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This Brutal World
A Closer View On The Resurgence Of Brutalist Architecture And The Mystery Behind Our Fascination With The Grotesque
Natalie Westernoff

Peter Chadwick’s early fascination with brutalism led him to start an Instagram page, which soon caught the attention of the masses and led him to compiling his book, This Brutal World. We talk to him about architecture, brutalism and the enigma behind the design format.

Why do you think brutalist architecture has made a comeback in the last few years?

Some of it for sure is driven by nostalgia. I also think that towns and cities globally have become oversaturated with faceless glass and steel towers. As a reaction to this, people are not only looking at brutalism with fresh eyes, other movements such as postmodernism are being reappraised by new audiences both young and old.

What is it about this type of architecture that is so mysterious?

Mysterious is not normally a word that comes to mind when I think of brutalism. I do understand what you mean though, perhaps a lack of windows on some buildings allied with large fortress-like facades can make those wonder what is happening inside a building like that. Brutalism has many functional applications: a concept and style adapted by educational and government buildings alike in the early post-war years. These buildings and campuses were built on a large scale where a sky light were often preferable in use.

When putting your book together, This Brutal World, how did you know that the architecture was something people were resonating with again?

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November 2019

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