Design & Build Review: Issue 35

In this issue: the implications and potential of Britain's Brutalist revival, transforming retirement housing, the architectural, social and political role of the humble American garage and much more


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Over the past few years, a rather unexpected revival has occurred in British architecture. Brutalism, once a much maligned architectural movement, has come back into vogue, particularly among younger generations. But a love for the style has arguably returned without the supporting politics that drove its inception, leaving a question mark over how much of an impact such a resurgence can have. We consider the circumstances that have driven the style back to popularity, and ask whether it can offer anything meaningful to Britain in an era of housing shortages and shrinking properties. 

Continuing with the theme of residential architecture, we also look at retirement homes, which are a resource in short supply in the UK; a nation with a significant ageing population. More housing for retirees would free up properties in the rest of the residential market, but persuading a new generation of over 60s to consider the move can be a challenge. We ask whether quality design and careful planning can help to improve the situation, and look at projects that are making progress.

On a lighter note, the two-car garage is as American as apple pie and its architectural evolution is a fascinating story. We speak to Olivia Erlanger, co-author of the book Hate Suburbia, about its evolving social, architectural and political role in the US.

Plus we consider the pioneering career of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, arguably the man that invented the modern skyscraper, highlight some of the latest materials, fixtures and fittings and look at the portfolio of a promising and technically minded student architect.

As always, the issue is available to read for free on iPad through our app, or on a desktop computer using our web viewer.

As always, the issue is available to read for free on iPad through our app, or on a desktop computer using our web viewer.

In this Issue

The Brutalist Revival
Once maligned as ugly and oppressive, Britain's brutalist buildings are now enjoying a surprising revival. But does the new vogue for béton brut ignore the politics behind the movement? And in the midst of a deep housing crisis can Brutalism offer any meaningful solutions? We find out.
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Housing for the Third Age
Retirement housing has been lacking in both quality and quantity in the UK, with negative knock-on effects for the wider residential market. We ask how good design and planning can encourage the country’s retirees to make the jump to the retirement housing market.
Read the article.

The Anatomy of the Garage
We speak to Olivia Erlanger, co-author of the book Hate Suburbia, about the evolving architectural, social and political role of the humble American garage.
Read the article.

A Career in Buildings: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Few architects have had as defining an impact as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a German pioneer of modernist architecture. Known for a focus on simplicity, he has played a vital role in shaping the look and space of the modern world. Here we look at his career through some of his defining buildings.
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New In
Design innovations and changing trends are forever bringing materials, fixtures and fittings to market. Here we showcase six of our favourites from those being promoted this month.
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Future Greats
Every month we sift through the portfolios of architecture students and graduates around the world to highlight those we think have particular potential. This time we’re looking at a student from Philadelphia University who combines striking designs with strong technical awareness
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Next issue preview

In the next issue of Design & Build Review, out in February, we’ll be looking at Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for the first entirely wooden stadium and consider whether it could be a model for future use.

To continue with the environmentally conscious theme, we’ll also consider the 200 acre passive house development under construction in China.

Plus we trawl through the results of the RIBA’s Working With Architects survey to discover what construction clients want and how architects can use the findings.

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