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Thread: Brutalist Architecture – Post Your Favorite Ugly Buildings Here. Or Not.

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    Brutalist Architecture – Post Your Favorite Ugly Buildings Here. Or Not.

    During a trip to the South of France, I ended up staying at the Unité d'Habitation in Marseille for a night. Marseille is a fascinating city; it’s France’s crime capitol and people drive like lobotomized troglodytes on meth (*). Don’t go in there with a rental car, OK? I did and lived to regret it: after being a hapless victim of a hit & run accident, I had to spend about four hours at the police station just to report the accident (for the insurance). Oh, I’ll never forget you, Compagnie Républicaine de Sécurité CRS 53.

    Anyway, since staying at the “Wohnmaschine” (dwelling machine), I’ve been obsessed with brutalist architecture. Post some of your most beloved inhumane habitats here - the uglier the better.

    (*) EDIT: Once out of their cars, the French I met were charming and suave (but they don’t suffer fools easily).
    Last edited by at least 100 dead; 03-16-2016 at 04:26 PM.
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

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    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    On my visit to London I was amazed by the extreme ugliness that was tucked in between the ancient buildings.

    The absolute lowpoint (for me) was the Qe2 centre that is on the square right behind Westminster abbey. At one end of the square you have a beautiful ancient ghotic cathedral and at the other end this concrete monstrosity. I feel the architect needs to be prosecuted.
    http://tinyurl.com/za3zfol

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    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I also travelled a lot through former USSR states. There the choice of brutality is abundant.

    Probably the ugliest is the city of Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka peninsula. This town just consists of concrete apartment blocks that all look that they haven't had any maintenance in 40 years (and probably have not). No city centre with shopping streets and cafees, no nice cathedral, nothing. Have to say; the cities backdrop is absolutely stunning,

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    On my visit to London I was amazed by the extreme ugliness that was tucked in between the ancient buildings.

    The absolute lowpoint (for me) was the Qe2 centre that is on the square right behind Westminster abbey. At one end of the square you have a beautiful ancient ghotic cathedral and at the other end this concrete monstrosity. I feel the architect needs to be prosecuted.
    http://tinyurl.com/za3zfol
    Wow. Does make you wonder what, if anything, goes on in the minds of urban planners.

    “Hmm, you know what would look good right next to this cathedral…?”

    (A few years from now) “OK, now let’s get rid of that stupid cathedral.”
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    There are really many places where you wonder what goes on in the town planners heads.
    The destruction of old buildings with soul is widespread, and you can actually do it just by placing an ugly glass-concrete-xxx next to it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    There are really many places where you wonder what goes on in the town planners heads.
    Usually it's greed.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Or corruption.
    But in places where the town planners are on a regular fee, its often shortsighted greed on the behalf of the city, or just plain very bad taste.
    Fort city-tourism its plain stupid, I dont visit Frankfurt, I visit Brugge...

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    City planners tend to be concerned with one thing: increasing the tax base.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Its a double-edged sword.
    In the longer perspective, rich people tends to want to live in a beatiful environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Its a double-edged sword.
    In the longer perspective, rich people tends to want to live in a beatiful environment.
    Perhaps. But bad taste is not exclusive to the less-affluent.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Here is something of the opposite nature (Sweden) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakriborg

    Its new, built as an old town and all flats etc. are for rent, not for sale.
    Architects hates it because it copies old houses styles, but people loves it and there is a long list of people who wants a flat there.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Here's an ugly dorm I lived in in college. I had a blast there, but really, why not some more windows?

    On a more positive note, artists such as Jorma Kaukonen, James Brown, and Talking Heads performed in the basement over the years.


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    Police Headquarters, Copenhagen




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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Here is something of the opposite nature (Sweden) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakriborg

    Its new, built as an old town and all flats etc. are for rent, not for sale.
    Architects hates it because it copies old houses styles, but people loves it and there is a long list of people who wants a flat there.
    At least it’s an effort to provide a space that doesn’t crush the soul, even if it does look a bit like Disneyland.
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

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    Quote Originally Posted by at least 100 dead View Post
    At least it’s an effort to provide a space that doesn’t crush the soul, even if it does look a bit like Disneyland.
    I have been there, a couple of times, I like it. Its human - its built as Hanseatic style

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    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    When I first read about Brutalism I realized that some of the buildings where I was going to school fit the bill.

    Here's a 1994 refurb photo of a Brutalist building that they constructed in 1959 to serve as the student center; all that's missing is the carpet and furniture. It's pretty much the way it looked 15 years prior when I went there; all bare concrete.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Police Headquarters, Copenhagen

    All it needs is a toilet lid.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

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    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Police Headquarters, Copenhagen
    Ugly, but predates Brutalism by 30 years or so.

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    I had the pleasure of being brought up in what is widely regarded as the ugliest town in Britain, with one of the icons of brutalist architecture at its centre. What's it called? CUMBERNAULD! (That was the town's slogan back in the day, by the way).

    It was a "new town" built in the 1950s to deal with overspill from an overcrowded Glasgow. It was conceived as a kind of utopia for people used to living in overcrowded tenement flats with few modern amenities. And for me as a kid it was a kind of utopia. We had our own (tiny) garden...there was grass and trees everywhere...we could walk everywhere without having to worry about traffic...and at its centre was something unheard of in the UK - a SHOPPING MALL!!!

    Cumbernauld Town Centre was the heart of the town, a concrete monument to the optimism of the sixties and seventies that soon became the most hated building in Britain. Like the town itself, kids loved it, but once you hit a certain age, you got out if you could. Every time a competition is run to discover the ugliest town, or the ugliest building in Britain, Cumbernauld usually walks it. If any of you are familiar with the film Gregory's Girl then you'll have some idea what it's like as it was shot entirely in Cumbernauld...it's never looked better than it does in that film!

    Anyway, here is Cumbernauld Town Centre in all its glory...I think most of it has been demolished by now, but this is how I remember it.

    cumbernauld_multipliciudades_2.jpg

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    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie B View Post

    Anyway, here is Cumbernauld Town Centre in all its glory...I think most of it has been demolished by now, but this is how I remember it.

    cumbernauld_multipliciudades_2.jpg

    I think we have a winner here. Ugliness in all its glory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by at least 100 dead View Post
    obsessed with brutalist architecture.
    Raus aus meinem Kopf!

    I've been like this for decades. Whenever I visit a new town, city or country I am always drawn to the large industrial and functional buildings, structures and areas. The bigger and uglier the better.

    I love Corbusier's ugly concrete buildings and the 1930s-40 functionalism in architecture of various European countries, especially Bauhaus in Germany.

    The centres of Tallinn, Helsinki, Tbilisi and the outskirts of Prague are still especially grey, bleak and brutal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    I think we have a winner here. Ugliness in all its glory.
    If Cumbernauld Town Centre wins the PE brutalist award it would just be the latest of many, many such awards it has won

    A few years ago there was a programme on TV called Demolition where the public were invited to vote for the building that most deserved to be razed to the ground. Cumbernauld won it by mile!

  24. #24
    This rings close to home - literally! Here's the house I *live* in: http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9304/...4227a5a_XL.jpg

  25. #25
    While the house I live in is simply ugly as hell with no redeeming qualities whatsoever (it was built as a dorm for factory workers back in the 1960s), the one a few blocks away, known as a "centipede house" by Muscovites, with it's Le Corbusier-like structures, is kinda cool: http://s019.radikal.ru/i607/1204/29/ceb443d8c91f.jpg

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