Learning to Love Brutalism






Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


The following keynote lecture was presented at the 12th International docomomo Conference that took place in Espoo, Finland, this past August 2012. The author began his lecture thanking the Chair of docomomo International, Ana Tostões, and all docomomo members and friends who have done so much to ensure that the now historical heritage of Modernism might be saved for the future. Following the stimulating talks of John Allan and Mark Pasnik, he entered what for many in this field was a territory that was at least ambiguous if not impossible to accept: that the so–called Brutalist buildings of the period 1960 to the late 70s would one day be the urgent object of attention for those interested in preservation and conservation.

How to Cite

Vidler, A. (2012). Learning to Love Brutalism. Docomomo Journal, (47), 4–9. https://doi.org/10.52200/47.A.Q0J80HCU







Author Biography

Anthony Vidler, Cooper Union

Dean of The Cooper Union, Architect and Doctor in History and Theory, critic of Modern and contemporary architecture, specializing in French architecture from the Enlightenment to the present, he has consistently taught courses in design and history and theory and continues to teach a wide variety of courses at The Cooper Union. As designer and curator he installed the permanent exhibition of the work of Claude–Nicolas Ledoux in the Royal Salt Works of Arc–et– Senans in Franche–Comté, France, as well as curating the exhibition, “Ledoux et les Lumières” at Arc–et–Senans. In 2004 he was curated the portion of the exhibition “Out of the Box” dedicated to James Stirling for the Canadian Center of Architecture and in 2010 he installed the exhibition “Notes from the Archive: James Frazer Stirling”, in the Yale Centre for British Art.

His publications include The Writing of the Walls: Architectural Theory in the Late Enlightenment (Princeton Architectural Press, 1987), Claude– Nicolas Ledoux: Architecture and Social Reform at the End of the Ancien Regime (MIT Press, 1990), The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely (MIT Press, 1992), Warped Space: Architecture and Anxiety in Modern Culture (MIT Press, 2000), Histories of the Immediate Present: The Invention of Architectural Modernism (MIT Press, 2008).