This notion of brutalist building projects being born as utopian visions is particularly interesting when compared to their subsequent perception. Within a decade, the same estates and buildings which had been intended to offer a brighter vision of the future would be depicted as dystopian landscapes by artists and filmographers, from Stanley Kubrick’s use of the Thamesmead Estate in A Clockwork Orange to our own Queen Elizabeth Hall appearing as a Draconian prison in an episode of Doctor Who.
‘I think there’s something about the epic vision of these utopias that tips over very easily into dystopia if you want to represent it that way. These writers and artists and filmmakers, they’d all grown up during the Second World War and are aware of, and are able to see, the downside of utopia and utopian visions - with it having been, to an extent, a fascist architecture and ideology. If you’ve grown up in that situation, when you see people then trying to map out a really positive big utopian vision in the post war period, it’s hard not to transfer those thoughts and feelings onto these entirely unrelated but new buildings, which represent another attempt at changing the world in a huge fundamental way. As such it’s as much a sensibility of the artist as it is the actual buildings and the architecture.’ (John Grindrod)
H&MUA: also by @rvmees
Styled by @aslavingape