Brutal or Beautiful? UK Celebrates Post-War Architectural Heritage

A warehouse, electricity substation, and brutalist apartment complex are among the buildings recently granted heritage protection by the British government. Heritage designation for post-war architecture, however, remains contentious.
September 23, 2013, 6am PDT | Kasper_O_Koblauch
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"Given that diehard critics of postwar architecture already liken its creations to bunkers, warehouses and electricity substations, they could be forgiven for feeling simultaneously vindicated and horrified at the news that the government has now granted protected listings to precisely such structures," writes Peter Walker. The announcement that four modern-era buildings are being designated as heritage structures coincides with Brutal and Beautiful, an exhibition presented by English Heritage.

"It remains a controversial area, said Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage: 'Few areas of English Heritage's work are as disputed or as intriguing as the listing of modern heritage and these striking buildings listed today exemplify our rigorous and highly selective approach. Some still view the buildings of the era as concrete monstrosities; others as fine landmarks in the history of building design.'" 

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Published on Thursday, September 19, 2013 in The Guardian
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