Part 5 of IGS Through the Lens Series diverges from our traditional subject matter of modern glass clad skyscrapers and technologically advanced facades to a time of concrete jungles and simplistic beauty. The photo series Utopia is a collaboration between studio esinam and London based architecture photographer Rory Gardiner.
It pays tribute to some of London’s best example of brutalist architecture: The Barbican Estate, Royal National Theatre, Hayward Gallery, Trellick Tower and the recently demolished Robin Hood Gardens. The series aims to capture the subtle beauty of Brutalism at its best. The sculptural use of concrete, as structure, surface, detail, and ornament in one. Its tactile qualities. The raw and exposed, but at the same time careful and detailed. The massive scale of the projects and the human centered ideas that once shaped it.
“Brutalism’s modular spaces manifested a social desire for a standardized society—cultural cohesion, shared values, and a fair quality of life for all. The Brutalist citizen, therefore, has to be understood as an abstract egalitarian ideal, not as an individual lost in a microscopic concrete cave of some gargantuan building”
“Through its monuments, architects are given a hint of tangible, physical “autonomy”—freedom from (or at least momentary dominance over) the concerns of the world. […] Brutalism, then, was the last bastion of the Modern, in several senses—it held the Modernist dreams of architects alongside the fragile cohesion of public institutions within its overgrown exoskeletons”
“heroically in the face of hostile external conditions[, i]ts raw architecture reaffirms a vision of human progress in the face of the elements […] Perhaps the real deficiency ofBrutalism is simply its existence as a primarily urban phenomenon”
A selection of the photos have been printed and available in a limited edition. Learn more on Studio Esinam’s website.