A concept made concrete : conserving a Brutalist icon through architectural intervention
Bell, Taylor Ryan
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Citation:Bell, T. R. (2017). A concept made concrete : conserving a Brutalist icon through architectural intervention. An explanatory document. A research project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4353
RESEARCH QUESTION How can a critically unsuccessful Brutalist building be adapted or reused to ensure its conservation as a piece of architectural history? Sub-questions: Why was the building considered unsuccessful? Who considered the building unsuccessful? Why is it important to conserve this particular building? Which Brutalist buildings are suited to adaptation? What form of adaptive reuse is most appropriate? What are the possible new uses for the building? What can be learnt from this process? This project aims to prove, through relevant research, that Brutalist buildings such as Robin Hood Gardens are not only important parts of recent history but are also adaptable to modern standards and new functions. It will also prove that architectural intervention, however minimal, is a powerful tool when dealing with aged building stock. Retaining historic buildings contributes to the sociocultural wellbeing of a nation by providing scholars, students and laymen the opportunity to view and study a building that may otherwise be destroyed. Adaptation of aged buildings will help to create cities with a rich tapestry of architectural history, contrasting the old and the new. Understanding the history of the Brutalist movement and its contribution to architectural development in Europe, the Americas, and New Zealand, is paramount when considering this research document. It will be made clear as to why Robin Hood Gardens is an ideal case study. Due to its design and current predicament, Robin Hood Gardens can be seen as a microcosm of the failure of Brutalist ideology - and a failure of twenty-first century society to identify and protect its architectural treasures. Although the topic of adaptive reuse has been covered many times before, the solution proposed for Robin Hood Gardens in this document is entirely unique. The findings of this study will help to inform (or reform) the values of individuals involved in the decision making process of architectural conservation.