chapter  Twelve
26 Pages

The Brutalist Revival

WithSimon Henley

This chapter aims to reveal the differing circumstances and motivations behind Brutalism: a critique of Modernism and technology; a sensibility for material; sculptural expression; available technologies; the economics of production; industrialisation; the expression of a new national identity. One of Caruso St John’s earliest projects, Studio House, made a modest dwelling of an existing building. The architects used timber studwork, MDF, taped-and-jointed but unpainted plasterboard, fibre-cement panels and insulating glass in ‘their raw state’ on a ‘ground’ of rough brickwork and layers of paint. The design also uses large expanses of open brickwork lattice. These further exaggerate the textures of the brickwork – not only through perforation, shadow and light, but also by revealing the dry, rough faces of unmortared brickwork, quite different from the smoother surfaces of more conventional brickwork. Lynch Architects found a wholly different way to express weight in the facades of their Zig Zag office building in London.