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Brutally Speaking


Tell us about your favourite buildings, architects and designers. What makes you a fan of brutalism, modernism or constructivism? Are there great examples in your home town? Unsung heros? We’d love to hear from you, submit your article here or contact us for a q&a opportunity. Selected articles will be featured in Off The Béton Track

Discussions, Debates, Campaigns


Preservation, renovation and conservation share your views about what matters to you. Is there a campaign you feel isn’t getting enough attention? Are you lobbying to protect a building of architectural significance. We’d like to hear from you

Have news for us? Submit your post

Roof elements, Czech Embassy

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London’s Czech Embassy – Brutalist and Proud

Der Spiegel Office

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Verner Panton, the Danish architect and designer who took a generation on a psychedelic trip

Arseniy Kotov Norilsk

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Monumental Landscapes at Human Scale: Soviet Seasons

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Claude Parent; Curating the legacy of a visionary architect

bucharest architecture

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Exposing the real and raw face of Bucharest

curved staircase

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Camino Real Polanco, Mexico City

Uncompromising, bold colours, in-your-face geometry and the brilliant use of natural light

avant garde soviet architecture

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Social Condensers – changing society through architecture

View of mausebunker showing pipes protruding from side

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‘Thinking Forward Through the Past’

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If you have a hankering to experience the vigour, invention and imagination of world-class street art a short walk from the Barbican Centre then head for Whitecross Street.

Marlene Poelzig Haus

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Haus Marlene Poelzig: Why erasing women from architecture history is such a bad idea

embroidery by Sasha Braulov

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Sasha Braulov and the Inspiration of Constructivism

Recreating the monumental forms of modernist buildings in traditional needlework techniques.

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Haludovo Palace Hotel, Croatia:

Penthouse Magazine founder Bob Guccione had one hell of a party on the island of Krk which came with a $45 million dollar price tag.

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Interview with Barnabas Calder:

Barnabas Calder (Raw Concrete: The Beauty of Brutalism) now, in  Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency? has written an aeon spanning architectural history that encompasses architecture’s role in causing and solving the crisis

Lingotto the fiat factory Italy

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The Fiat car company and its founders the Agnelli family are the perfect medium to understand the development of Italian politics, industry and design in the 20th Century. 

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Futuro House: If you spotted a Futuro Pod in need of some serious care, could you just walk on by?

the first modernist house in britain

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High and Over Britain’s First Modernist Country House

nuns walking across courtyard of church

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Remembering Gottfried Böhm whose 100th birthday was celebrated in 2020 with the exhibition: The Concrete Cathedral of Neviges. 

slovak brutalist architecture in london

Community Posts

Virtual Tour of the Czech and Slovak Embassies in London | Brutal Beauty

Nostalgia poster

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Nostalgia for the Future: Indian Modernism

Ilse Bing female photographers

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Galerie Berinson and the Emergence of Modern Photography

urban exploration photography

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Urbex: The Accidental Obsession of Modern Architecture Lovers |Why is Notre-Dame the latest subject for Urbex?

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A sneak peak at Lovell Health House

orange walkway Hatoya hotel

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A retro-futurist vision, Hatoya Hotel, Itō, Shizuoka

venice biennale

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Venice Biennale Architecture 2021 asks How will we live together?

socialist era cinema

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Othernity – Reconditioning Our Modern Heritage, the Hungarian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

British Pavilion venice biennale

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The Garden of Privatised Delights: The British Pavilion, Venice Biennale Architettura 2021

Jos art history podcast

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Jo’s Art History Podcast with Greyscape | The Barbican Living in an Architectural Experiment

street view towards Barbican Station

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The Barbican – Concrete Community

Tokyo Architecture

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Boxed in, how a dream project for capsule living turned ugly: Nakagin Capsule Tower

Lacket

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New Brutalists’ “Japanese” Pavilions: The Smithsons and Theo Crosby

Michaela-Chmelíčková Istropolis.jpg

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Shining a light on Slovakian Architectural heritage, Čierne diery

lines and circles paris streets

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Jordane Saget is leaving his mark on Paris

carlo scarpa architect

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Negozio Olivetti by Carlo Scarpa: Adriano Olivetti a man with a vision who worked to ensure that it was hardwired into his company.

 

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Its music to the ears of fans of brutalist architecture, Les Orgues de Flandre now has its deserved protected status.

interior with concrete walls villa kaplansky

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Villa Kaplansky Antwerp

le havre volcan lit

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Constructing the Concrete City; the post-war rebuilding of the port of Le Havre

Kelenföld District 11 Budapest

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Kelenföld’s journey to the Venice Biennale

concrete spomenik

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Spomeniks – a heroic and terrible history caught in concrete

in a golden light turin castle

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Turin or Torino, both correct…it just depends on who you ask.

