New Brutalism


The term is allied with the Smithsons (Peter and Allison) of Britain, as a term of mockery against 'Establishment Elders', known as 'The New Humanists' or 'The New Empiricists' by the political Left and Right respectively. The aesthetic for which they strove was the uncompromising ruthlessness, intellectual clarity and honest presentation of structure and materials of Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. Reyner Banham writes 'Brutalism is a tough-minded reforming movement within the framework of modern architectural thought, not a revolutionary attempt to overthrow it.' The influence came to South Africa through the offices of the Transvaal Institute of Architects and the Wits School who invited the Smithsons to visit South Africa. Similar influences were through the visits of Fry and Drew. (Banham, R. 1963. 'Brutalism' in Hatje,G (ed). Encyclopaedia of modern architecture. London: Thames and Hudson)

Buildings on this website in New Brutalism style

University of Port Elizabeth, Summerstrand Campus - NMMU: 1974 - 1979. Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Eastern Cape