concrete jungle

we went to coventry to find some brutalist buildings. of which, coventry has famously quite a few - but looking specifically for just one style of architecture, is a real eye-opener... there is here a very interesting e-book on the works of the architect john madin who designed birmingham's brutalist central library, which again is an eye-opener at just how much of this style has proliferated around the city i live in. i'm almost tempted to do a short tour of some of his buildings... coventry was a good day out though - i don't go there very often, but each time i do, i always come away with a new experience.
as i remember coventry from back in '94(when i used to visit to buy copious vintage fred perry's from the city centre thrift shops), it's a lot cleaner and more welcoming than it used to feel... coming-off the train into a modernist railway station is always a pleasure, then you have the now underpass-free walk through the older part of town, to get to the shopping centre and the environs of the cathedral beyond. they really don't push the brutalist architecture of the city - of which you will find no mention being made in any of the many local museums/exhibitions. there has to be a coventry equivalent of ben waddington for this, somewhere?
all things considered, my earliest experience of coventry, is via the song concrete jungle by the specials, the video to which, featured a young roddy radiation being pursued through underpasses by people of a dubious political persuasion. i have been drinking with roddy(in a bar in spain, no less), and he is good company of an evening, so i'm glad to be appreciating his hometown. he's mentioned in local museums however, unlike these buildings...
essential reading - c20society (music - Bach - Brandenburg Concertos No.1 - ii: Adagio)

1 comment:

Coral said...

I'm always angry that we allowed and stll allow so many Victoriam building be demolished, yet if we lose brutalist building to go, isnt is just as wrong. They are all a statement of their era.

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