The result was that brutalism, in the public mind, became the architecture of a forgotten underclass: windswept plazas, crumbling concrete, ugly dystopian soullessness. Far from being something to aspire to, it was something to escape from. The name didn’t help: even though it derives from the French béton brut, for raw concrete, it still connotes brutality. The architecture could be pretty brutal too: hulking, massive, monumental. Certainly by 1981, when Tom Wolfe published From Bauhaus to Our House, brutalism had become something to hate, a symbol of everything that was wrong with modern architecture.

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Say what you like about brutalist buildings, you have to admit they look gorgeous in photographs and in coffee-table books such as This Brutal World, recently published by Phaidon. Brutalism might still be a bit austere for many people’s taste. But when you live in something that good looking, you can’t help but feel a little bit of glamor by association.