The Case for Calling Brutalism ‘Heroic’ Instead

The case for calling brutalism 'heroic' instead
Paul Rudolph, Government Service Center, 1962–71

A conversation with the creators of Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston, which explores the city’s remarkable urban renewal legacy.

1950s Boston, with its stagnant economy, aging infrastructure, and impenetrable culture of corruption, was in need of a few heroes. Some say it got a bunch of concrete-loving villains instead. But a new book hopes to change the way Boston’s urban renewal history—and the entire architectural period that represents it—is viewed and described.

Initiated after then-Mayor Thomas Menino first proposed demolishing Boston City Hall, in late 2006, a trio of Boston architects and designers, Mark Pasnik, Michael Kubo and Chris Grimley, have compiled years of research, interviews, and a popular exhibit on the topic into the Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston.

A thorough look back at the forces behind Boston’s revival between 1957 (the creation of the Boston Redevelopment Authority) to 1976 (the revitalization of Quincy Market), Heroic is an important addition to the growing conversation about Brutalism—or, as the authors prefer, “Heroic” architecture. In fact, the book reads like a template for how to properly tell the story of any American city’s concrete architecture. […]

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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