The academic research that supports the content of this website started with the 1997 research study on São Paulo Brutalist Architecture (1953-1973) carried out by professor and architect Ruth Verde Zein. Her initial aim was to help outline a wider and more precise acknowledgment of the quality and importance of the local Brutalist trend, revisiting its works and authors and their historical moment and analyzing their contribution under a contemporary critical approach. São Paulo Brutalist architecture research studies were consolidated in the author’s doctoral thesis (2005). A summary of its results and selected information about almost a hundred São Paulo Brutalist architecture works have been online (www.arquiteturabrutalista.com.br) since 2008.
These studies suggested the possibility that São Paulo Brutalist Architecture was not an isolated phenomenon and should not be read as a regionalist proposition. On the contrary, the research puts forward the hypothesis that local “Paulista” Brutalism was one manifestation of the trend among many others, making up a sort of world-wide web. In other words, there seems to be a kind of “Brutalist connection” among hundreds of Brutalist works that were designed and constructed almost simultaneously, in several parts of the world, in the middle of the 20th century.
To support that hypothesis a new research was proposed. Its aim is to collect more information on Brutalist works situated in different countries. Brutalist Connections Research (BCR) aspires to organize a wide-ranging timeline, verifying the design and construction data of the works and their architectural characteristics, as a conceptual framework to enhance the understanding of their peculiarities and proximities. As a first step the research aimed to collect information on Brutalist architecture works between 1950 and 1970 situated in some important cities in the American continent: Montreal and Toronto (Canada); Boston, New Haven, Washington (USA); Mexico DF (Mexico); Bogotá, Medellin (Colombia); Santiago (Chile); Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza (Argentina); Montevideo (Uruguay); São Paulo, Curitiba (Brazil).
Brutalist Connections Research (BCR) Phase 1 (2009-2011) tried to pinpoint some of the more important Brutalist works situated in these cities. They were visited and photographed; local libraries and research centers were visited; connections with other researchers were established; books and other publications on the subject were acquired and/or consulted. Brutalist Connections Research (BCR) Phase 2 (2011-2013) is working in a systematic way on the already collected material, feeding a data bank on Brutalist works, whose initial results are being gradually displayed for consultation in this new website.
The research is under construction and far from being complete; therefore its consistency is not yet ideal; in any case, its first results may be of use for students, researches and any interested person. In the next phases BCR will both revise and consolidate the collected material and increase its geographical range, to include other cities in the American continent and selected examples from other continents. Our Research Group, with the help of other architects, professors, undergraduate and graduate students is gradually organizing further studies that will gradually be made available on this website.
This research is open to receive information coming from any interested person and about any Brutalist work situated anywhere in the world. We warmly welcome and encourage anyone who may be interested in collaborating with this process to contact us. We express our deep gratitude to other fellow researchers working on similar subjects and hope this website content will prompt them to contact us for the exchange of information.
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