Bulldozers move in on Robin Hood Gardens

Despite years of campaigning from architects and heritage bodies, demolition is now underway on Robin Hood Gardens, the post-war housing estate in east London designed by exponents of new brutalism, Alison and Peter Smithson. Images showing the the historic 1970s housing estate being pulled down began appearing on social media earlier this week, although its demolition has

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Robin Hood Gardens demolition is an “act of vandalism” says Simon Smithson

Simon Smithson, the son of the architects behind the soon-to-be-demolished Robin Hood Gardens, has attacked politicians for tampering with the heritage-listing system, to erase prime examples of the UK’s post-war architecture. An architect at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Smithson was a key figure in the campaign to save the brutalist landmark designed by Alison and Peter Smithson. Despite nationwide

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Sydney’s Sirius building saved from demolition in “triumph for brutalism”

One of Sydney’s only examples of brutalist architecture has been given a second chance, after a court ruled against the government decision not to heritage list it. The Sirius apartment block in The Rocks was facing demolition following the New South Wales government’s rejection of a recommendation to list the building as a valuable piece of architectural heritage. But

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Brutalist library in Chicago gets interior update by Woodhouse Tinucci

US firm Woodhouse Tinucci Architects has spruced up reading room in the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library, a 1970s building originally designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Totalling 18,000 square feet (1,672 square metres), the project entailed transforming a ground-level reading room of the brutalist library into a space more suitable for group meetings

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Marta Colmenero illustrates brutalist landmarks around the world

Spanish designer Marta Colmenero has created a set of illustrations that capture the concrete forms of brutalist architecture across the globe. The series features some of the world’s best-known brutalist buildings, from Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 to Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation. Commissioned by insurance comparison site Go Compare for its Concrete Feats microsite, Colmenero has illustrated

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Safdie-esque extension proposed for Sydney’s brutalist Sirius building

Australian studio CplusC Architectural Workshop has envisioned a Tetris-like extension to the demolition-threatened Sirius building in Sydney, which bears a resemblance to Moshe Safdie’s iconic Habitat 67 housing. CplusC Architectural Workshop proposes the conceptual scheme as an alternative to levelling the brutalist Sirius social housing building, which the New South Wales (NSW) government plans to sell off for redevelopment.

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Asaf Lerman updates Oscar Niemeyer’s Haifa University library building in Israel

Tel Aviv architect Asaf Lerman has renovated a library building designed by Oscar Niemeyer for Israel’s Haifa University, and added a new wing to complement its brutalist concrete and glass construction. Lerman’s studio won a competition in 2002 to oversee the renovation and expansion of the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Library, and spent over a

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Villa CD by OOA | Office O Architects

Villa CD is a brutalist residential project, designed by OOA | Office O Architects in 2015. Situated on top of a light, sandy dune, not far from the Belgian seaside, the home stands within a community of bungalows built in the early 1960s, bordering a …

Griss Equine Veterinary Practice By Marte.Marte Architekten

Griss Equine Veterinary Practice is located in Rankweil, Austria, a small village at the end of the Rhine Valley, in the middle of an expansive lea. Designed by marte.marte architekten, the clear-lined building stands out due to the distinctly brutalis…

Competition: five copies of the Brutalist Washington Map to be won

Dezeen has teamed up with Blue Crow Media to give away five copies of a map detailing 40 examples of brutalist architecture in Washington DC. The double-side foldout guide pinpoints the locations of buildings across the US capital, including the J Edgar Hoover building, Georgetown’s Lauinger Library and Dulles Airport. Each building is accompanied by photographs and information,

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Max von Werz converts brutalist Mexico City building into OMR Gallery

A mid-century concrete structure in the heart of Mexican City has been renovated and extended to accommodate a contemporary art gallery. Architect Max von Werz created a home for OMR Gallery within the brutalist-style building in the city’s Roma neighbourhood, just a short distance from its previous space. “After 30 years in a turn-of-the-century Porfirian villa, the contemporary

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Unions ban construction workers from demolishing Sydney’s brutalist Sirius building

Australian trade unions have banned construction workers from demolishing one of Sydney’s only brutalist buildings, which failed in its bid for heritage listing earlier this summer. The New South Wales (NSW) government plans to sell off the Sirius housing building in the city’s Rocks area for redevelopment. But a new “green ban” by Unions NSW and the Construction, Forestry, More

