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It’s the architectural form that people either love or love to hate. Australia has a proud history of brutalist architecture, but as taste and styles change, many buildings are under threat from redevelopment. Two signed-up brutalist tragics make a case for the beauty in the beast.
Professor Michael Trudgeon, RMIT School of Architecture
As a period of architecture, brutalism began in Europe in the late 1940s, and extended internationally until the late 1970s.
The thing that characterises it in its pure form is the quality of surfaces and the idea of natural finishes—so the concrete was left raw.
Concrete is a very beautiful and sculptural material when it’s well looked after.
This idea of drama is central to brutalism. […]
Dr Ursula de Jong, deputy chair of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria)
I think brutalist buildings are critically important in understanding the evolution and identity of people in Australia and our culture.
Brutalism makes such an incredible statement. It is muscular architecture. It says: ‘Here I am.’
The Hale Memorial Hall in Perth though, for instance, is also a very refined building.
It uses a much finer concrete than the really rough concrete we got from [French architect] Le Corbusier. […]