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The Brutalist revival in Television

Right at the moment when many brutalist buildings are being demolished, we rediscover the strange charm of the colossal concrete style of the late modernist era.

The new BBC spy thriller miniseries ‘The Game’ is set in cold war 1970’s Britain and is an absolute visual treat in ‘Kodachrome grading’ if you appreciate brutalist architecture. The series was filmed in the soon to be demolished library of Birmingham, designed by John Madin who has clearly been influenced by the design of the Boston City Hall. We have been great admirers of this rather peculiar architectural style of ‘béton brut’ as Le Corbusier liked to call it.

What is interesting about this new BBC series is the new, warm and almost friendly interpretation of the brutalist buildings. Where filmakers usually use brutalist buildings to create a dystopia, in this case the styling department has created a much more human approach to brutalism. Paintings, leather sofas, Anglepoise desk lights, wooden furniture and accessories are thoughtfully used to make Mi5 look like the ‘good guys’ in the dark and sinister world of the KGB and the CIA.

BBC’s The Game
Our favourite brutalist tumblr

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