uncube has always had a soft spot for the awkward, ugly, weird and unloved end of the architecture scale. Brutes and behemoths in particular. So this is why we have lent our support to a new project called #SOSBrutalism, which is aimed at mapping and saving the world’s brutalist treasures.
This new initiative is a collaboration between the German Architecture Museum (DAM) in Frankfurt and the Wüstenrot Foundation, supported by uncube. Its mission: to rescue brutalist buildings from the threat of demolition. Brutalism is the most publically discussed – and disputed – branch of modern architecture today. While its raw structural language is held by many to represent the epitome of architectural evil, this robust and unpretentious architecture, more of an approach than a style, was in many ways exemplary in its honest provision of practical, functional space.
#SOSBrutalism has at its core an extensive and growing online database that currently comprises information on more than 700 buildings worldwide. They are documented and catalogued according to their status. Is the building endangered, demolished or saved? Fans and advocates are encouraged to share their knowledge through various social media platforms. Indeed communication is a central pillar of the initiative, with one of its central aims being to raise awareness about the inherent qualities of this architecture – and thus why it should be preserved.
As a unique, open initiative, #SOSBrutalism looks for help from brutalism’s many supporters. Which brutalist masterpieces lie waiting to be discovered? Who can provide good photographs, or more detailed information on obscure examples? Just an email could contribute to help preserving the legacy – and lives – of these concrete beasts. So what’s the future for the initiative? Upcoming plans include an exhibition at DAM to be accompanied by an extensive catalogue.
– Stephan Becker, BauNetz.