French architecture Emile Aillaud

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The Cloud Towers, Nanterre’s Tours Nuages

no longer accessible

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Soviet-era Cinema in Panevezys, Lithuania could not be saved

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A window of opportunity

housing in Banjica, Serbia

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Banjica Бањица, neighbourhood, Belgrade, Serbia

scapa design detail

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The Tomba Brion Cemetery: Inside Carlo Scarpa’s Last Great Concrete Masterpiece

chamberlin Powell and bON

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Chamberlin, Powell and Bon’s other spot; Vanbrugh Park

SaveTrellickHallOfFame

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Trellick Tower 2021 Campaign #SaveTrellickHallofFame

 

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Ballinhaus: Call it by its name

bethesda residence photographer boris feldblyum

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One Photographer’s Journey

It all started with a Smena 1 Camera

parking lot of Sears department store

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A San Diego Story

brutalist architecture in Skopje

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How an earthquake brought Kenzo Tange to Skopje

Berthold Lubetkin Bevin Court above buried Lenin bust

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Very nearly called Lenin Court, Lubetkin’s Modernist Icon Bevin Court in the ‘Socialist Republic of Finsbury’

Gingerbread City for MoA

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Take Part In The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread House City Exhibition:

It Takes A Village To Build A Gingerbread City

This photo oozes the optimism of US mid-century modernism. Richard Spencer's modernist house in Santa Monica. The famous Julian Shulman photograph with Spencer and his then wife Josephine Caruso standing either side of the fireplace.

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The Accidental Archivist: George Smart and USModernist

street art london sam kerridge

Community Posts

Sam Kerridge: Processing Cityscapes, grab your camera and follow the geotags

richard Neutra

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Sunseekers: The Immigrant Architects That Created Hippie California

The Making of Lovell Health House

rose building La Muralla Roja

Off the Béton Track

Bofill’s La Muralla Roja, a Spanish Bastion

soviet era cinema in lithuania

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Sovietinio Modernizmo Kino Teatras Panevėžyje, Lietuvoje – pavojuje

room with soviet astronaut mural

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Chernobyl: A Stalkers’ Guide

sandcastle modernist by artist calvin seibert

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Calvin Seibert Builds Architectural Sandcastles

facade brutalist detail

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Okinawa: Where Brutalism Becomes Zen

corbusier's family home in Lausanne image at sunset towards the lake

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#TheViewFromMyWindowPhotoProject

A Global Photo Project Documenting Self-Isolation In The Age Of Covid-19

concrete roof brutalist architecture in Canberra

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From a Spoiled Sheep Station to a Modern Marvel: Modernism in Australia’s National Capital

Hotel Parus Dnipro

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An Insider’s Guide to Dnipro

Opening up a Closed City

yuri gagarin in moscow

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Soviet Cities: Labour, Life and Leisure

looking down on to rooftop detail of handmade model plattebau

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Plattenbauten: Behind the Facade

Pruitt-Igoe blown up 13 March 1972

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Modernism Was Framed: The Truth About Pruitt-Igoe

barbican video shoot for 'Dreams'

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Singer-songwriter Genevieve offers a Dreamy insiders view from the 42nd floor of the Barbican

 

picasso mural behind scaffolding

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Oslo’s most important International Modernist building ultimately disappeared before our eyes 

town hall brutalist architecture

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#SOSBrutalism: Saving Beloved Concrete Monsters

Entrance boarded up Buzludzha Memorial House

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When the message associated with a symbol changes:

What should Bulgaria do with the Buzludzha Memorial House?

completed eastern block model

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Brutalist Crafts: Building The Paper Panelki Model Kit, One Careful Fold At a Time

Approaching from the drive, the eastern end of the Eames House

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Ray and Charles Eames: A Partnership Of Equals

unite d'habitation Nantes Rezé view of facade

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Examining Unité d’Habitation in Nantes-Rezé:

La Maison Radieus Is The Perfect Introduction Into Le Corbusier’s Vision For City Planning

Fighting for the preservation of important cultural heritage

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The Constructivist Project

uzbek bus stop by roadside

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A love affair with Soviet Bus Stops

View of mausebunker showing pipes protruding from side

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The Inspiring Fight On The Ground To Save Berlin’s At-Risk Brutalism

view of upper section of ostankino tower moscow

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Spying On Moscow: Architecture Photographer Denis Esakov Reveals His Process

Soaring columns add to the majesty of Chandigarh's High Court

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Edmund Sumner: Another great artist gets behind #artistsupportpledge

