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Brutal Utopias: Fall Tour to Explore Brutalism's UK Legacy

Britain's complicated relationship with Brutalism seems to be coming full circle this fall. The National Trust, the charity entrusted with protecting the United Kingdom's historic architecture, announced a new fall tour and event series focused on the history and appreciation of the boxy, concrete structures, staples of post-war architecture and a far cry from the organization's usual focus on historic homes and castles. Brutal Utopias will reconsider the architecture of the era with a 10-day series of events commencing on Friday, September 25. Sites and structures that will be open to the public include the Southbank Centre and Park Hill, while bus tours will explore locations across London. This has been a mixed year for Brutalism in Britain; while Colin St John Wilson's British Library, once considered an eyesore, was given Listed status, and an exhibition at the Royal Institute for British Architects looked at the playful side of the style, an exemplary building in the Brutalist canon, Robin Hood Gardens, was slated for demolition despite a high-profile preservation campaign. Despite the renewed focus, pre-cast concrete is far from universally loved.

Brutalism: Ugly, Maybe. Potentially Lifesaving, Yes. [Curbed]
Brutalist Concrete Gas Station A Thing of Surprising Beauty [Curbed]
The Life and Death of Britain's Most Beloved Brutalist Building, Robin Hood Gardens [Curbed]
Play Hard: New Brutalist Playground in London Celebrates the Legacy of Concrete Parks [Curbed]