Brutalism has never entirely been out of fashion since Reyner Banham published The New Brutalism in 1966, but the term has become trendy again in the past five years as most of the movement's iconic buildings in Britain have been swept away.1 When eighteen years ago I began work on my own book Space, Hope and Brutalism (published in September 2015), I did not expect to catch the crest of a wave.2 

Yet what does Brutalism actually mean? Banham's book coincided with the generation of great concrete housing blocks and shopping centers, to which the label stuck. But the initial New Brutalism (the adjective is important) was a more discrete movement of...

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