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Cité Radieuse combines elements from many of Le Corbusier’s previous designs

World Heritage Corb: Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in Marseille is one of French-Swiss architect’s most recognised buildings, and is the last in our series exploring the 17 of his projects added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List (+ slideshow). The apartment complex in the French city – also known as Cité Radieuse – is the first More

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Heritage listing denied for rare Brutalist building in Sydney

New South Wales officials have rejected recommendations to heritage list the Sirius apartment building – leaving one of Sydney’s only examples of Brutalist architecture at risk of demolition. The government’s environment and heritage minister Mark Speakman announced the decision to ignore the advice of preservation bodies. The refusal to include the Sirius building on the State Heritage Register leaves the site More

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Replacement housing revealed for London’s doomed Robin Hood Gardens

Haworth Tompkins and Metropolitan Workshop have revealed their designs for housing that will replace London’s historic Robin Hood Gardens estate by Brutalist architects Alison and Peter Smithson. Stirling Prize-winner Haworth Tompkins and fellow London firm Metropolitan Workshop have each designed two buildings for the site in Poplar where the Brutalist 1970s estate currently stands. As phase two of More

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Le Corbusier’s Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp features a monumental concrete roof

World Heritage Corb: next up in our series on the 17 buildings by Le Corbusier that have been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List is the architect’s Notre Dame du Haut, the small chapel in Ronchamp, France, that has become one of his most iconic designs. Completed in 1954, the Ronchamp chapel was built for More

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Maison de la Culture by Le Corbusier features an asymmetrically curved concrete roof

World Heritage Corb: next up in our series on the 17 Le Corbusier buildings that have just been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list is the Maison de la Culture, a cultural centre in Firminy, France (+ slideshow). Maison de la Culture is part of a larger complex of buildings by the Swiss-born French architect, called Firminy More

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Dramatically overhauled plans unveiled for Preston Bus Station

John Puttick Associates has significantly revised its designs for a new youth centre at Preston Bus Station, a transport hub in northern England that has become an icon of Brutalist architecture (+ slideshow). The New York firm led by British architect John Puttick won an RIBA-organised competition in 2015 to overhaul the station and add a new youth centre in its grounds. More

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Alastair Philip Wiper finds “noble failure” at Breuer’s Brutalist French ski resort of Flaine

Photo essay: why do so many people hate the Brutalist architecture of Flaine? To find out, photographer Alastair Philip Wiper travelled to the Marcel Breuer-designed ski resort in the French Alps often referred to as “phlegm”. Flaine was commissioned in the 1960s by a couple fascinated with Modern architecture. They invited the Hungarian architect to create More

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“Birth” of Brutalist Barbican Estate documented in Peter Bloomfield’s construction photos

Photographer Peter Bloomfield spent four years behind-the-scenes on the construction site of London’s Barbican Estate, documenting the iconic Brutalist development as it “emerged from its chrysalis of scaffolding” (+ slideshow). The post-war complex, designed in the 1950s by British firm Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, was under construction through the 60s and 70s. It was officially More

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Instagram users offer a sneak peek inside The Met’s empty Breuer building

Instagram users have been posting images of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s empty Breuer building in New York, before the interiors are populated with art works for its opening next month. A photo posted by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (@metmuseum) on Feb 10, 2016 at 7:14am PST The first official images of the reinstalled interior More

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Haworth Tompkins appointed to work on Robin Hood Gardens redevelopment

Stirling Prize winner Haworth Tompkins has been appointed to design some of the housing that will replace Robin Hood Gardens, the historic east-London estate by Brutalist architects Alison and Peter Smithson. The London studio led by architects Graham Haworth and Steve Tompkins will work alongside Metropolitan Workshop on phase two of the redevelopment scheme in Poplar, known as the Blackwall More

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Demonising estates won’t solve the UK’s housing crisis, says heritage chief

The director of the UK’s Twentieth Century Society has urged prime minister David Cameron to ditch plans to demolish post-war housing estates or risk an architectural “tragedy”. Catherine Croft warned that demonising post-war estates would not solve the housing crisis, after the prime minister pledged to demolish or “regenerate” 100 of the social housing developments More

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David Cameron pledges to demolish UK’s “brutal” council estates

