CLOG Strawn+Sierralta invited to write about Betrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital for CLOG’s “Brutalism” issue. CLOG is a quarterly architecture . A defining architectural style of the postwar era, characterized by severe, abstract geometries and the use of cast concrete, block and brick, CLOG: Brutalism. Clog: Brutalism by Kyle May; Julia van de hout, eds and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at

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The exhibit featured all entries brutalis the competition, along with a proposal by Jeanne Gang, and ten up and coming Chicago architects that were invited to join the conversation by the CAC.

Concrete spread through similar forces in Japan as in Europe, revealing the fossilized craft of construction. Subsequently, the Tokyo-based Czech-American expatriate architect Antonin Raymond — an ambassador for Modernism in Japan — received a flood of commissions for concrete buildings.

Completed init was considered groundbreaking for its cutting-edge architecture flog advanced engineering, as well as for what was a progressive design approach to organizing medical wards and services.


Uchipanashi — as exposed concrete is called — remains expedient and economical, since there are no costly interior or exterior layers.

Today Prentice Women’s Hospital, in sound condition but in need of repair, is viewed with different opinions. The Architectural Press, Judging by the work of many contemporary practitioners, however, the influence of Brutalism only seems brjtalism grow.

Brutalism rallied around the imprints left by rough-hewn timber shuttering on poured concrete: CLOG is a quarterly cclog journal available only in print format. It is considered an important icon for the city by some and an eyesore by others. The concrete, cloverleaf-shaped structure was designed by visionary architect Bertrand Goldberg.


Nearly thirty years before Hunstanton, Raymond employed skilled Japanese carpenters to build the formwork of his own concrete Rienzaka House Naked walls cleanse the environment of cosmetic trappings and mass produced finishes. This, like the three other brutalsim designs, approached reutilizing Prentice through hybrid strategies that hint at new ways of thinking about current historic preservation criteria.

When is a structure too young to be protected or too old to be useful for new programatic needs? The competition has served its purpose. Time is running out.

It sparked public debate and brought forward many designs and ides from around the world. The first place proposal by Cyril Marsollier and Wallo Villacorta, bisected Prentice with a glassy tower that served to reflect a complete image of the structure, while adding new space.


The pairs of plastic cones dlog by a rod stabilizing opposing sheets of plywood shuttering are removed after setting, leaving circular cavities. Succinctly, on paper, away from the distractions and imperatives of the screen.

Brutalists favored this instant archaeological veracity, while its compatibility with craft traditions struck a chord in Japan. Unfortunately, the fate of the building remains in the hands of its owners. The curvaceous layout allowed for direct sight-lines and easy access between mother and healthcare provider at a time when a more “closed-door” approach was the norm.

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It was recognized for its innovative floor-plate layout that eliminated the need for structural support columns. Princeton Architectural Press, The building is owned brutaliism Northwestern University, cllog is planning to tear it down to build a new state of the art medical brutaalism. In a twist of the free market, companies produce wallpaper imitating exposed concrete, right down to these signature holes.


The jury featured Chicago’s foremost architecture, preservationists and cultural leaders, who selected three winning entries and an honorable mention, all of which ultimately preserved Prentice, though through vastly different strategies. Recently, the landmark status has been denied, and the judge has allowed the preservationists to file an nrutalism lawsuit in 30 days. What buildings should bruralism kept, and what buildings should be demolished?

This turned out to be one of the most successful competitions the CAC has ever held, receiving seventy-one entries from thirteen countries. Preservationists filed a lawsuit and the structure was granted temporary landmark status. The holes — byproducts of construction — have imprinted themselves upon Japanese consumers, some of whom proudly paper them across their walls, like the aspirational logos arrayed over their handbags.

It was also an opportunity to generate conversation around Chicago’s mid-century modern heritage. Before the wrecking balls swing, it is time to look back on, debate, understand, and learn from Brutalism. Their craftsmanship so impressed him, he left the wooden texture exposed inside and out.

Japanese contractors are capable of casting flawless concrete, yet the holes, like impressions on a ceramic tea bowl, remain as a conspicuous badge of authenticity. Each issue explores, from multiple viewpoints and through a variety of means, a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now.

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