Masterpiece or Monstrosity? 1960s architecture reconsidered

Saturday 25th March 2006

(National Theatre, South Bank, Lambeth)
(National Theatre, South Bank, Lambeth)

This ride visited some iconic 1960s buildings familiar to all those living in London, as well as some less well known buildings including one with a personal connection!

Much of 1960s architecture has been reviled as ugly concrete monstrosities and sometimes criticised for poor building quality. This ride challenged those preconceptions and showed the aesthetic and sculptural qualities of some of the buildings of this period and revealing just what an exciting and pioneering period this was in architecture.

 Credit: Philip Loy

Credit: Philip Loy

We looked at some buildings of the 'brutalist' style – a movement in architecture which flourished in the 1960s and 1970s and pioneered in continental Europe by Le Corbusier. The tour included buildings by architects such as Denys Lasdun and Richard Seifert, and took us through Pimlico, the West End and the City.

Our thanks to Tessa Wright for arranging a fascinating tour of the Royal College of Physicians and for the generosity of friends in the Barbican who showed us their superbly appointed apartments!

Finishing off on the South Bank for a warming drink! Credit: Philip Loy
Finishing off on the South Bank for a warming drink! (photo: Philip Loy)

Click here to see some more photos from Nick Boyle.

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