There is a sense of ambiguous monumentality to Brutalist architecturefor example, structures such as Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation (Housing Unit), known as “the radiant city,” completed in Marseilles in 1952 and described by the architect as “the first manifestation of an environment suited to modern life.” This three-dimensional béton brut (rough-cast concrete) grid comprises 337 apartments designed to house some sixteen hundred residents alongside shopping areas, a hotel, and a rooftop terrace. Its design has been adapted worldwide since, at times with glorious results: for example, the interlocking concrete blocks that make up the sprawling Barbican Estate, completed in 1982, and developed by architects Joe Chamberlin, Geoffry Powell, and Christoph Bon as an attempt to bring a utopian future to a bombed-out post–World War II London. In other cases, these concrete
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