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Bēhance

Floating concrete

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  • Brutalist architecture is a style of architecture which flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, spawned from the modernist architectural movement. Examples are typically very linear, fortresslike and blockish, often with a predominance of concrete construction. Initially the style came about for government buildings, low-rent housing and shopping centers to create functional structures at a low cost, but eventually designers adopted the look for other uses such as college buildings.
     
    Critics of the style find it unappealing due to its "cold" appearance, projecting an atmosphere of totalitarianism, as well as the association of the buildings with urban decay due to materials weathering poorly in certain climates and the surfaces being prone to vandalism by graffiti. Despite this, the style is appreciated by others, with some of the angular features being softened and updated in buildings currently being constructed in Israel and Latin America, and preservation efforts are taking place in the United Kingdom.
     
    The English architects Alison and Peter Smithson coined the term in 1953, from the French béton brut, or "raw concrete", a phrase used by Le Corbusier to describe the poured board-marked concrete with which he constructed many of his post-World War II buildings. The term gained wide currency when the British architectural critic Reyner Banham used it in the title of his 1966 book, The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic?, to characterize a somewhat recently established cluster of architectural approaches, particularly in Europe.
     
    In this project I went looking for the ultimate contrast with brutalism, in which I have chosen concrete as my starting point. I ended up with light. Concrete, something tangible, heavy, rough. Light, not tangible, has (almost) no mass, soft etc. etc. The object is designed as a table centerpiece. The object is designed so that if the right (seated) height is viewed, it looks like it is floating. So floating concrete. The height of the object is selected so that you can not over look. It must be annoying.