I think it's interesting - not aesthetically pleasing, but interesting nevertheless. Would you class the Johannesburg General Hospital as an example of brutalist archtecture? It certainly is brutal the way it stands out on Parktown Ridge looking over the city.
I also think there is another very interesting form of architecture which is found uniquely in South Africa. Examples of this type of architecture are apparent in the form of the University of Johannesburg (previously RAU), the State Theatre in Pretoria, the Sand du Plessis in Bloemies, and of course the Voortrekker Monument. I think it's interesting because it reflects the authoritarian way of political governance at the time - it's brutal, it's conservative, it's stark and 'out there', and some would say cold, but what I find most interesting is the use of orange in the design - particularly apparent in the corridors of UJ.
Compare this with the contemporary architecture of today - Con Court, the Apartheid Museum, the Red Museum etc... very calming, very contemporary and quite low-key - clearly reflecting the political-social circumstances of our country, that seeks equality and non-authoritarianism.
These are just my observations however... dunno if anyone agrees.
I do agree with you. The uj building i think is quite originall, unfortunatly it went horribly wrong when the architects failed to rid the building of the "cold feeling" inside. Yeah i am a big fan of the contemporary architecture you mentioned. However i do believe if used right brutalism can look quite cool. Take a look at the Johannesburg Metro centre in Braamfontien opposite the Civic Theatre, I think it used brutalism deliciously! I really like that building!!
the Nationslsh government in the 70s waqs a big fan of brutalism in architecture (Durban station x2, JHB hospital, many governmnet buildings etc), they were obseed with exposed agregate in the facades and unfortunatly it ages very quickly and you are left with what I call SHIT architecture.
I personally dont like it but appreciate it for what it is and the age in which it was the fad. It adds to the architectual tapestry that we have in SA and along with the art deco, modernism, international style etc makes us a moden architectusl enviroment
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