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A wasted opportunity
on 2 December 2012
This is rather a disappointing book. Rather than looking at the theories underpinning this strand of post-war architecture it superficially says that it is about ethics and then offers a gazetteer of a disparate collection of buildings some of which may be important in the development of this strand and some which could not really be called brutalist at all ( Coventry Cathedral?).
It virtually ignores many of the more important buildings of the period such as the Park Hill flats in Sheffield which was the closest built example of Team X and the Smithsons' housing theory while highlighting a number of early 1970's buildings which, while interesting, are not particularly important examples.
There some inaccuracies such as the suggestion that the rear of the Festval Hall could be seen a precursor of brutalism whilst the elevation that he pictures was a result of the refacing and extension of the building in the 1960's and therefore could not influence a style with its origins in the 1950's.
The book could have worked a record of a period of building that has been under threat of demolition since fashions have changed but the photographs are not all that good and there are no drawings to back them up. All in all a lost opportunity.