

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File:Banham Reyner The New Brutalism.pdf

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser. Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser. In his seminal December essay Architectural Critic Reyner Banham attempts to codify the then emerging architectural movement of Brutalism. Introduce an observer into any field of forces, influences or communications and that field becomes distorted. What has been the influence of contemporary architectural historians on the history of contemporary architecture?

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