UK prime minister David Cameron has revealed plans to bulldoze or overhaul 100 so-called “sink estates”, blaming their design for fostering crime and poverty. Cameron described the country’s post-war social housing estates as “brutal” and a “gift to criminals and drug dealers” in an article published in the Sunday Times and on the government’s website yesterday. He pledged More

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John Puttick Associates wins competition for £13 million Preston Bus Station overhaul

New York practice John Puttick Associates has won the competition to redevelop the Brutalist 1960s bus station in Preston, England, with a design that features a rooftop football pitch, a climbing wall and a skate park. John Puttick Associates was selected through a RIBA-run competition to overhaul Preston Bus Station, which was designed in the 1960s by Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson […]

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Visual artist recreates Paul Rudolph house as the architect intended it to be

LA-based architect and visual artist Dan Huh has created a set of images that depict Paul Rudolph’s original design for the celebrated Milam Residence in Florida (+ slideshow). Located in the coastal community of Ponte Vedra Beach, the Milam Residence caused “a sensation” when it was built in 1962, according to the Paul Rudolph Foundation. Commissioned […]

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Politician calls for immediate demolition of Robin Hood Gardens after listing bid fails

The latest bid to grant listing status to the Brutalist Robin Hood Gardens estate in east London has failed and the local MP has called for it to be “brought down ASAP”. Public body Historic England – which administers and maintains the register of England’s listed buildings – has announced that the UK government will not list […]

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Youth centre proposals shortlisted for Brutalist Preston Bus Station refurbishment

The Royal Institute of British Architects has revealed five possible designs for a youth centre that will form part of the £23 million redevelopment of Preston’s Brutalist bus station, which was recently saved from demolition (+ slideshow). Five teams are shortlisted for the construction of a youth centre beside the curving concrete parking bays of Preston […]

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“The real problem with all this Fun is that it isn’t really very funny”

Opinion: twisting slides, a hotel room shaped like a boat and a pop-up theatre are among the “fun” recent additions to London’s Brutalist Southbank Centre. Has Owen Hatherley lost his sense of humour or is there something more sinister in all these layers of entertainment? If you approach London’s Southbank Centre from Waterloo station, you will […]

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Richard Rogers calls for architects to help save “exceptional” Robin Hood Gardens

Architect Richard Rogers has urged the architectural community to support the preservation of the Brutalist Robin Hood Gardens estate, which he has described as post-war Britain’s most important social housing development. Rogers and colleague Simon Smithson – the son of Robin Hood Gardens’ architects Alison and Peter Smithson – have sent an open letter to members of the architecture, […]

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Last-ditch bid launched to save Robin Hood Gardens from demolition

A high-profile campaign to save the Brutalist Robin Hood Gardens housing estate in London has been revived. Heritage organisation the Twentieth Century Society has filed a new report calling for the preservation of the Alison and Peter Smithson-designed estate, which is heralded by many as one of the UK’s most important examples of Brutalist architecture. The […]

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Competition launched to create youth centre inside Preston’s Brutalist bus station

News: an international design competition has been launched to create a “state-of-the-art facility for young people” inside Preston Bus Station, an iconic Brutalist building in Lancashire, England. The redesign of the western half of the 1960s building, which was saved from demolition in 2013, was initiated by local authority Lancashire County Council and community group Preston Youth […]
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Moshe Safdie used “all the Lego in Montreal” to design Habitat 67

Movie: in the second interview from our exclusive series, AIA 2015 Gold Medallist architect Moshe Safdie explains how he used Lego to design the groundbreaking Habitat 67 housing development. Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, who was named the American Institute of Architects’ 2015 Gold Medal recipient last week, combined two archetypes to create a proposal for […]
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Brutalist seminary to be resurrected in 2015 after 25 years of neglect

News: after a quarter of a century of decay, a full design team has been appointed to convert the ruins of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia’s Brutalist St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, Scotland, into a major venue for art and culture. Designed by celebrated architects, the late Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan, the concrete seminary was completed in […]

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Brutalist buildings: National Theatre, London by Denys Lasdun

Brutalism: Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre – one of London’s best-known and most divisive Brutalist buildings – is a layered concrete landscape that Prince Charles once described as being like “a nuclear power station”. Completed in 1976, the Royal National Theatre stands on the South Bank of the Thames, just downstream of Waterloo bridge. It is formed […]

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