Brutalism

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by olli, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    A couple of examples of brutalist architecture round DC. These are both federal buildings, part of a project on 'Big Government' looking at some of the federal government buildings that people coming to DC don't visit (which means everything except the White House, the Capitol, The Supreme Court Building, The LOC and the EEOB). I don't know how far I'll get with this project. Taking photos of federal buildings in DC is not usually a good idea (apart from the obvious ones noted above) and can attract law enforcement attention. But we'll see how it goes.

    The first is the Hubert H Humphrey Building of the Department of Health and Human Services, the second is the James V Forrestal Building of the Department of Energy. There are a few more on Flickr / Ipernity.

    <center><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/olliinmunich/13426595115" title="DSC01764 by olli, on Flickr">"1024" height="683" alt="DSC01764"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/olliinmunich/13426709623" title="DSC01782 by olli, on Flickr">"1024" height="683" alt="DSC01782"></a></center>
     
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  2. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Oli, I looked at these earlier on your Flickr stream

    I quite like the D of E building - could that be the one I visited in 1985? ( we were looking at buying a couple of vocational training schools in NYC and had to get D of E approval), has it been there that long - cannot quite remember
     
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  3. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Have you seen City Hall in Boston?
     
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  4. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    There's an interesting article in the March edition of Monde Diplomatique, for any interested francophones, about early Soviet, constructivist architecture, some by very important artists, decaying from neglect. Sparsely but interestingly illustrated.The article is for subscribers, but the page announcing it is readily available to all, with a couple of great photos on it.

    http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2014/03/MELLING/50207
     
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  5. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    Interesting. I watch that show "Bones" and it appears one of those is probably the building they use to represent the FBI building in the show.
     
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  6. jporos

    jporos SC Regular

    105
    May 8, 2013
    Mississippi
    Great theme!

    I am very interested in Brutalism, having published and presented papers on Marcel Breuer, the architect of the Hubert Humphrey building. I am sure you already know, but I would also suggest the HUD headquarters, also designed by Breuer. Looking forward to seeing the results of your project!
     
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  7. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    Just a correction, the J. Edgar Hoover building is the on that show uses, and it is the FBI building and looks very similar to those two.
     
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  8. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    Nice photos. I like the symmetry in the first one.

    Most probably touristic areas & smaller cameras are better to take photos, but I was even warned by security when I was taking a shot of a rose w/ a dslr.
     
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  9. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    Bill I'm not sure how long it has been there since it is difficult to find any information about this building online. Maybe I'll stop in and ask when it was built next time I'm passing.

    Kyle, I haven't seen City Hall in Boston but I'm going to be looking it up as soon as I finish this post.

    Lawrence, there were a few remaining examples of Soviet constructivist influenced architecture when I lived in Tbilisi. Unfortunately (if perhaps understandably) the Georgian government had tried to remove a lot of the remnants of the Soviet era. The best of these is the old Ministry of Highway building now the Bank of Georgia headquarters. It dates from 1975 but constructivism is one of the architectural influences. Despite distinctly remembering taking pictures of it I can't find any of them at the moment. You can see some pictures of it in its BOG guise on the bank's website.

    Jason, it's quite possible. My wife is a fan of the show so she would know better than me but the FBI building is certainly in the brutalist style. I hoping to get some pictures of it too so I'll post them eventually.

    jporos, are your papers online anywhere? I'd be interested in reading them (if they are intelligible to an architectural layman). I've walked round the HUD building a few times without quite working out how to get a picture of it that does it justice. I'll get something eventually though. If you haven't come across it yet the BBC did a two part series presented by Jonathan Meades called Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodymindedness: Concrete Poetry essentially a defence of brutalism against its critics.It's somewhat quirky, as you expect from this presenter but well worth seeing. They are no longer available on the BBC website but they are, for the moment, on Youtube, both part 1 and part 2.
     
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  10. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Meades is not quite a genius, but is in the same part of the forest;
     
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  11. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    No comment, as I would have to break forum rules to do so.
     
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  12. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    There's a really neat App called "Field Trip" certainly for Adenoids and maybe for Appley things too. It has some good stuff on architecture of all kinds and is really useful in many cities.

    Sent from another Galaxy
     
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  13. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    With cherry blossom season nearly upon us the city will be full of tourists, though many of the buildings I'm interested in are off the tourist trail. I'm sure I can blend in with a few lost souls and get a some more shots. These were all taken with my RX100 - keeping it discreet. I'll get as many as I can but I think that I'll have to pass on our neighbours in Langley and Fort Meade - unless they're reading this in which case maybe they would send me an invitation:smile:
     
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  14. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    I should say I am not a fan of brutalist buildings, for the most part. I find City Hall here in town to be imposing, cold, and not at all in scale with human beings at the street level. To me, these things look kinda cool and imposing in pictures, but when you walk up to them, you expect storm troopers to come pouring out.
     
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  15. Fiddler

    Fiddler SC Veteran

    241
    Dec 5, 2010
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Colin
    Without brutality the state can not exist.
     
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  16. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I hadn't heard of the term "Brutalism" before this thread, so I have learned something today. I always referred to the style in DC as "Federal Massive".
     
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  17. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    I think that refers to the budget. Whoops! Little bit of politics there. With apologies to Ben Elton. (Sorry. Third beer tonight).
     
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  18. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    :biggrin: The funny part is that skyscrapers are much larger but inspire a certain sense of awe because they reach upwards. Those federal buildings in DC mostly go horizontal for size, e.g., the Pentagon. I had further comments on cathedrals and corporate skyscrapers but I don't want to push all the buttons in one post.
     
  19. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Wow! That bank is just amazing. It's stunning, in the literal sense; it goes beyond like or not.
    I downloaded both parts of the Jonathan Meades onto my tablet (TubeMate) and watched the first part. Interesting and entertaining. There's something appealingly snarky about him.
     
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  20. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    [​IMG]

    I remembered this thread being here, and have wanted to get a shot of our Rio Grande Nature Center building. As part of it is built into a dirt mound and much of the rest is surrounded by shrubbery, the best shots would be from the pond it looks out on and overhangs. But the pond is for wildlife and boating is not allowed, so I settled for this.