Much like our Silversmith collection of jewellery, Brutalism emphasises materials, textures and the processes.
Walking through London I have always been drawn to the buildings that have texture, mass and drama. For these reasons, the Brutalist style has captured a firm place in my heart. Brutalist architecture such as Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower, Neave Brown's Alexandria Estate, Denys Lasdun's National Theatre and of course the Barbican Centre has been the source of inspiration and the backdrop for many an Alice Made This moment!
Trellick Tower by Erno Goldfinger.The Barbican Centre by Chamberlin, Powell & Bon.
Brutalism is a style with an emphasis on materials, textures and construction. It harps to the part of me that finds materials so beautiful in their raw form. There was a truly unapologetic approach to the application of design and materials in the Brutalist movement, but it was far more thought through than was first presumed. If you look at the National Theatre for example (one of my all time faves) like us, it exudes the precision of engineering and pairs it with the beauty of craftsmanship.
The National Theatre by Denys Lasdun
Many view it as an industrial building, but it was really a handmade one! As both a factory for play-making and a luxurious theatre for traditional shows, Lasdun designed the building to be both democratic and special. The exterior facade is cast concrete using wooden moulds, made with rough sawn planks. This use of craftsmanship softened a utilitarian material and turned it into a thing of beauty. The process created the theatre's iconic 'board-marked' surface, for which is it known and loved today.
In all brutalist building, the division of space was also key, relating to sound, light and to the creation of drama. Forms created mass and scale, and textures celebrated materials and elevated the expression of structure and a beautiful richness.
The unapologetic approach and the experimental nature of Brutalism is something we emulate at Alice Made This. We are drawn to it for its pairing of industry and craftsmanship. Whether it's the beautiful pick-hammered pillars of the Barbican centre, or the crude yet refined board-marking of wood grain at the National Theatre, this celebration of materials and attention to detail makes me smile to the core.
I have unearthed some BTS picks from the AMT archive that celebrate these beautiful structure’s.
And of course, explore our jewellery that does too!