Not a church but used for weddings but might be mistaken for a place of worship, the Palace of Ceremonies and Rituals

Featured News

Explore The Former Soviet Union With An Exclusive GreyScape – Soviet ★ Tours – Curated Visit

 

chermayeff brothers on Manhatten street with Red 9 street art

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Meet The Chermaveffs, The Architects That Had An ‘Incredible’ Impact On Sir Norman Foster

 

bobsleigh track with graffiti

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A Journey through Modernist Architecture in the former Yugoslavia

view of mill owners building showing staircase

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Capturing Modernist India with John Gollings

petrol station forecourt and petrol pump

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Sense of Now

Beyond the highway

liebling house view of facade from street

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Liebling Haus Tel Aviv

Modernism in the White City

soviet inspired photomontage of building and worker in Tashkent

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Post-Socialist Realism – Contemporary Soviet Collages

view of the building of the towers creteil black and white imag 1971

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2020 Vision: An Interview with Gérard Grandval

60s pop band Unit 4+2 singing on the building site

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Concrete and Clay, Unit Four Plus Two

The Barbican’s First Music Video Unit Four Plus Two

brutalist architecture bank hq in georgia

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Ancient Georgia’s Concrete Marvels

french brutalist architecture balconies

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Créteil’s concrete petals in the eyes of a visitor

residential central asia

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The Fading Reminders of Soviet Modernism in Central Asia

long exposure shot of london eye lit in red

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Night photography. Recording a city against a velvet blue backdrop

walking around the barbican estate

Community Posts

Off the béton track: The Barbican Archive Residency: 19-20 October 2019

romanian roadsign arad county

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Communist Border Signs or How To Make the Road Your Destination

genex tower view from below Belgrade

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Brutalist Belgrade

Dream destination for brutalist architecture fans

preston brutalist bus station

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Happy Birthday Preston Bus Station!

Juliaan Lampens brutalist house belgium

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Belgium Brutalist Architectural Gems

brutalist social housing in london borough of camden

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Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate British Brutalist Architecture Through Russian Eyes

art work at Pallasseum Sozialpalast Berlin

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Berlin’s Concrete Pallasseum and What Lies Beneath

Robin Hood Gardens Brutalist masterpiece demolition

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Imperfect Beauty: photographing a city’s life-cycle

BARBIcan architects 1953

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My Father, One Of The Men Who Designed The Barbican

corbusier architecture france

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Thoughts from a Corbusian Completist

Facade city hall Bobigny

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Why The Brutalism Appreciation Society’s Murray Tompsett Had To Visit Bobigny and Beyond

 

Kiev Crematorium architect A. Miletsky

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One Brutalist Fan’s Short Trip Hotspots

Oscar Niemeyer concrete Edificio Copan

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São Paulo living – Oscar Niemeyer’s Edificio Copan

Love at first sight, David Torrance shares why he’s smitten

 

brutalist hotel thermal

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Hotel Thermal

Vera Machoninova and Vladimir Machonin’s at-risk Hotel Thermal. Why a British filmmaker needs our help.

gdansk polish architecture

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Bloki: Poland’s Architecture Journey Through Communism

From interwar years Modernism to communist bloki through a photographers lens

Barbican Archives Films part of Barbican 50 celebrations

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The Barbican Archive Mixtape

A cinematic cut-and-paste journey through the Barbican

cote d'ivoire hotel ivoire sofitel

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Exploring one of West Africa’s modernist landmarks, Hotel Ivoire

African Modernist Architecture

 

The Brutalist, abandoned House of the Soviets, Kalininigrad by Alexander Shevtsov

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Kaliningrad’s House of the Soviets, the Unintended Brutalist Monument to the USSR

Unfinished but not unloved.

Die Pfarrkirche St. Florian Margareten Vienna Austria

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VIENNA: BAROQUE AND BRUTALISM

Join us on a dive into brutalist Vienna, a city well known for that other Italian import, the Baroque

Akademiebusen concrete spheres Aldershof Germany

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Akademiebusen, Lost in Concrete

Attention-grabbing huge DDR era concrete brutalist spheres

 

Gardenstadt Falkenberg German Modernist Estate

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Six modernist Berlin housing settlements that UNESCO love

Sardar Patel Municipal Cricket Stadium

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In the words of RIBA ‘India’s Greatest Architect’ Charles Correa

Image credit: Courtesy of University of East Anglia, Pritchard Papers

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The Isokon

British Modernist Masterpiece, Architect Wells Coates; home to Agatha Christie, spies and centre of an intellectual circle

Ouagadougou Mémorial Aux Héros National Monument Burkina Faso Architecture African ARCHITECTURE

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Burkina Faso: Visiting Ouagadougou

Where a roundabout becomes home to a ready to launch post-colonial rocket

Mobius Strip Central Economic Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow Russia ARCHITECTURE

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Constructivism: A New Generation Discovers its Heritage

In the territory of a fresh-pair-of-eyes, Eugeny Korolev is exploring Moscow’s Soviet architecture.

