Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby tungstentee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Hi all

'Brutal, Bold and Brilliant' is an online photographic inventory designed to encourage fresh conversations about Brutalist architecture with particular reference to buildings in Belfast and Dublin.

The overall study is being conducted by Sarah Newell and has received support from the Heritage Council of Ireland in 2010 under the Research Grants Scheme.

We are interested in ensuring that the inventory of Brutalist buildings is maintained beyond the lifetime of the project's funding. Help us continue to compile a record of Brutalist buildings in Belfast and Dublin at http://brutalboldandbrilliant.blogspot.com.

Please tell us what you can about the structures collated here in this blog and any others you know of: locations, states of use and who built them and when. If you have a picture or an opinion, please share that too. Thankyou!


Contact us at: brutalboldandbrilliant@gmail.com
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby teak » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:58 pm

I'm no expert in modern architectural styles but I'd never call the Berkeley Library
an example of brutalism.

Neither would I see the Belfield Water Tower in that genre.

My criteria for brutalism would be :
1) Exterior raw (unadorned) concrete, be it pre-cast or cast in-situ ;
2) Bold columnar aspect ground floor;
3) Monotonous repetition in design of of upper floors, windows, etc.
4) Overall intentionally crude impression to building's façade.


This one, yes.
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby gunter » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:47 pm

I think you could make a case that the design of the Berkeley Library [1967] was in fact heavily influenced by the design of the new Boston City Hall [competition won in 1962], the latter having been widely publicised, though still under construction, at the time.

The massing is certainly quite similar and the lower corner detail is almost identical.

Unfortunately there's not a lot for the devotees of Brutalism in Dublin, although no shortage of stuff that just brutal.

One hidden gem though is the engineering workshops in the Linen Hall, part of the D.I.T. complex opposite Bolton Street.

Image

Image

the buiding was designed by Byrne, Whelan and Associates . . . it says here
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby tommyt » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:55 am

Civil Service Commission building, 1 Grand Canal st lower, Dublin 2? Sorry no image to be sourced. Those more knowledgable than myself will know if it would make the cut.
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby tungstentee » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:11 am

Thankyou tommyt and gunter from posting this information

What a brutalist find at the DIT workshop! Cannot wait to see it in the flesh
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby tommyt » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:03 pm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8349545@N03/2085445422

Another marginal contender? Telephone House on Marlborough Street, Dublin 1.
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby PTB » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:39 pm

teak wrote:I'm no expert in modern architectural styles but I'd never call the Berkeley Library
an example of brutalism.

Neither would I see the Belfield Water Tower in that genre.

My criteria for brutalism would be :
1) Exterior raw (unadorned) concrete, be it pre-cast or cast in-situ ;
2) Bold columnar aspect ground floor;
3) Monotonous repetition in design of of upper floors, windows, etc.
4) Overall intentionally crude impression to building's façade.

This one, yes.


1) Check
2) Check
3) Check in the sense that there's no windows here. On the top floor all the light comes from above. Doesn't stop the lights being on all the time though.
4) Personally I don't believe that this is what Brutalism was about. Brutalism has a rather unfortunate name that doesn't reflect what the architects were trying to achieve. Brutalism was about creating honest sculptural forms. The exposure of the structure towards the base of the building was done to paradoxically lighten the building and remove it from the ground.
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby batten » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:21 pm

Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock?
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby tungstentee » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:10 am

Hi there

A quick background to Brutalism as i understand it is quite a confusing term.
the term derived from an architectural philosophy - the 'new brutalism' espoused by Peter and Alison Smithson, English architects in the early 1950's. The philosophy was based around architecture that exposed structure, used materials "as found" without any finish and created a "memorability of image" (as quoted by reyner baneham, an architectural historian at the time). A great example to look at is the Smithsons Hunstanton school .

The smithsons borrowed the term brutalism from le corbusiers 'beton brut' method of concrete finish - the finish was quite rough with patterns revealed from the formwork used and it was this integral honesty of the material is what the smithsons seeked to promote in their designs. The beton brut technique is evident on a lot of le corbusier's work but especially at 'la tourette'

brutalism evolved in the 1960's and 1970's as a reference to buildings that posessed this rough concrete, had bulky massing and quickly became a style that was for the most part villified especially in the uk.

It is unfortunate that the word brutalism has such negative connotations in the english language. It was never the intention of the philosophy or the style. The translation of brut of the term 'beton brut' is actually 'raw' and not 'brutal' in the english semantic. 'beton' is the french word for concrete.

The buildings i am collating looks at the beauty of 'beton brut' in the architectural context of belfast and dublin. I hope to give a history of its origins. engage people in a discussion on brutalism, seek their opinions of the style and in doing so reveal its true original intentions.
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby kefu » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:47 pm

Fitzwilton House the clearest cut example in Dublin.
Don't see it on your website but I may be missing something:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/turgidson/4505169608/
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby kefu » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:53 pm

Also, the old motor tax office in Dublin, now boarded up.
Brutalist? Or just brutal?
http://ireland.archiseek.com/buildings_ireland/dublin/northcity/capel_street/chancery_street/tax_lge.html
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Re: Brutalism in Belfast and Dublin

Postby missarchi » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:41 pm

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