National Trust Brutalism walking tours, Mar 3-24

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2 Responses to National Trust Brutalism walking tours, Mar 3-24

  1. My father, G.W.Mills, had a reputation as a Brutalist architect, as I am only now discovering [along with the revived popularity of the genre] some years after his death. The Rise Gallery website lead me to John Grindrod, for which I am most grateful.

  2. Lewis White says:

    Hopefully, the best iconic Croydon buildings of the 20th Century can be saved and converted to suitable new offices or high end residential. I`m still sad that we have lost Taberner house. But glad to see Leon House being repurposed, and the concrete sculpture unveiled again.

    “No 1 Croydon” — the “threepennny bit” building, now redubbed the “50 p piece building” by a new generation who have no memory of the earlier bronze coin- a building which I think was designed by Col. Richard Seifert, the architect of Centre Point and the Tolworth Tower– seems in good health and to be loved, albeit stuck on the traffic island, a poor site.

    It would be interesting to show a group of people a range of pictures of such buildings, and ask them to class them into “Modern 50`s 60`s, or “Brutalist”. Whether the architecture is plain and boring, stained, or exaggerated with savage concrete textures, my own view is that the answer lies in whether the building brutalises those who use it. Certain high rise residential concrete blocks and hosuing estates dubbed “brutalist” are reviled, but others treasured. Does it depend in the income of those choosing to–or having to– live in them? Does it depend on presence of good maintenance, concierges, and good heating systems?

    I think that time gives perspective, and like a good cheese, a building needs time and the right conditions to mature, otherwise it will rot. A well- maintained brutalist block might be great for “dinkies” but not a good place for children.

    We cant keep all old buildings, but I hope that Croydon manages to keep the architectural best from its mid 20th Century Mini Manhattan phase.

    One thing that lets these buildings down is the fact that most are marooned in treeless areas of boring slabs, tarmac car parking or mediocre landscaping. Look at the Nestles building– at ground level, the area is bleak and ugly. Buildings of this quality deserve to have a good setting–its what the public or passers by, see the most, at ground level.

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