Brutalism, a movement that flourished between the 1950s and 1970s, has examples all over the world. It was based on the use of large exposed concrete structures that arouse love and hate in equal measure.
Although many people feel and understand the essence of the Brutalist movement, others attribute a negative connotation to it, even seeing it as a visual disturbance in the landscape that must be eliminated.
Brutalist buildings have a memory, they are part of our architectural heritage. However, their main material, concrete, is not eternal, it has a useful life and must be preserved.
And we already know that in general both the culture of conservation and respect for heritage are conspicuous by their absence. This reminds me that not long ago the Structural Code was approved, which updates the current regulations on concrete structures, repealing the previous Instruction.
The new regulatory framework aims to define the requirements to be met by concrete, steel and composite concrete-steel structures in order to satisfy structural safety and fire safety requirements, as well as environmental protection and the efficient use of natural resources, by providing procedures to demonstrate compliance with sufficient technical guarantees.
The requirements must be met both in the design and construction of the structures, as well as in their maintenance. Criteria are also given for the management of existing structures during their useful life. A very important point is emphasised for the first time in order to prevent the widespread use of demolition as a solution.
With reference to Brutalist buildings, the #SOSBrutalism campaign, orchestrated by the German Architecture Museum (DAM) and the Wüstenrot Foundation, has already collected around 900 examples of this architectural style in an attempt to save prominent “concrete monsters” from demolition or ruin.
According to a report published in El País a few months ago, #SOSBrutalism includes three Spanish buildings that are in danger of being demolished: the Náutico Pesquero Secondary School in Pasajes (1966-1968), by Luis Laorga and José López Zanon, the Hotel Claridge (Alarcón, 1969), by Roberto Puig, and the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones de la Costa del Sol in Torremolinos (1967-1970), by Rafael de La-Hoz and Gerardo Olivares.
This style is not only valid for architecture, it has burst into design and art. And that is where EXPRESSAN wants to contribute to create archives and promote artistic projects made with cement/concrete.
One more year we open the call for the initiative ARTE HORMIGÓN and we are preparing for the Monographic IV.
We are looking for projects made with this contemporary material that tell stories. The selected works will be included in the compilation with a narrative discourse and the artists will be invited to talk and participate in the Contemporary Audio Podcast. You can read the rules of participation and the chronogram of the call for entries here.
The third edition of Arte Hormigón was a great success and I encourage you to participate in the brutalist version of EXPRESSAN.
Créditos Photo: Pat Krupa on Unsplash
El Pirelli Tire Building, también conocido como Armstrong Rubber Building, es un antiguo edificio histórico de oficinas en el barrio de Long Wharf en New Haven, Connecticut, Estados Unidos. Diseñada por el arquitecto moderno Marcel Breuer, la estructura es un notable ejemplo de brutalismo. Completado en 1970, se convirtió en hotel en 2020 y abrirá en el verano de 2021.
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