In Le Corbusier has used concrete and the

In 1968, Reyner
Banham – a critic of architecture, came out with a book ‘The New Brutalism”. Within
the book, Banham discusses political-history concerning the source of the term “Brutalism”,
as well as addresses many examples of buildings which he considers brutal. One of
the many architects Banham addresses is Le Corbusier. I will be discussing one
of Le Corbusier’s building; Unite d’Habitation, and
showing where Banham’s notion of brutalism applies to Le Corbusiers building. Reyner
Banham had once stated that Unité d’Habitation is one of the most brutalist
buildings he has come across. This is due to way Le Corbusier has used concrete
and the way he has used the variety of techniques and applied it to the


Brutalist architecture first started during the 1950s
to the mid-1970s, following from the modernist architectural movement of the
early 20th century. The term “Brutalist” originally derives from the French
word; raw. Reyner Banham, who is a British architectural critic, changed the
word into “Brutalism” which was originally “New Brutalism”,
to classify the new developing style. Although Banham endeavours to demonstrate
an immediate relationship, there appears to be a breakthrough between the two.
The meaning of brutalism with regards to the building visual can be misdirecting.
“Brutal” suggests something unpleasant, crude, and harsh about the
treatment of materials and appears to have zero relationships with the
different parts of architecture, regardless of its conceptual terms. It appears
to be deceiving to recommend that brutalism, as a development in current
architecture, drew its motivation similarly from Le Corbusier and another
architect such as Mies
van der Rohe (Curcic, 2018).  Generally, brutalist buildings are framed with
components that are reused, which are developed into masses, indicating
functional zones; which is clearly verbalized and grouped together combining
it. Concrete is utilized for its crude and honest
genuineness, standing out drastically from the very refined and ornamented
structures developed in the elite Beaux-Arts style.  Surfaces of cast concrete are made to reveal the
fundamental thought of its progress, revealing the surface of the wooden sheets
used for the in-situ casting shapes. Brutalist building materials
similarly fuse brick, glass, steel, cruel cut stone, and gabions. Even though these materials are used in the
present day, during the 1950s, concrete was practical as well as affordable,
which made it perfect for government buildings as well as shopping malls and,
critically, new houses. Banham underlined
how the Brutalists, which were the second era of pioneer architects, had the
prior ages enthusiasm for original and vernacular architecture and workmanship:
“They saw, in Mediterranean peasant buildings, an anonymous architecture of
simple, rugged geometrical forms . . . unaffectedly and immemorially at home in
its landscape setting” (Banham, pg.47, 1968). Banham stated in his book, The New Brutalism, that brutalism was
influenced by the work of Le Corbusier. Its name is determined
from béton brut, the crude uncovered concrete work investigated by Le
Corbusier. The architect himself, additionally utilized other unpleasant cut
materials, for example, stone and harsh brick.

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Unité d’Habitation is Le Corbusier’s
first, most seemingly influential Brutalist building. The building
re-imagined high-mass housing by reconsidering a city inside an 18-story piece
square, with its human extents, stout pilotis and inside boulevards. The
structure was finalised in 1952 in Marseille. The building took Le Corbusier’s
most well-known expression, that a house is “a
machine for living in”, which he then connected it to the community. Le
Corbusier thought of an outcome, which ended up being an independent concrete
vessel that is organized like an ocean liner. (Frearson, 2014).
The building was
named La Cité Radieuse, or “the brilliant city” by the architect himself
and it has effectively suited a balance of services since it was completed. Its
337 flats can oblige 1,600 occupants, yet it also holds two shopping lanes, an
inn, and a housetop patio. Le Corbusier’s building is a perfect example of brutalism
with the structure being coarse, tough, made by man, and weathered, influenced
by, and crafted by time. The sculptural treatment of the structural frame and
additionally the utilization of “concrete brut” appear to have an
impression on the way that Le Corbusier think and his cognizant making sure
that there is a man’s own interest in the production of his architecture.
(Curcic, 2018). During the post-war
times, Le Corbusier went onto a heavier, more significant style of architecture,
proceeding to utilize the fundamental components which were created in the
1920s. Concrete was left being harsh and simple in the frame known as ‘ béton
brut’ as well as never being rendered or painted again. Unité d’Habitation in Marseille began to be
constructed in 1947, a momentous chunk structure in rough cast concrete,
proclaiming the full blooming of Brutalism on the land. The British structures
were limited though refined, applying cleaned stone instead of concrete as the
essential opposing material. Meanwhile, open structures used a type of
Modernism that had not yet developed into something even more capturing, but
rather really the new style was encountering more wide acknowledgment and
working its way into the standard.



