Theatre Royal Car Park, Plymouth, my latest favourite Brutalist building. Having moved to Devon just before the pandemic lockdown, I am now venturing out again with my tired and battered old camera, soon to be replaced. You will mostly see photos of buildings on my blog, but if anything catches my eye while I am out and about, that will probably end up on here too.
Why Brutalist car parks? Because most people don't see them and because a lot of people want them knocked down. Many have already gone, to be replaced with car parks that do their best to hide behind a pretty facade. Underneath they are still layers of cars on concrete but outside they are shy. Brutalist design was bold and proud.
Brutalism, also known as Brutalist architecture, is a style that emerged in the 1950s and grew out of the early-20th century modernist movement. Brutalist buildings are characterised by their massive, monolithic and 'blocky' appearance with a rigid geometric style and large-scale use of poured concrete. The term was coined by the British architectural critic Reyner Banham to describe the approach to building particularly associated with the architects Peter and Alison Smithson in the 1950s and 1960s. The style was further popularized in a 1955 essay by architectural critic Reyner Banham, who also associated the movement with the French phrases béton brut ("raw concrete") and art brut ("raw art").