The Brunswick Centre

is a residential and shopping centre in Bloomsbury, Camden, London, England, designed by Patrick Hodgkinson in the mid-1960s 

 

PRIMARY RESEARCH – ALL PICTURES TAKEN BY ME

                                            

I found many similarities between sites I visited today, apart from obvious brutalist style features like exposed concrete construction or lack of ornamentation, I realised that in both of the building handrails and any other types of rails playing an important part; not only functional but also visual, they are catching our attention with colour and joining all parts together.

 

For example The Brunswick Centre has a bright red handrail outdoor which stands out on the grey background, I believe most of the tactile structures in architecture are for a reason, so I was looking for some sort of connection with the handrail. I had a look through the glass inside the building (unfortunately I was unable to get in because it was a residential part of the building) and I find out very colourful (red/pink) interiors, It was quite surprising to see such a bold colours being used along with brutalist architecture. I think It looks very attractive, concrete is definitely a good background for colour.

 

Same aspect we observe below in my second location - Alexandra Road Estate.

Blue rails everywhere connecting this massive, long estate in very clean, considered way.

The Alexandra Road Estate

is a housing estate in the London Borough of Camden, North West London, England, designed by Neave Brown of Camden Council's Architects Department in 1968.

 

PRIMARY RESEARCH – ALL PICTURES TAKEN BY ME

Short documentary about Alexandra Road Estate. Interviews with the residents and an architect.

I went to Alexandra Road Estate in Swiss Cottage for the first time on Thursday. I didn't know about this place. I love modern and brutalist architecture, I find it very calming also very beautiful, honest and accessible* to people from different backgrounds (*the opposite would be Palace of Versailles or Buckingham Palace - this kind of places makes you feel like you don't belong there). 

I was mesmerized by so called Romley Way. For a moment I forgot I'm in London, It felt like I am in some sort of mysterious, utopian place. It has very long 'street' which is like a massive shared doorstep as everyone has an access to this pathway (multiple stairs). Every flat with its balcony is exposed to the maximum and in the sun it looks like a summer houses with many plants and decorations on the balconies.

While I was there I was wondering how the residents of this estate feel about living in the concrete jungle just next to the rail station. Then I found video above, I really like it and I am glad many people enjoy and appreciate modern architecture. I think there is a myth that people do not want to live in the Bauhaus like houses instead of that they prefer cosy typical houses like that: 

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DIFFERENT LOCATIONS - ALL PICTURES TAKEN BY ME The Park Tower, Knightsbridge, London, England

Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin, Germany 15

BRUTALISM: DYSTOPIA OR UTOPIA?

 

IS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR THE PUBLIC?

 

NO MORE OF BRUTALISM IN THE FUTURE?

IS POSTMODERNISM A JOKE?

 

 

That is just few questions I ask myself when I think about brutalism, I will try to develop my thoughts and look for an answers while continuing with this research.

SECONDARY RESEARCH: Habitat 67 - Dystopia

Habitat 67 - Utopia

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