Architecture is more than bricks and mortar. The buildings around us can tell a story and provide shelter and community to millions. These articles cover everything from Soviet brutalism to the azulejos of Portugal.
In Boston, Brutalism is tied closely to City Hall, but the infamous building is far from the only “concrete monstrosity” in the city. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, top architects from around the world took advantage of a rebuilding Boston to design and build what they saw as futuristic, expressive works of art. Brutalism hasn’t gained many fans since then, but public opinion may slowly be changing.
Boston’s City Hall reminds me a lot of the old Central Library in Birmingham (UK, since demolished in 2016) thanks to its inverted ziggurat structure.
During my Frasier journey, I found myself asking certain questions time and time again. Will Frasier ever stop getting hoisted by his own petard? How did the dog who plays Eddie become such a good actor? Why is this fake National cover of the Frasier theme song better than every other National song? God, Niles is so horny. (More of a comment than a question.) And, most importantly: How the hell did Frasier afford his apartment?
Update: Apparently, a Frasier writer revealed why: they decided he’d “invested the money from his Boston practice very wisely (perhaps in a friend’s Seattle software start-up)”. Thanks to @scottgal for the info and the article he referenced!
Included here among various alternatives for Tower Bridge, the Washington Monument, The Chrysler building and St. Paul’s Cathedral are proposed extensions to the White House, a 5 million tomb alternative to London’s famous Victorian cemeteries and a particularly uninspiring second place entry for the Sydney Opera House competition. My personal favorite, however is the Triumphal Elephant which could have capped off the Champs Elysees in Paris. If someone could only find the rejected competition entry for what became the Eiffel Tower, which consisted of a giant replica of a Guillotine.
Some I wish existed, some I’m glad didn’t become reality, and some I would like to see and then never see again.
Seasonal ingredients are served alongside sunset views at Lisbon’s Java, which is laid out to make sure every diner gets the best seat in the house.
Studio PIM oversaw the interiors for the Lisbon restaurant and bar, which occupies a harbourside spot in the capital. It’s been carefully arranged to make sure no one has table envy, with diners stationed either on the terrace or close to a window to maximise views.
Monocle visited two companies finding unique ways to promote their products to ever-changing audiences: Transhelvetica, a Swiss magazine, and Spiritland, a London-based hospitality and audio venture, are both shaping the media landscape for the better.
Known to many as “The Darth Vader House,” this contemporary masterpiece is one not to miss. Over 7,000 sq. ft. of living area, principal bedroom down, open rooms, massive windows, a museum home setting on a prestigious West University street. Custom throughout with ample closets, 4-car garage, versatile living spaces, large lot. Nothing else like it in the area. Come visit us Thursday, 12-2.
I love LEGO® and I love brutalism so this is a match made in heaven for me.
Arndt Schlaudraff is a self-proclaimed “Berlinist, Brutalist, Modernist, and Legoist” and his Instagram account is filled with wonderful constructions all real and no 3D renderings. His buildings come with beautiful lighting inside and out, creating an atmosphere not often associated with the harshness of brutalism.
Ekow Nimako is a Toronto-based artist who makes Afrofuturism sculptures from black LEGO.
Ekow Nimako is a Toronto-based, internationally exhibiting LEGO artist who crafts futuristic and whimsical sculptures from the iconic medium. Rooted in his childhood hobby and intrinsic creativity, Nimako’s formal arts education and background as a lifelong multidisciplinary artist inform his process and signature aesthetic. His fluid building style, coupled with the Afrofuturistic themes of his work, beautifully transcend the geometric medium to embody organic and fantastical silhouettes.
I haven’t played with LEGO in years so I didn’t know there were so many varied pieces to make these majestic sculptures. It’s truly breathtaking to witness.
from the curved concrete balconies of ‘les choux de créteil’ to oscar niemeyer’s ‘bourse du travail’, ‘brutalist paris’ documents the movement’s most significant examples in and around the french capital. back in 2017, blue crow media commissioned robin wilson and nigel green of photolanguage to research, write and shoot photography for the brutalist paris map. since the map’s publication, through their research, writing and photography, photolanguage have continued to draw attention to brutalist architecture across the city and its suburbs.
Build your own miniature Wright house with this Atom Brick platform. There are a lot of LEGO® brick building clones but Atom Brick is 75% smaller and allows for more intricate constructions such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House.
Dimensions: 14.5in W x 10.5in L x 3in H (36.83cm x 26.67cm x 7.62cm)
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. was designed by Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1972. It cost $18m to build and was a rare example of modernist architecture in the capital.
However, maintenance wasn’t kept up and it took 3.5 years to renovate. A documentary examined the modernisation, led by Dutch architects Mecanoo and DC-based OTJ Architects.
The documentary film follows architect Francine Houben as she investigates the past and present in order to design a world-class library. Francine delves into the archives, meets contemporaries of Mies and King, speaks to current visitors of the library, and participates in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Peace Walk. During her quest, both the building’s namesake and the original architect look over her shoulder critically.
Now I’m imagining one of those tawdry memes with Martin Luther King and Mies van der Rohe in a cloud looking down with their thumbs up.
Tinted with melancholy, his resulting photographic series, Souvenir d’un Futur, exposes these unsung suburban areas but reveals a beauty behind the modernist utopia that had so much promise and wonder. A project that was four years in the making, Laurent combines a mixture of sensitive portraits of older residents along with beautiful architectural photographs that offer pleasing geometric compositions of what feels like a crumbling, ghostly world.
Kronental said he was inspired by his time living in China and that’s where he discovered photography.
“The big cities of this territory stunned me by their gigantic size, their tentacular immoderation, their paradoxes, their metamorphosises, their contrasts and the way the human being lives in this abundant and overpopulated town planning.”
There’s a lot of brutalism in Kronental’s shots interspersed with the people who live in and around the buildings. Old, pale, and grey seems to be the running theme, intentional or otherwise.
In 2017, ARTiculations made a video arguing the case for Brutalist architecture, a polarising style at the best of times.
For the most part, Brutalism was a favoured style of public or institutional buildings such as government facilities, libraries, universities, museums, and social housing. Concrete is a product that is relatively inexpensive, plentiful and accessible. The heavy and enclosed building envelope with limited glazing made it easier for climate control, thus making it economically sensible and practical for institutional use, which in turn also symbolized a degree of modesty and public accountability.
Personally, I love Brutalism but it’s a problematic fave. A lot of the buildings were made poorly and cut corners for the sake of ideology rather than to make peoples’ lives better, per its intentions. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that intentions mean little when the impact is massive and long-standing. You could even say 2020 has been brutal itself.
Last week, Sir David Adjaye became the first Black architect to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture by RIBA in its 173-year history. This was even more remarkable since less than 2% of registered architects are Black.
To honour the occasion, The Spaces picked 8 of the most iconic projects from his career.
Adjaye has worked tirelessly for the last 27 years, taking on projects that range from monumental public scales to intimate domestic spaces, each with an instantly recognisable aesthetic.
Amongst the chosen projects were The Stephen Lawrence Centre in South London and The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.
Post-war Eastern Europe went through radical change at the hands of communism. Brutalism married up with the harshest sociopolitical conditions and defined many landscapes, particularly in countries like Yugoslavia.
It was really an important contribution to create some kind of a life space for citizens in Yugoslavia. The end of World War II, there was a moment of destruction and trauma but then was transformed into a great source of energy for the reconstruction of the country. Hundreds of thousands of young people contributed to the construction of new railway lines, highways, dams, factories. The war really had left deep scars that produced an enormous forward-looking utopian vision of a better world. And architecture played a fundamental role.