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Concrete modern buildings have long faced critique as hulking monstrosities rather than cultural icons. But today, we are beginning to recognize the value of these often vast and imaginative complexes anew. A fresh wave of advocates cares about these massive structures, including so-called “brutalism”: a monumental vernacular that aimed to stand out against glass-walled “fishbowls.” We rally around the masterworks of Le Corbusier, Paul Rudolph, and Josep Lluis Sert, though others still fall into the dustbin of history. As wider appreciation for modern concrete lurches forward and the wrecking ball swings on, new discourse promises a broader lens to curtail future demo-remorse.
Since we last wrote, interest in modern concrete has rekindled. Diverse publications reported on the Carpenter Center’s anniversary (Le Corbusier, 1963) and related celebrations that brought communities together in Cambridge, MA.