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Concrete Cambridge


Over the last few months I have been adding a few colleges in Cambridge to my Beautiful Brutalism project. Many new college buildings that were being built from the late 50's to 70's embraced contemporary architecture of concrete, steel and brick and many leading architects of the era were commissioned to design these new buildings. New Court, Christ's College and Fitzwilliam College by Denys Lasdun, George Thomson Building of Corpus Christi College by Philip Dowson of Arup and the History Faculty by James Stirling to name a few.

I photographed the two Lasdun designed buildings late last year. New Court, Christ's College, 1970, has an amazing steeped slope of the students rooms with a terrace running through the middle. The rooms all have large windows that allow light to flood in and the use of exposed reinforced concrete is beautiful.







Fitzwilliam College, 1964, has a very distinctive shell-vault like roof on the dining hall which is visible from the street outside peeking over the outer wall. The college is based on a spiral shape with the 'public' building of the dining hall etc at the centre and the student accommodation spiraling away from it. The buildings are a mix of deep brown brick, not the usual yellow-grey brick characteristic of Cambridge and concrete. The interior of the dining hall is beautiful, it felt like a modern cathedral with the vaulted roof and concrete ceiling. The light filtering through was just lovely.









Churchill College, 1966, designed by architectural firm Sheppard, Robson and Partners is based on small courts containing accommodation framing a spine containing the public spaces of dining hall, library etc to create a sense of enclosure. The buildings are primarily made of a brown brick with exposed concrete beams, wooden windows and quarry tile floors. The concrete in the building has great tonality and texture which was lovely to photograph. Again the dining hall has a beautiful concrete vaulted roof which contrasts against the warm wood used on the walls beautifully.








Through this project I have been fortunate enough to visit and photograph some amazing buildings, and look forward to adding more beautiful brutalist buildings from around the UK in the future.

All images so far of Beautiful Brutalism

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