Tag Archives: brutalist

BRUTALISTS IN LEGOLAND!

You, savvy reader, are probably a fan of architecture. If not of architecture in and of itself, then perhaps as an extension of being a fan of design. Or at the very least you appreciate architecture, after all, you most likely live in a building. 

Maybe you are an architecture tourist — an “architourist” — who seeks out contemporary, architecturally significant buildings on your globe-spanning travels. Such that when you visit, say, Barcelona, you get excited about going to take a look at the Torre Agbar, designed by Jean Nouvel, whereas the package tourist hordes are bee-lining for the popular cathedrals like Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia.

You may have even read a few books about architecture. These books are not just enormously heavy coffee-table tomes filled with beautiful photos of great buildings, but rather books filled with texts, long-form prose about architecture, books with actual chapters that require actual reading. Books like the excellent and amusing  “From Bauhaus to Our House” by Tom Wolfe.  

You may even be a fan of specific architectural design styles and movements: Modernism, International Style, Googie, Mid-Century Modern, Art Deco, the aforementioned Bauhaus, and Brutalism. These mean something to you. Or at least you’ve heard of them.

There’s also a possibility you like Legos.

The person who runs the Instagram account @brutsinlego is a lover of Legos, is a fan of architecture, is a fan (we presume) of Brutalist architecture, in all its minimalist, fortress-like, gray-concrete socialist-tinged glory.

And now we are a fan of him and his Insta account, which is devoted to showcasing the small Lego constructions he and his children make of famous Brutalist buildings around the world.

A small sample of these is posted here for your delight and review.

Chatham Towers

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Many of the residential buildings in Chinatown are old low-rise tenement buildings tightly crammed next each other along narrow traffic-choked streets. That makes the Chatham Towers apartment complex pictured here a stand-out in the neighborhood. The architectural design, with its concrete facade and alternating balcony scheme, is a sophisticated example of the 1960’s international Brutalist style. The 25-storey Towers are surrounded by a landscaped plaza and leafy park grounds that make the complex seem like it’s a world away from Chinatown’s cramped chaos a few meters away. Chatham Towers were built in 1964 and each building has 120 apartments. The design was by Kelly & Gruzen. Since 9/11, the area surrounding (and including) the Towers has been barricaded and closed to non-residents due to the proximity of the structures to New York City Police headquarters and heightened security concerns.

Ivan Corsa Photo