Posts Tagged ‘brutalism’

Have we learned nothing from the 60s UK demolitions?

Friday, November 20th, 2015

The urban planning disasters of the 1960s in Britain. We think we have learned from them, but have we?

Start watching the video at 14:00 if you don’t want to watch the whole documentary, which is a sort of myth-busting look at the 60s in England. There’s a fantastic segment on brutalism, the influence of le Corbusier, and the question of who benefited from the wholesale destruction of English towns and cities in the 60s.

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Brutalist Vancouver building that hasn’t dated

Sunday, May 27th, 2012


(Thanks to Steven Ballegeer for this photo on Flickr)

Just to prove I don’t hate all tall buildings, this early 1970s brutalist concrete highrise in Vancouver is a long-time favourite of mine, and one that I think has held up really well over the years. It’s known as the 805 Broadway Medical Dental Centre or the Frank Stanzl building.

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Modernist apartment building #2

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

This is part 2 in a series. It’s Lost Lagoon Terrace at 845 Chilco in Vancouver, built in 1972, another example of 1960s/70s modernist apartment architecture. The undulating patterned concrete tile extends the whole way up the front face. Whatever happened to patterned concrete, and why are the 1970s the most reviled of all decades, when the 1980s are so much more deserving of dislike?

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When bric-a-brac was part of a revolutionary politics

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Vancouver curator Scott Watson’s essay Urban Renewal: Ghost Traps, Collage, Condos and Squats is part of the impressive and totally compelling Vancouver Art in the Sixties website project. It’s a well-organized archive of Vancouver’s 1960s art production and it’s far too large a topic for one post.

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Vancouver, if Tokyo doesn’t want the Nakagin Capsule Tower, let’s ship it over here.

Friday, July 10th, 2009

It shouldn’t be that difficult; it comes apart. The owner residents of Tokyo’s famous Nakagin Capsule Tower have voted to demolish it and rebuild a “modern” tower on the same location, which is now a valuable property adjacent to the Ginza district. See the recent article by architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff in the NYT and an interesting post on pingmag.

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Furniture makers of Middle Earth

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

I find this Todd Merrell Antiques magazine ad weirdly compelling. If you end up at his website (now defunct) it’s like being transported into Middle Earth or the underworld. You might have to retrieve an amulet with the help of a talking dog with eyes as big as saucers or something.

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