70’s: Concrete Jungles

By Jo Phillips

Brutalistic architecture accumulated from the mid 50’s to the 70’s. Bringing  the public, revolutionary architectural pieces that were inspired by modernism.  As a result of this, concrete  jungles have cropped up in many urban hot spots in London. Libraries, centres and estates in shapes of rough bulky towers resourced from hard wearing concrete blocks. Although, Brutalism has it’s foot in modernism, it has rejected many of the mainstream architecture conventions, by challenging its traditional textures and appearances in many ways.

Camden: Alexandra Road: C150579

Alexandra road estate, also known as Rowley Way contributes to this era as a piece of brutalist  architecture. This was a revolutionary beginning for social housing, because of a rush to find cheaper housing for a lot of people. It also sought to bring out a sense of community and cohesion between locals. Not only does brutalism search for ways, in which to find a more efficient and convenient ways of living but it internally, looks at ways in which to make more room for people with the limited amounts of space they had at that time.  One of the famous brutalistic building designers is Sir Basil Spence, who was a Scottish architect, whose later work was categorised as Brutalist, when he shifted to making social housing in the late 1950s.

Trellick Tower in Kensal Town was created in 1972 was by another well known Brutalist designer called Erno Goldfinger. Ernö Goldfinger was born in Budapest, and has created some of London’s most famous and controversial Brutalist buildings of all time. Trellick is a great example of brutalist architecture that focusses on efficiency. It’s a rough blocked building separated into two halves. One half is where the residents would live and the other is where the lift and the laundry room is situated, to lower noise pollution.

Although the 70’s gives birth to; colourful bold iconography, there is another side to this era, that is mostly unseen, like brutalistic architecture. If you’re interested in this further, go check out  National Theatre, South Bank, a building inspired by brutalistic architecture.


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