Art Brut


‘The origins of Brutalism have made it a fascinating subject for those interested in space, from Second World War acoustic mirrors on Dungeness onwards, but it never managed to quite shake off Fascist associations with the Nazi holiday camp Prora, indestructible Viennese flak towers, the fortifications of the Atlantic Wall and the Siegfried Line. It didn’t matter that concrete had been used much earlier, as in the dome of the Roman Pantheon for instance; the association with bunkers, built deep and full of oblique angles to obstruct and deflect missiles, was implanted. This was tapped into and subverted in Striffler’s Church of Atonement at Dachau, a commemoration of the horrors carried out by the Third Reich. Closer to home, it’s one thing to trek along coastlines exploring the recent archaeologies of overgrown pill-boxes, still awaiting an invasion that never came. It’s another thing entirely to live there. Concrete never quite shook off the aura of the tomb, even if it actually gave high-rise occupants an unrivalled view of dawn and dusk. They appeared to be, to bastardise Le Corbusier, machines for dying in.’

Brutalism beyond the clickbait.

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