Letter: We need a Brutalist love of concrete to get to net zero 

22 Jan 2021

Published in: Financial Times

Edwin Heathcote’s excellent article “Beauty and the Brutalists” is a cautionary tale of what happens when politicians meddle with building design. 

However, President Joe Biden would do well to embrace European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s ambition to create a new Bauhaus movement to inspire designers for a net zero world. Brutalism may be long gone but a Bauhaus movement for 2021 would require a new appreciation of materials and attitude to craft. Embrace this and we might move beyond the misconceptions of concrete that are partly driving the careless destruction of great buildings which could be repurposed. 

Far from being anachronistic, this material provides opportunities for creativity, and a way of building safe, comfortable and energy efficient buildings that can be adapted, reused and recycled. Elaine Toogood Head of Architecture, The Concrete Centre Letter in response to this letter: Bauhaus icon would have grasped the climate threat / From Stephen Gray, Battle, East Sussex, UK

Written by - Elaine Toogood, head of architecture at The Concrete Centre