A few weeks back while down in Hyde Park, Michael took me to see the Joseph Regenstein Library (University of Chicago).He knew it would probably provoke me to take pictures and he was correct. Designed by Skimore Owings and Merrill, the Library is a great example of Brutalist Architecture. It shows that not all Brutalism is... Well... Brutal.

Regenstein Library UofC

The library was completed in 1970 at a cost of 20 million dollars (which seems like a lot for the time).

Regenstein Library UofC

Critics argue that this abstract nature of Brutalism makes the style unfriendly and uncommunicative, instead of integrating and protective as its proponents intended. I don't know much about the Brutalist movement, but the omnipresent heavy-ness of the buildings can have an overwhelming effect on it's users. But I think this example works, and isn't overwhelming at all. I does show importance.

Regenstein Library UofC

The majority of Brutalist buildings are constructed of exposed concrete. But occasionally, brick or other materials are used. For the Library, the outside walls are deeply grooved Indiana limestone

Regenstein Library UofC

A few more images can be found on my flickr.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This building was designed by Walter Netch, the guru behind the UIC east campus.

Overall, I find the buildings at UIC more impressive, but this thing definitely has the edge and brilliant originality that characterized his work from this period.

5/29/2007 10:11 AM  

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