 

brutalist architecture barbican estate view of barbican lake

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Becoming GreyScape

Concrete apartment blocks weighing tens of thousands of tons on soaring columns

Bucharest modernist villa architect Roger Bolomey Romanian architecture

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Modernist Bucharest

Preserving it’s modernist architecture and why we should care about it

edwin lipburger kugelmugel vienna prater

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Imagine a republic in a spherical house located on a small hill.

There you have it, a kugel on a mugel.

brutalist towerblock made from lego bricks by brutesinlego

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@Brutesinlego – Building In Concrete Brick By Lego Brick

Creative brutalist designs with #elsawithdots and #felixiraptor

Roof Terrace of the German Hospital Bruno Court Dalston London

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The 1936 Modernist wing of the German Hospital in Hackney

A story of the best and the worst of the 20th Century

arial view of sanitorium druzbha

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Druzhba Sanatorium Extends The Hand Of Friendship: When a huge flying saucer landed on the side of a hill

constructivist architecture the white tower

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Moisei Reischer’s 1931 Constructivist White Tower

When the dial was reset in Russia.

 

concrete brutalism in atarim square

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The Shrooms Have Gone

Yaacov Rechter’s iconic, brutalist, concrete, otherworldly canopies popped up on the cover of ‘Men Of North Country’s ‘This City’.

Alison and Peter Smithson Robin Hood Gardens demolition

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Robin Hood Gardens

Why the V&A took an unprecedented step

 

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Antwerp Port House

There is a scene in Sci-Fi movies when a vast alien spaceship breaks through the clouds descends to effortlessly hover over a city.

weizmann house lit at night

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Weizmann House by Erich Mendelsohn

When a man with a big vision commissioned a man who could interpret that vision and make it his own.

Concrete roof John Lautner Sheats Goldstein House

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The Sheats-Goldstein Residence

Winding private roads and cultured ferns keep James Goldstein’s John Lautner property away from prying eyes

bulb shaped homes in Bolwoningen Holland Architecture

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Bolwolingen Sphere Houses

Dries Kreijkamp, Dutch Architect who mused, “We all live on a sphere, so why not in a sphere?”

Filmmaker Joe Gilbert, maker of Barbican|Urban Poetry

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We speak to the maker of Barbican|Urban Poetry

Joe Gilbert, award-winning documentary filmmaker

Walden 7 in Barcelona by architect Richard Bofill

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Walden 7, Visiting A Little Piece of Utopian

How a 1948 book inspired a generation

 

Eileen Gray's Roquebrune villa E-1027

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Eileen Gray’s Villa E-1027

Look at the near-forgotten architect who aroused Le Corbusier’s envy

Brutalist Japanese sports stadium, Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo

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Kenzo Tange, A Man With A Plan

Japan’s post war brutalist visitor favourite still suspends belief

soviet playground in the abandoned Pioneer Camp of the Karacharovo Mechanical Plant Russian Soviet architecture

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Karacharovo Mechanical Plant

The wonders of google threw up a declassified 1954 CIA Intelligence document

Czech Modernist Villa Volman newly restored

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Villa Volman

Why was this Modernist house a short distance from Prague neglected and ignored for decades?

bedroom of Melnikov House in Moscow family bedroom with golden walls

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The Melnikov House

A family home for a prominent man, yet everyone slept in a single bedroom. 

soviet homes Khrushchyovka

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Recording a Changing Landscape

The race to capture Soviet cityscapes before they disappear

view of two blocks of the at risk Alton Estate

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Alton Estate

The famed estate in Roehampton is at risk. Home to several thousand in a mix of flats and maisonettes, a perfect example of the work Rosemary Stjernstedt and her design team at the London County Council in the 1950s

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New York New York

Manhatten, home town for three years and an adventure playground for fans of concrete and cocktails.

Berlin's TV Tower view from a high building

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FERNSEHTURM

There are a few really peachy places to visit to photograph a modern architectural icon

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Welbeck Street Car Park

A moment’s walk from the frenetic desperation of West End shoppers and Bond Street tube station, Welbeck Street Car Park looms large like an obstacle you’d have to navigate your way past in a graphic novel or a computer game.

Berlin Hufeisensiedlung Bruno Taut

Community Posts

Berlin: A Magnificent Architectural Journey
A key city in Europe that has regularly been remade.