Monday, October 11, 2010

New Brutalism

The first referencee to the New Brutalism was made by Alison Smithson in 1953. After that two architects Alison and her husband Peter Smithson completed the Secondary Modern School at Hunstanton which was at once accepted as the first Britalist building. The design of this school was influenced by the works of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and it was included placing the facility's water tank, normally a hidden service feature, in a prominent, visible tower.
In some respects New Brutalism was largely took its cue from beton brut creations of Le Corbusier such as the United d'Habitation at Marseilles. The term itself was developed and popularized by Banham firstly in an article published in Architectural Review and then in his book The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic?
Brutalist buildings usually are formed with striking repetitive angular geometries, and, wher concrete is used, often revealing the texture of the wooden forms used for the in-situ casting. Although concrete is the material most widely associated with Brutalist architecture, not all Brutalist buildings are formed from concrete.
Another common theme in Brutalist designs is the exposure of the building's functions—ranging from their structure and services to their human use—in the exterior of the building.
Brutalism as an architectural philosophy, rather than a style, was often also associated with a socialist utopian ideology, which tended to be supported by its designers. Critics argue that this abstract nature of Brutalism makes the style unfriendly and uncommunicative, instead of being integrating and protective, as its proponents intended. Brutalism also is criticised as disregarding the social, historic, and architectural environment of its surroundings, making the introduction of such structures in existing developed areas appear starkly out of place and alien. The failure of positive communities to form early on in some Brutalist structures, possibly due to the larger processes of urban decay that set in after World War II (especially in the United Kingdom), led to the combined unpopularity of both the ideology and the architectural style.

Main Representatives:
Erno Goldfinger
Alison and Peter Smithson
Sir Denys Lasdun
Louis Kahn
John Andrews


UCSD's Geisel Library is one of the most famous examples of brutalist architecture, and has been featured in a number of science fiction movies.

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