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Joe Szilagyi 1
That's not a very flattering angle. It looks like a bunker.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on February 26, 2013 at 8:06 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 2
Brutalism is the nadir of modernism. Charles, you simply have poor taste.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 26, 2013 at 8:09 AM · Report this
dude, people from seattle aren't so good with architecture. you have to go to a real actual city to see good buildings and bridges. i think it is because the pay sucks in seattle or something.
Posted by tim koch on February 26, 2013 at 8:10 AM · Report this
hey, its the croc. i get to fuck with dan some more.
Posted by tim koch on February 26, 2013 at 8:12 AM · Report this
I like the Rainier Pump Station, but I also like the Beacon Hill library. Although I wouldn't call either "beautiful", they are both "interesting". I like interesting art and architecture.

The beacon hill library may be a little too interesting, but better too interesting than boring.
Posted by wingedkat on February 26, 2013 at 8:23 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
The shrubbery is too dominant. Landscaping is important. I would like to see smaller patches with maybe something that cascades a little over the wall, to soften the lines.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 26, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
I can only interpret this as intentional self-parody. Good architecture=stuff that makes Charles feel good. But when people say Beacon Hill library makes them feel good, they are wrong, for it is a heap of bad ideas.

Therefore, false consciousness?

Oh, Marxists.
Posted by Madasshatter on February 26, 2013 at 8:34 AM · Report this
samktg 9
Charles, what is it physically about the building you like? Why does that arrangement of materials give you the feelings it does? Saying it gives you feelings is putting the cart before the horse. No, "simple and compact" is not enough of an explanation – by that standard you could call a Snickers bar beautiful. God, you are probably now going to declare a Snickers bar beautiful.
Posted by samktg on February 26, 2013 at 8:37 AM · Report this
The Establishment 11
Ah yes, cold grey concrete with a smattering of hard edges. Heartwarming indeed.
Posted by The Establishment on February 26, 2013 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Either you're a fan of cartoonish, clichéd examples of brutalism... or you're just being a troll again.

Posted by dak7e on February 26, 2013 at 8:49 AM · Report this
Charles Mudede 13
@9, in my third post on beacon hill library i gave my reasons for why i thought it is bad. in this series, please let the images soak in and, at the end, i will detail my reasons.
Posted by Charles Mudede on February 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
fletc3her 14
I have mixed feelings about brutalism.

Some of the buildings on the MIT, UW, and Evergreen campuses are quite nice. The Christian Science mother church in Boston is amazing. I've always sort of liked Freeway Park even though as an urban environment it is a bit scary.

On the other hand I never felt easy even walking around Boston City Hall, an inverted pyramid plunked in the middle of an ill designed courtyard.

This pump station seems like a good example of where brutalism is used best. It seems to fit urban infrastructure rather well. And the building has nice details.
Posted by fletc3her on February 26, 2013 at 8:53 AM · Report this
samktg 15
Alright, carry on then. I do hope you have an explanation at the end that places at least some of the meaning created by the building in the physicality of the building. An object, a work of art, a building is not a neutral container for an idea or set of ideas. The medium in which an idea is encountered affects its orientation of meaning, such that medium and message cannot be disconnected.
Posted by samktg on February 26, 2013 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Clara T 16
The Magnolia branch of the Seattle Public Library kicks the aesthetic stuffing out of both of the buildings you're comparing (of which I much prefer the pump house).
Posted by Clara T on February 26, 2013 at 9:45 AM · Report this
This is hideous. There is no humanity in this. It's isolating and without warth, personality, invitation.

Charles has horrible taste. Absolutely horrible.
Posted by CrankyBacon on February 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM · Report this
I love it!
Posted by gloomy gus on February 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM · Report this
rob! 19
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles is a recent example of brutalist architecture. From the outside it is a squat, heavy, brooding hulk that brings to mind all sorts of apt metaphors for the current Catholic hierarchy and its defenders.

On the inside, though, it's a soaring, beautiful, light-filled space, and well worth a visit if you're walking around downtown L.A. The translucent alabaster panels used in place of stained glass are especially nice.
Posted by rob! on February 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Sean Kinney 20
Minecraft architecture.
Posted by Sean Kinney http:// on February 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
treacle 21
Bunkers aren't very endearing or someplace I want to go with my loved ones.
Posted by treacle on February 26, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
-B- 22
Was going to comment on this post and this building but there is no point. I occasionally read posts by Charles only because the entertainment level is to see if the same old points of view are still being rehashed. Your point of view has not changed much over the years and comes across as tiring trolling.
I have dishes to wash which is far more engaging than getting sucked into this debate.
Posted by -B- on February 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
jimmy 23
Why does every imposing, minimal, bland piece of architecture that looks like it was designed by some uptight Objectivist get considered good by those who would have us believe they possess some enlightenment?
Posted by jimmy on February 26, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
very bad homo 25
This is what you like? I'm beginning to see where the problem lies.
Posted by very bad homo on February 26, 2013 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Dougsf 26
I like the structure, but the retraining wall is too much. The gimmick is to often repeated, like a film with way too many track shots. or something.
Posted by Dougsf on February 26, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
In terms of aesthetics, Charles, you and I are birds of an architectural feather.
Posted by tkc on February 26, 2013 at 12:49 PM · Report this
While I don't particularly like Charles' example du jour, it hits on a key point: that the very shapes, forms, and materials that make Brutalism so appallingly brutal in large civic structures can be quite interesting and humane when reduced in scale.

This is the fundamental disconnect of 20th century design: the modernists (and their offspring) dreamed big, but thought small; none of their best work scales. Thus the Walter Gropius House outside of Boston is a miracle of minimalism, but his JFK Federal Building is an eyesore. Le Corbusier would have destroyed the world's great cities with his human-phobic regimentation boxes if given the chance, but his modest Carpenter Center at Harvard is amazing.

@14: The Christian Science campus you describe is actually an early work by I.M. Pei, who was never really a Brutalist. The space is stunning because, for all of its grandeur and "openness", Pei paid careful attention to how the forms would visually and functionally intersect for any person moving through it, at any time of year. The space is meant to be experienced from within, rather than admired on a drawing board. As a result, it is one of the (few) great public places built from scratch in the late 20th century.

(FYI, the Christian Science Church is broke, and is looking to leverage some of its prime real estate to cope. The primary plan is to build and sell a skinny, unobtrusive condo tower between Huntington Ave and the wedge-shaped Reflection Hall, which is not a terrible idea at all. The other thought is to cut the reflecting pool in half for some arbitrary pass-through, which is an awful idea. If you're in Boston, I strongly encourage you to show up at design review hearings and voice your objections to the latter.)
Posted by d.p. on February 26, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
WFM 30
The only thing of merit about Brutalist architecture is that when society collapses it will have given us plenty of featureless concrete walls against which the firing squads can shoot fans of Modernism.
Posted by WFM on February 26, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
this just happens to be trendy at the moment. Whoever the 1994 version of Mudede is would totally love the beaconhill library. The raw concrete look was kind of the dominant trend in cutting edge industrial design about a year ago. Before that there was a handfull of wierdo artists on the international scene using it. [now they've started adding tropical color to the slate gray]…
Posted by ry coolage on February 27, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Twilight Sparkle 33
Charles my friend, allow me to introduce you to the best tumbler evar:
Posted by Twilight Sparkle on March 4, 2013 at 10:14 PM · Report this

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