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What is: Brutalism?

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One might consider Brutalism as the 'marmite' of architectural history: it is a style that is systematically loathed and revered. HRH Prince Charles once compared one of the icons of Brutalism, Britain's National Theatre, to a nuclear power station. A strong reaction to the hulking concrete edifice... But is that the point?

Learn about some of the key facets and figures of Brutalist history with Professor Richard J. Williams.


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Richard J. Williams is Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures at the University of Edinburgh where he has worked since 2000. Before that, he studied fine art at Goldsmiths College, and history of art at the University of Manchester. His work deals mainly with modern and contemporary architecture and urban theory; the representation of cities in film and TV is a major interest. His books include, The Anxious City (2004), Brazil: Modern Architectures in History (2009), Sex and Buildings (2013), The Architecture of Art History (with Mark Crinson, 2018) and Why Cities Look the Way They Do (2018). He is currently writing a book about the architectural historian and critic Reyner Banham.

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