Ode to Brutalism

armpitsOFmight

Active Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Messages
852
Reaction score
0
I like Brutalism because it makes a city look like an urban dungeon. Boston needs more skyscrapers like the Ryugyong Hotel.

 

joebos

Active Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
259
Reaction score
0
They've started working on that building again. It's getting a mirrored glass cladding which will completely cover the concrete surface. I still think it's ugly but not as bad as in that pic above.

 

czsz

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
6,045
Reaction score
1
I hope North Korea never gets the money for the glassy surface. Why AZN it out when NK is so much better at totalitarian gloominess?
 

vanshnookenraggen

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
6,301
Reaction score
36
I hope North Korea never gets the money for the glassy surface. Why AZN it out when NK is so much better at totalitarian gloominess?
Last pic I saw they had most of it covered. Don't worry, it is still a structurally unsound ghost town inside.
 

FrankG

New member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
95
Reaction score
0
If by "skyscrapers like the Ryugyong Hotel" you mean "excessively ambitious projects that began in earnest but may never be completed," we have plenty of those here in Boston.
 

czsz

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
6,045
Reaction score
1
Indeed; I'm sure Ned Flaherty would readily agree to the analogy between those and this totalitarian monolith.
 

odurandina

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,890
Reaction score
40
^ I appreciate the rigorousness of Rudolph's work, and recognize that the austerity (or gravitas) present in much of his large-scale work seems oppressive by contemporary standards.....
Your admiration of working concrete into huge monolithic forms can be appreciated to some degree. It's a free country. i can picture these brutalist sand castles being imposed on Central Siberia.... or Bishkek or Khabarovsk (on the far reaches). But it doesn't work well in a lovely, historical city like Boston. i'm not even sure Milwaukee would have benefited from this garbage.

Perhaps some of it could be elevated to a discussion about preservation, were it not that

The buildings are just so fundamentally bad not just from an urban perspective, but nearly any perspective...

Our lost, drunken weekend of brutalist adventurism occurred in crucial areas where we can least afford it for any number of reasons...

the destruction that led to it is just so bad....

the planning that followed, was then made so much worse.

then, not only does it not edify our historical area, or fit with the range of post-colonial to mid/late-18th century motif,

but it's just such a huge middle finger, which is exactly what the tower springing out of the State Services complex would have looked like. !!!

But, then, to have so many pedestrian routes complete cut off both visually and physically.

There's no utility to these aged out projects. We simply don't have the land. We eschew density nearly everywhere, and we've reached that point of a crushing need for space where institutions and people will have to come together to 'make it all work,' and it would be best for all if we just move on.
 

FK4

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,407
Reaction score
43
Was going to post a couple awesome pics of the Pilgrimage Cathedral, but, not knowing much about architecture, I just went down the rabbit hole of brutalist churches. Sorry, went a little nuts, but I learned a lot and wanted to share. I have no rights to any of these images.

The St. Francis de Sales Church, Marcel Breuer and Herbert Beckhard, 1964-1967.








St. John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota, by Marcel Breuer, 1953 to 1961








Church of St Johannes XXIII, Cologne, Germany, by Hans Buchmann & Josef Rikus, 1964 to 1969





St. Agnes Church, Berlin, by Werner Duttman, 1964 to 1967.
This is a great pic but it's a huge image so didnt post as a pic.






St. Johannes Capistran, Berlin, by Reinhard Hofbauer, 1960s. Demolished.



St. Johannes Baptist, Karlsruhe-Durlach, Germany, by Rainer Disse & Immo Reinhold, 1962-65



And another beaut w/ detail of altar, organ and concrete columns.

Feldberg Church, Feldberg, Germany, by Rainer Disse, 1960-61




Notre Dame du Royan, Royan, France, by Guillaume Gillet and Marc Hébrard, 1955-1958









Church of the Assumption, Calafell, Spain, by Jaume Teixido, consecrated 1975






Church of Our Lady of the Philippines, Madrid, Spain, by Cecilio Sanchez-Robles Tarín, 1967-1970





Pilgrimage Cathedral, Germany, Gottfried Böhm, 1968-1972








Mary Queen of Peace Church, Kassel-Bad Wilhelmshöhe, Germany, by Gottfried Böhm, consecrated 1959








Church of the Assumption of Mary, Riola di Vergato, Italy, by Alvar Aalto. According to wikipedia, "It was built starting in 1975 and was consecrated in 1978, with the Campanile completed as late as 1993."




Third Church of Christ, Scientist, DC, Araldo Cossutta under I.M. Pei, completed 1971/demolished 2014



Saint-Nicolas Church, Heremence, Switzerland, by Walter Maria Förderer, 1968





Wortuba Church (Church of the Most Holy Trinity), Vienna, by Fritz Wortruba, 1974-1976






St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo, by Kenzo Tange, completed 1964 (not exactly Brutalism but the interior is raw concrete so...)
[/IMG]

 

Beton Brut

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
4,284
Reaction score
6
There's no utility to these aged out projects. We simply don't have the land. We eschew density nearly everywhere, and we've reached that point of a crushing need for space where institutions and people will have to come together to 'make it all work,' and it would be best for all if we just move on.
So, I won't waste anyone's time with a discussion of aesthetics - let's toss it aside.

I get it that the the scale of Rudolph's unfinished symphony in concrete needs to be addressed for it to find a second life. But think very hard about what you're "just mov(ing) on" to. And also remember, this is Boston - we don't "just" do anything. In the language of my fathers, "shit just drags..."

Does anyone think that the State Services Center site could host new construction with higher density and equivalent architectural ambition and integrity? Or will a reboot of the site closely resemble the Bulfinch Triangle's joylessly anodyne build-out? Or the "Seaport's" soulless sizzle?

Someone with deeper pockets and more influence will need to "adopt" this old dog.

That someone should imagine:
• a residential component as the centerpiece of an adaptive reuse;
• Street-level restaurants that spill onto terraces and wider sidewalks, where calmer traffic and cyclists pass on narrower, pedestrian-friendly streets;
• Other street-facing spaces opened up with frameless glass, displaying artist studios, or a brewery;
• A rooftop addition and tower (cloudlike forms, fritted glass[?], in the manner of Stephen Holl).

Oh, here's the aforementioned Tuskegee Chapel.
 
Last edited:

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
1,424
Reaction score
17
Virtually every building in the above photos represents a depiction of a severe psychotic episode or a very bad acid trip. They almost make me physically sick. Sorry, but my opinion.
 

SlothofDespond

Active Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
143
Reaction score
2
Virtually every building in the above photos represents a depiction of a severe psychotic episode or a very bad acid trip. They almost make me physically sick. Sorry, but my opinion.
Agreed. All irredeemably inhuman and horrible. The kind of garbage their creator gets a pat on the back about and then never has to look at again.
 

atlantaden

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2006
Messages
2,035
Reaction score
13
They certainly don't age well! And as far as the Rudolph's unfinished monstrosity, please, just get out the jackhammers and bulldozers and call it a day!
 

Brad Plaid

Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2013
Messages
947
Reaction score
7
Thanks for the posting FK. The Breuer in Collegeville is a masterpiece, has always been a favorite. Nothing dull or half-assed about any of these, they are full throttle brutalism and the interiors speak to a stripped down, unconventional beauty every bit the equal of the gothic grandeur of the past.
 

Top