Brutal Utopias: a celebration of 60s architecture. The National Trust is partnering with various organisations for a project to celebrate Brutalist Architecture. There are guided tours around some of the most famous Brutalist buildings.
Brutalism was the dominant architectural style in Britain after World War II, the most significant feature of which is the un-adorned concrete style that often proudly shows the imprint of the wooden formwork used during construction, or is roughly finished by hammering (as at Barbican).
I won’t discuss the merits of the style here - you can read more here and here. I love Brutalism, and as is often pointed out many Victorian buildings were disliked until quite recently, so I believe key Brutalist buildings should be conserved for future generations to decide their fate, not demolished now. Often the passage of time leads to a re-appriasal of these things.
The term Brutalist comes from the French term 'Béton brut’, ‘Béton, meaning concrete and brut meaning 'raw’. It’s a happy (or unhappy) coincidence that the term is often taken to come from the English word ‘brutal’, which means cruel, inhuman, crude, harsh.
The buildings that you can visit as part of this project include the Sothbank Centre in London, Sheffield’s Park Hill Estate, the University of East Anglia in Norwich, as well as a Routemaster bus tour around other London buildings (including the Barbican Estate and Trellick Tower).