I’ve never been a fan of Brutalist architecture. To me it means big, ugly lumps of concrete, usually in cities, and sometimes placed right next to more traditional buildings for added impact.
But, as someone who grew up in the 1970s, these ugly buildings have always been part of my life. And I realised recently that some of them are disappearing as their structures fail because of poor maintenance and the limited life of concrete.
So I was interested to see ‘Brutal North’, a book cataloguing dozens of examples of Brutalist buildings in the north of England. The photographs, all in brutal black and white of course, show the buildings in all their glory under typically cloudy northern skies.
|Forton Services, on the M6, with its tower affording views across the Pennines|
|One side of Preston bus station, with its multi-storey car park above|
|Manchester's former UMIST building, next to the equally Brutalist elevated A57(M) Mancunian Way |
And the most shocking example in the book? It must be Newcastle’s St James Park football stadium, apparently dropped by aliens into a neighbourhood otherwise rich in beautiful Georgian buildings.
|Newcastle's fine Georgian buildings (left) and football stadium (right)|