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Displaying items by tag: brutalist

At the 11th hour, a British heritage organization has renewed a bid to save a major Brutalist building from destruction. Twentieth Century Society filed a report with English Heritage last week arguing for the preservation of Robin Hood Gardens, Dezeen reported. The Alison and Peter Smithson–designed social housing project in East London is slated to be torn down and replaced by a new residential development.

Built in 1972, the prefabricated concrete building is considered one of the prime examples of Brutalist architecture in the UK.

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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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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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Thursday, 20 November 2014 15:52

The Whitney’s New Building will Open on May 1

On November 19, during the Whitney Museum of American Art’s annual fall gala, director Adam D. Weinberg announced that the institution’s long-awaited downtown location will open on May 1, 2015. The Whitney closed the doors of its Brutalist Marcel Breuer building last month, following a wildly successful Jeff Koons retrospective. The building, which was the Whitney’s home for nearly fifty years, will be leased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the next eight years, with the possibility of extending the agreement for a longer term. The Met plans to present exhibitions and educational programming in the iconic building.

The Whitney’s new home will be located at 99 Gansevoort Street in New York City’s vibrant meatpacking district, between the High Line, an elevated linear park, and the Hudson River. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the new building will roughly double the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, allowing the first comprehensive presentation of its collection of modern and contemporary American art.

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Around the corner from the loft apartments that were once Manchester's fabled Hacienda club, hemmed in by railway arches on the site of an old gas and dye works, Britain's cultural economy is being rebalanced. Next spring, Home will open as the largest multi-arts complex to be built since the Brutalist concrete ramparts of the Barbican in London were breached by the public more than three decades ago.

Amid political talk of narrowing the economic divide between the rest of the country and London with promises of £15bn fleets of high speed trains, motorways and digital highways, Home has come to symbolise the determination of Britain's northern cities to close the artistic gap.

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Situated prominently at the eastern end of The Hague—not the city in the Netherlands, but a crescent-shaped inlet that feeds into the Elizabeth River as it passes through Norfolk, Virginia—the Chrysler Museum of Art’s newly renovated and expanded Italianate pile opened to the public again last week after 17 months of construction. Local firm H&A Architects designed identical, two-story porticoed gallery wings that flank the main entrance and added 10,000 square feet of exhibition space for American and European painting and sculpture and the museum’s renowned glass collection. The addition—which brings the total programmable space to 220,000 square feet—mimics the classical style of the original 1933 structure and a 1989 building project that unified the exteriors by removing asymmetrical and Brutalist additions completed in 1965 and 1974. “We wanted to maintain the balanced, palazzo house quality of the exterior,” explains museum director Bill Hennessey.

While the architecture may be conservative, not much else about the institution is, starting with its namesake, Walter Chrysler, Jr. The eldest son of the auto tycoon, Chrysler began amassing what would become a world-class art collection while still a student at Dartmouth in the early 1930s. Controversial dealings would eventually run the scion out of New York City, where he once served as the first chairman of the fledgling Museum of Modern Art’s library committee, and later the artists’ colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he maintained a museum in a former church building during the 1960s.

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