Completed in 1969 by Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson, a pair of architects working for British firm Building Design Partnership (now known as BDP), the 170-metre-long structure became the largest bus station in Europe and a poster child for the Brutalist style.
The colossal scale of the structure – it boasts 40 gates for double-decker buses on both its east and west sides – is seen as both the building’s greatest feature and, by some, its failing. It faced demolition in 2013, following reports that a much-needed renovation could cost as much as £23 million due to the size of the project. But its popularity amongst both local residents and architects led to a heritage listing that blocked any future redevelopment of the site. (Dezeen)
Now, as its renovation is completed, it’s plain that the bus station deserves to stand alongside the other robust civic masonry that Preston, like many industrial cities, boasts: the neo-Greek Harris Museum and Art Gallery; the Edwardian baroque Sessions House. (Guardian)
Image Credits: Wikipedia, Lancashire Council, 20th Century Architecture, Dezeen, Tom Clarke, theplanner
Collegio del Colle, Urbino (PU), 1962-1965
Collegio del Colle is located in the hills of Urbino. It is the first one of four university colleges realized by De Carlo between 1973 and 1983. The sloping terraces follow the land shapes. De Carlo tries the interpenetration between the shapes of architectural volume and the morphology of Urbino. This section represents a cell, which is composed by two bedrooms in two different floors.
This group of building is mainly made of exposed bricks; the main structure and the cantilevered elements are made of reinforced concrete. Even if his architecture is a natural inclination of the hills, the materials he used underline their strong presence in the landscape. (Claretta Mazzonetto)
The early “collegio del colle” is formed by a central nucleus with collective services, surronded by several groups of small residential cells, lying on a hill near the city of Urbino. Concrete and brick constructive elements are in harmonic contrast with the landscape. The following three groups of “collegi” (vela, aquilone, tridente), were added between 1973 and 1983, creating a organic ensemble. (Francesco Di Bella)
Giancarlo De Carlo (1919-2005) has been one of the most influential figures of the Italian architectural scene of the second half of the twentieth century. A protagonist of the architectural debate since the mid-1940s, De Carlo visited Urbino for the first time in 1951, invited by the dean of the university, the writer Carlo Bo, who, in the following year, commissioned him the renovation of the ancient seat of the atheneum in the historic center of the city. Such a commission marks the starting point of the long relationship that ties the life and work of the architect to the city of the Marches: the collaboration first with the university and then with the municipality is kept alive up to last years before De Carlo’s death. (detailsinsection)
Image Credits: sosbrutalism, istate, organiconcrete, wikimedia, spatialagency, divisare,
Middle East Technical University is located in Ankara and one of the prominent figures of modern architecture in Turkey. Its Faculty of Architecture building has recently received The Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern grant which is an initiative focused on supporting model projects for the conservation of modern architecture.
The Middle East Technical University (METU) Faculty of Architecture Building located in Ankara is considered the premier example of modern architecture in Turkey. Originally housing administrative offices and the university’s central library, the building was conceived in the 1950s to reflect a political agenda that valued innovation and new models for learning. Designed by Turkish-born architect couple Altuğ and Behruz Çinici as a manifestation of a forward-looking nation, the building incorporates striking nods to the International Style, as well as regional interpretations of modernism. In 1966 the building became the Faculty of Architecture. (The Getty Foundation)
Image Credits: SaltOnline, Cinici Architects, METU Faculty of Architecture Visual Archive, worldarchitecture.org, worldarchitecture.org
Erickson’s design was regarded as innovative in several key aspects. Its mountain top location inspired Erickson to reject multi-story buildings, which he felt would look presumptuous. Instead, Erickson turned for inspiration to the acropolis in Athens and the hill towns of Italy, where the mountain was incorporated into the design itself. This concept is evident in many aspects of the university’s design. For example, the manner in which the buildings are terraced to remain in harmony with the contours of the landscape and the emphasis upon the horizontal rather than the vertical expansion of the buildings themselves.
Another innovative aspect of the design was its rejection of the traditional separation of faculties and departments into individual buildings. In emphasizing the universality of the university rather than the specialization of knowledge, Erickson wanted to facilitate interdisciplinary work and a closer relationship between faculty and students. To this end, the design incorporated buildings which would house several departments as well as classroom space. This measure satisfied the practical requirements of both students and faculty by reducing the travel time between classes, as well as fostering an intimate learning environment. (Simon Fraser University)
Image Credits: Modernist Architecture, Wikipedia
Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s Brazilian Museum of Sculpture in São Paulo, Brazil is a simple yet provocative design that uses a large beam to give the museum a presence, while also fulfilling the need for shade and shelter for the exterior plaza. (Archidose)
Though MuBE took shape in the late 1980s, significantly after Brutalism’s heyday, it is a striking example of the Paulista School style—the international movement’s Brazilian iteration. As such, Mendes da Rocha—who received a Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale and the 2006 Pritzker Prize—embraced the large-scale, bulky forms that raw concrete naturally facilitates, manifested in the nearly-200-foot beam atop the museum. Containing offices, an art school, and open, concrete galleries, the museum itself is built largely below ground, so as to respect the surrounding green space. (Rachel Lebowitz)
Image Credits: Archdaily, Danda, Artsy
The Brutalist Playgrounds Exhibition
@ RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London
10 June-16 August 2015
The Brutalist Playground is a new commission by Turner Prize nominees
Assemble and artist Simon Terrill, exploring post-war design for play.
Occupying the entire Architecture Gallery at RIBA, it encourages visitors to look at the materiality and visual language of now lost Brutalist landscapes in new ways through an immersive and conceptual landscape. Although the value of Brutalist residential buildings today is much debated, this exhibition shifts the focus to the equally important playgrounds found at the feet of these structures, offering a renewed understanding and critique of the architects’ original designs and intentions. (architecture.com)