Raw Concrete: Introduction

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“Brutalism was the high point of architecture in the whole history of humanity. It takes only a fairly basic level of expertise to start to recognise it as one of the greatest ever flowerings of human creativity and ingenuity.”

“The uniform sobriety of concrete turns out, when you look at it more closely, to conceal a subtle gamut of textures and colours, beautiful in themselves and, when you know a little about the material, a permanent record of how the building was made. And in this tough, uneffusive material the best Brutalist architects were capable of producing landscapes more powerfully expressive than anything ever built before or since.”

“For the first time in history the weight of very large structures did not need to travel down in vertical walls and columns, or follow the inflexible lines of arches and vaults. Architects could slide the constituent parts of their buildings around at will, massively increasing the range of ways they could arrange rooms and routes, bringing outdoor space to any part of the building they chose, escaping the architectural restrictions of ground-level the way sci-fi fans hoped rocket-packs would one day enable pedestrians to do, and opening up completely new shapes of building to the designer.”