Let’s Save Brutalism

Saving architecture through Twitter seems a little odd, yet the #SOSBrutalism movement has engendered an appreciation for an architectural style and saving buildings from demolition. Critics of brutalism describe the style as ugly and oppressive despite its rich history and beauty. As a result of the under-appreciation brutalist architecture many brutalist buildings are being demolished which is bad for the environment and bad for the history of architecture. Take a moment today and appreciate some brutalist architecture and tweet about it.

In 2015, the German Architecture Museum launched a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #SOSBrutalism to document Brutalist architecture, with a particular focus on endangered buildings: those facing possible demolition. It now has a database of more than 1,000 buildings worldwide, from carparks to hotels, union buildings to ministries, university libraries to hospitals, churches to shopping malls and from residential complexes to office blocks. Around 200 of them are in Britain.

It has united – and in some cases, triggered – campaigns to preserve these buildings. Elser says a number of heritage experts have contacted him to express their gratitude at the documentation provided in the catalogue. “It serves as proof that something is valuable,” he says.

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One thought on “Let’s Save Brutalism

  1. Have to ask, have you even had to work in a brutalist building? My experience in doing so is very unpleasant. The cement looks very like that of cheaply built barns and agricultural buildings — frankly slaughterhouses. It is cold, unwelcoming, ugly and unpleasant. It screams unfinished and “too bad for you! I’m the architect and had this cool idea, and who cares if it is rough, cold, cheap and dirty” as you pass by it every day, many times a day. Buildings should work for the people inside them. In my case, it is a theatre, expected to be a place of creativity, growth, imagination. Tear it down? Perhaps. Maybe just go in and say, hey, how can we show that we respect the efforts of those who work here instead of making them feel like cattle about to die?

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