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Displaying items by tag: brutalism

The monolithic concrete that forms some of our most creative 20th-century architectural heritage is in danger of disappearing. Brutalism, that heftily named form of modernism that favors right-angles and a palette with the colors of a storm, is facing demolition and decay around the world, whether the Birmingham Central Library in England demolished this month, or Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital torn down last year.

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On Sunday, December 21, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) in Berkeley, California, will say goodbye to its Brutalist home of forty-four years. Founded in 1963 following a major donation from the Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, the BAM/PFA announced an architectural competition to design the new museum building in 1964. The jury named the San Francisco-based architect Mario Ciampi and his associates Richard L. Jorasch and Ronald E. Wagner the winners of the competition, saying, “The richness of this building will arise from the sculptural beauty of its rugged major forms and will not require costly materials or elaborate details. We believe this design...can become one of the outstanding contributions to museum design in our time.”

One of the largest university art museums in the United States, the BAM/PFA opened the doors of its distinctive Modernist building on the UC Berkeley campus in 1970. Executed in the Brutalist style, an architectural movement that flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, the BAM/PFA’s building is a behemoth cast concrete structure.

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More than $110-million will be poured into ‎a major “facelift” of Canada’s National Arts Centre, an iconic performing venue in the nation’s capital constructed half a century ago.

The renovation adds a 21st century twist to the 1969 building, known for its brutalist architectural style, which features exterior and interior walls clad with concrete.

A significant portion of this upgrade is installing a glass and metal enclosure on multiple floors around a significant portion of the existing building, creating new wings with views and greatly expanding the venue’s capacity for meetings and events.

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An architect who has offered to buy and restore a controversial Orange County, N.Y. government building, designed by Paul Rudolph but panned by many as an eyesore, presented detailed plans Friday for his proposal to turn it into an arts center.

The county has been debating whether to demolish the building, which had been used as its government center, or perhaps renovate it. The architect, Gene Kaufman, a partner at Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects in New York City, had previously announced that he hoped to restore the building. The plans presented Friday to Orange County leaders gave his detailed vision of what he hopes to do.

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