Reyner Banham’s book,
“The New Brutalism”, has given me insight of what his thoughts and opinions of
Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation’ architectural building. Banham stated that
Le Corbusier’s concrete work is parts of the New Brutalism, in Britain and
elsewhere. Alongside this, he believed that if there is one single verbal
technique that has made the idea of brutalism acceptable in the clear majority
of the world’s western dialect, it is that Le Corbusier himself portrayed that
concrete work as ‘béton brut’. “It was the largest single building of
architectural importance in course of erection in Europe at the time and it was
the first genuinely post-war building…” (Banham, 1968). This meant that its developments have been isolated completely from
Modern Architecture before 1939. Due to being under the stress of financial and
political conditions, it constrained Le Corbusier to forsake his unique steel-framed
plan for the Unité d’Habitation, and therefore chose to perceive that concrete
is “suspended dusts, grits and slumpy aggregate, mixed and poured under
conditions subject to the vagaries of weather and human fallibility” (Banham, 1968). Le Corbusier invoked concrete nearly as another
material, misusing its simplicities, and as well as the wooden formwork, to
construct a compositional surface of a rough loftiness that appears to
duplicate the all-around tough Doric columns of sanctuaries in Magna Graecia,
and it is without a doubt that “Architecture is that which makes magnificent
ruins” (Banham, 1968), the concrete work at Marseilles began as an outstanding
ruin even before the building was finished. He went on to using the rough
wooden formwork to engrave grain, bunches and imperfections on the substance of
the concrete which was arranged in precisely arranged example of planking,
which broke the surface into substantial squares. The roughness of the surface,
the example of the board work and the size of the building created a structural
surface that was intriguing, as well as giving an impact of the rough
travertine (a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs), and monster size
of the apses, which have been applied to other buildings, on which Le Corbusier
had kept in touch with. Banham described that many brutalists were not the only
one in observing that in this building, Modern Architecture has, at last, dealt
with what northern Europe freely calls ‘The Mediterranean custom’. It is one of
the workings in which Le Corbusier enters most convincingly into the immense
and genuine convention of design as he recognises it; the working in which all
explanatory consonance between present-day innovation and old engineering in ‘Vensune architecture’ most about exists. To
develop moving connections out of cruel materials was to be the focal desire of



conclusion, Brutalism is expressed by the set of characteristics which can be established
in brutalist work. It was and still is in the present day, a movement in architecture.
Brutalist buildings have always been characterised by sculptural forms as well
as visible materials, such as the used of concrete.  Reyner Banham’s discusses brutalism and has
his own views on it. Banham has always been influenced by Le Corbusier work as
well as believes that Unité d’Habitation has influenced the brutalist style. Due
to the materials that Le Corbusier used (béton brut- rough cast concrete),
Banham understood as well as recognised that this was a brutalist building. Throughout
the essay, I have come to understand what brutalism is as well as where it
stands in architecture. I have established how an architect such as Le Corbusier,
went through when designing as well as building Unité d’Habitation, going from
the texture as well as colour to the stylistic foundations. I believe that
Reyner Banham’s notion of Brutalism is has made me aware of buildings that are brutal
in modern Architecture. 


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