Diverse, intelligent discourse about Brutalism seems to be coming thick and fast.
As one of the guardians of Balfron Tower's future (one which was previously very uncertain), we welcome the change of pace.
‘It feels like there’s something in the air,’ says National Trust’s London creative director Joseph Watson, who says the organisation has noticed a sea-change in attitudes, particularly among urban audiences, as it begins to think more seriously about post-war architecture itself. Perhaps one factor for the change in attitudes, he says, is that with the passage of time brutalist architecture can now be viewed more objectively by those who didn’t live through its failures.
Elain Harwood has just published a fine, scholarly but accessible book, Space, Hope, and Brutalism: English Architecture, 1945-1975 (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art).
You may probably have already seen or collected one of our current favourites, "Brutal London".
This is a collection of five paper cut-out models representing London’s brutalist architecture from 1960s and 70s released by design studio Zupagrafika. Scattered around the districts of Camden, Southwark and Tower Hamlet, the “raw concrete (paper) tour begins with iconic tower blocks (Balfron Tower and Space House), leads through council estates doomed to demolition (Robin Hood Gardens and Aylesbury Estate) and concludes with a classic prefab panel block (Ledbury Estate).”