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Brutalism

 

 Photo courtesy of the General Services Administration

NAME: Robert C. Weaver Building, Housing and Urban Development
ARCHITECTS: Marcel Breuer
LOCATION: 451 7th Street SW
COMPLETED: 1968

  • One of the first results of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s  1962 “Guiding Principles of Federal Architecture”
  • Explores ideas first used in the 1950’s in the UNESCO building in Paris
  • Continues the early Modernist strategy, first articulated by Le Corbusier of lifting the mass of the building up on pilotis, or piers
     
 Photo courtesy the General Services Administration  

NAME: Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Health and Human Services
ARCHITECTS: Marcel Breuer, with Herbert Beckhard
LOCATION: 200 Independence Avenue SW
COMPLETED: 1977

  • Straddles the highway tunnel, supported entirely by massive corner piers
  • The office floors hang from huge trusses in the sloped “attic”
  • Like the HUD building, illustrates Breuer’s interest in precast concrete to generate
     
Photo by Kashuo Bennett

NAME: The Third Church of Christ Scientist
ARCHITECTS: I.M. Pei
LOCATION: 16th and I Streets NW
COMPLETED: 1971

  • Currently the center of the debate about mid-century modern architecture
  • Octagonal in form, like medieval and early Renaissance baptisteries
  • Constructed of poured-in-place concrete
Photo by Kashuo Bennett

NAME: Lauinger Library, Georgetown University
ARCHITECTS: John Carl Warnecke
LOCATION: 3700 O Street NW
COMPLETED: 1970

  • Brutalist, yet designed to be contextual with the existing library building
  • Granite chips were mixed into the concrete to harmonize with existing building
  • Contributes to the striking skyline view from across the Potomac
Photo courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

NAME: J.Edgar Hoover Building
ARCHITECTS: Charles F. Murphy (later of Murphy/Jahn)
LOCATION: 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
COMPLETED: 1974

  • Was the first government building constructed on the north side of Pennsylvania Ave.
  • Originally designed to house retail at the ground floor
  • Concrete was cast in reusable metal form-work Photo: Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

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