chapter  Six
20 Pages

Craft

WithSimon Henley

Between 1880 and 1910, the British Arts and Crafts movement fought a rearguard action against ‘the machine’. The medievalism of the Arts and Crafts movement may not appear an obvious precedent for the New Brutalism. The remarkable masonry and concrete structures of the 1950s and 1960s were built in living memory of the Arts and Crafts movement. In two generations, an apprentice carpenter had become a master carpenter. The craft of the New Brutalism marked the end of an epoch. Sverre Fehn designed two pavilions in the 1950s: the Norwegian Pavilion for the World Exposition in Brussels and the Nordic Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. The concrete in an Ando house is rock hard, and yet fine shadows in sunlight reveal the subtle undulations in its surface, where the formwork has bowed under the hydrostatic pressure of the wet material. The Wolfson Institute – a pavilion of lecture theatres – by Lyons, Israel and Ellis was precisely built.