Monday, April 16, 2012

Even an army of Marcus Bachmanns couldn't get me to pray away the grey.

Gentlemen, bubble wrap your tender bits; ladies, hug your vajayjays because it's about to get rough around here.  It's time for another Brutalism and modern concrete lovefest 2.0!   
Apartment Building, Ramat-Gan, Israel, 1961-64 via Fuck Yeah Brutalism
Relive the original madness here.

I like my architecture to look like you would not want to meet in in a dark alley.  Unless that alley was made of concrete and looked super scary and aggressive and then YES I would love to meet it and then proceed to over-dramatically tongue kiss while I fondle all its corners. 

Church of the Holy Trinity, St. Georgenberg, Austria, 1965-76 via Fuck Yeah Brutalism
Brutalism appears so clunky and menacing but it really does like its corners delicately fondled.  It just puts on the rough exterior because inside its so tender.  Brutalism would horse fuck you then cuddle after.  Dawww...

It's the architectural equivalent of the Rock Biter from Neverending Story.  That movie was actually a documentary about Brutalism.  The 80s were weird.

Don't worry, Brutalism, you can't fool me.  I see what you're doing there and *whispers low with hand over heart* I'm still here.  Let's hold hands...

Swiss National Exhibition in 1964 from  Schweizerische Polierzeitung, the Swiss Construction Foremen Magazine  via Dispokino
ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT!  Not ready for hand holding yet, huh?  Well then be alone with your pointy self.

[MS Sidebar: In their post, Dispokino asked "what could be a better representation of the simultaneity of modernism and cold war than a concrete hedgehog?"  Not a damn thing, friend.  Not a damn thing.]

Goetheanum spiritual complex, Rudolph Steiner via Subtilitas
I rully like the softer side of Brutalism too.  But it still pours milk over a bowl of Christopher Wrens and eats them for breakfast.

Kenzo Tange's Kagawa Gymnasium via Fuck Yeah Brutalism
Brutalism doesn't believe in "architectural context" or "establishing relationships with surrounding buildings."  The surrounding buildings renovate to match Brutalism.

Sports center in Takamatsu, Japan by Kenzo Tange via City Furniture
Fact: Brutalism can only be photographed in black and white. It roundhouse kicks the color out of your camera.

Well... usually.
Wotruba Church by Fritz Wotruba
A Brutalist church probably roundhouse kicks Jeezus in the face.  Stop pushing people away, Brutalism!  Let them in.
Gottfried Bohm via Coffee With An Architect.
Well it looks like it let people in this time but judging by those tiny windows they are prisoners.  OF LOVE!  

Lock ME in your concrete dungeon!  As long as you have a toaster oven and a freezer full of pizza rolls and vodka, I'll totally pretend every day is an episode of Game of Thrones and get nekkid for our architectural sessy times.

Andre Bloc via Seier + Seier
I'm not sure if this counts as Brutalism but it's definitely the DJ Jazzy Jeff to Brutalism's Fresh Prince.  I wouldn't kick it out of our concrete dungeon of love.

via Baumich but can't find architect...?
This was labeled as Mexican Modernism which might be my new concrete obsession.  Everyone needs a hot Latin lovah at least once in their life, right?!  I don't know, though... that sounds racist.

Orange County Goverment Center in NY via Preservation Nation.  Seen on Evolving Critic's Pinterest of goodies.
Sadly, not everyone loves a giant chunk of foreboding concrete.  Several buildings including this friendly Paul Rudolph one above are in danger of being torn down.  I understand the critics - these buildings aren't traditionally pretty and ARE kinda ugly in a "giving the middle finger to your sense of scale, proportion and emotional connection to place" kind of way but that's part of their charm.  They're the Judd Nelsons of The Breakfast Club.  

I used to hate these monstrosities too but then I realized I hated them because I was denying a part of myself!  Yeah, I'm not ashamed to say I was Brutophobic.  I tried to pray away the grey until I realized I rather liked their terrible form.  

Besides, my backfat and sometimes-abrasive attitude aren't all that pretty but nobody is trying to bulldoze me because of it.  That I've noticed...

So don't deny your ugly, embrace it!  

It should be easy with me - I'm squishy on account of the backfat.


  1. I loved them all...but only half as much as I loved the post.

    1. I'll give you a virtual hug for your sweet comment. Virtual is best because there is NO backfat that way.

  2. I couldn't find any thing to love in these pictures. In the writing - yes.

    1. If I ever hear of you signing a petition to tear down a Brutalist building I'll... I'll... UNFOLLOW YOU!!! ; )

  3. I agree with you MS, brut-itechture is all about the insides; the space and light that occupants...occupy. The coarse, dry, and threatening outsides serve only to prevent the insides from getting crowded by the "faint of heart".


    1. Excellent point! Brutalism is best appreciated by adventurers! Well, I'm not sure I qualify as that but for the purposes of this post - YES. Yes I am.

      Hhhmm... I think Brutalism INTERIORS next time.

  4. Hmm...looking at these, ah, brutal pictures, I kept thinking of Gaudi. Do you think that Gaudi's melted-candlewax-looking style is the opposite of brutalism, or maybe what would happen to brutalism if the sun was suddenly 1000 times hotter?

    1. Ahahahaha! I love the idea that Gaudi was a Brutalist but maybe he flew too close to the sun. Or was super super drunk and all his blueprints turned out wonky...

  5. I wonder if anyone has ever added some English Garden charm to a wonderful brutalistic relic. It would make an interesting juxtaposition.

    aka, deb

    1. Ha! I would love to see it! Put an English bush on it, Bruts. ; )

  6. You're squishy...from behind! In front is all hedgehog, baby! A whole new spin on biz in front, party in back!

    Brutalism and mullets. A match made in alcohol soaked heaven. I miss you, alcohol. Soon. Soooooooon.

    1. Ahahaha! I love everything about this. Especially when we realized I'm a mullet. And the part where we realized you might be an alcoholic was pretty good too... ; )

  7. Brutalism, you can hate it or love it, but you cannot tell it's indifferent to you. It's impossible not to react to it. I walk by this building in Buenos Aires:
    It gives me chills up and down my spine everytime I see it. First I hate it as it stand out so much due to its location sorrounded by more traditional buildings but now I love it for the same reason!

    1. Excellent answer, Romy! It's impossible not to react to and that's more important than appearing "pretty." At least for me and I hope for preservationists.

      Thanks for your comment and welcome to the Sauce!