Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brutal is Beautiful

The glory that is concrete ...

Having a a Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Pool is comical enough. Even better is this criticism in yesterday's Age* which deals with the proposed redesign of the swimming pool:
It is one of the few survivors of the Brutalist period ... British architects in the 1950s and '60s also adopted the style to represent their political agenda. Their ideas were realised for public housing and community buildings, and centred on the notioin of architecture as part of the democratic revolution.

To design this building, the architects required a mindset that embraced issues of anti-establishment, left-wing politics, and an ability to underscore those values in architecture.

Stonnington City Council has chosen architects Peddle Thorp to alter and extend the pool.

Peddle Thorp have unquestionable experience with the design of sporting and community facilities, including the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre and Rod Laver arena. They are commercially savvy and productive.

But they do not possess an architectural philosophy that embraces the values that inform the original design for this pool.
So the new architects are unsuitable because - amongst other things - they're not communist! (Left-wing bias in The Age? Never!)

* I'll post the link when I can find it.


Don Quixote said...

"So the new architects are unsuitable because - amongst other things - they're not communist!"

That's a stretch - if you're looking for complimentary additions to a structure, of course the sensible thing to do is to find someone with the same architectural values as the original creator.

But having a Harold Holt swimming pool is mighty funny.

I guess if some insidious communist agenda is at play here then it's balanced against the double page spread in MX yesterday that exposed Gillard's frumpy attire as an impediment to Labor's future success.

TimT said...

Yeah, I posted it mainly for the amusement factor. The article's worth reading, and I will post the link when I've got time. The writer (a practicing architect) wanted the new architects to be sympathetic to the original 'Brutalist' values.

I wonder how far you could take that argument though? If an art gallery had an exhibition of surrealist-fascists (there were a few), would The Age require the curator to be sympathetic to their 'fascist' values? How sympathetic?

Caz said...

Don't worry Timmy, you piece was funny, and your point not lost; neither brutally nor languidly.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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