ARCHITECTURE: New Books
Since 1900, California and especially Southern California have been one of the world’s most favored places for architects and their clients to try and build structures of new styles, with new theories behind them -- especially in family residences.

 

Let's see. Do we have any examples of Brutalism in Fullerton? A few of the Cal State Fullerton buildings come close. Possibly parking structures downtown and in Sunny Hills would qualify, as they all have some elements of Brutalism: expanses of raw concrete unadorned; exposed pipes, girders and other parts, also unadrned and without decoration. If architects designed these structures, they probably did not mean fo them to be in the Brutalist style. (Yes, a great many buildings and houses do not involve archtects. They are designed, or more often, copied by others from plans that originated from builders or other planners.)

Brutalism itself, or buildings resembling it in materials, appearance and textures, are also highly favored because they cost so little compared to build, architecturally designed buildings. These pseudo-Brutalist buildings, structures and spaces are more or less purely concerned with function and ease in use and maintenance. They tend to have an obscure look at we often fail to notice them. Formal Brutalism goes beyond that by making a statement. They have a brutal look, and that's how the style, or school, got its name. 

See a discussion of Brutalism below, and photo examples. It has been revived. 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/canadatourism/things-other-than-skiing-you-can-do-in-canada-this-winter?utm_term=.awej9mM9kP#.agz2wgkw6z
 
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In Fullerton, as the authors state, these three buildings have some Brutalist themes, but are not classical or canonical Brutalism. In my opinion as an amateur observer, these buildings are weak examples, because every one of these buildings has considerable decoration and embellishment. The library has features, or lacks features most users would prefer it had, namely windows inside. There are none above the ground floor. Being in the library to study or read for any length of time, especially for hours, feels confining, and even very slightly clastrophobic. There are clocks on the walls, but there are no other indicators of time of day, darkness or light, weather, how many people are around, or what's happening outside. Why they designed it that way is something I've never understood, and I've never been in any other college or university library anywhere in the United States that lacks that feature. It that was an economy,  the designers miscalculated terribly. The only lighting is artificial, fluorescent, and it's unpleasant inside, if you ask me. Otherwise it's an excellent regional library.  No other building on campus I know of lacks windows above the ground floor. 
 
http://www.fullertonheritage.org/Resources/archstyles/brutalism.htm
 
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Another opinion, this one largely about Orange County, and itself contentional: 
 
http://gizmodo.com/7-endangered-examples-of-the-most-hated-architectural-s-1636643535
 
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Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,  prominent and vastly influential: 
 
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ludwig-Mies-van-der-Rohe
 
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The Bauhaus Movement, and particularly architect Gropius. An important part of Gropius's early design must be understood in place and time, the Weimar Republic, led by Field Marshal von Hindenberg. Gropius worked in Germany, and the nation had recently lost the disastrous First World War. The country suffered hundreds of thousands of homeless citizens, many of whom had lost all their belongings and their work or professions, besides their family members who'd been soldiers. Some major German cities lay in ruins, in rubble. A deepening recession had begun in Europe and the British Isles, and by the mid-1920s or earlier, that recession worsened into an economic depression that soon spread worldwide. Germany since the early '20s had galloping inflation, and we've seen photos of relatively fortunate Germans who still had money to speak of, but had to push piles of currency around in wheelbarrows to buy bread, butter, meat and vegetables, when they were availble at all. These necessities cost hundreds and sometimes thopusands of times more than in better times. (Of course, these conditions also created the national despair and confusion that in turn left a void in leadership that Adolf Hitler and his comforades exploited with growing ruthlessness to seize power in the '20s and national power in 1933.)
 
In this straitened environment, then,  part of Gropius's plans were to build living structures for working class and poor men and women; industriai buildings; factories; civic buildings and more. I'll find one of those working class structures to illustrate the level of living and comfort offered citizens. None of us would enjoy living in these buildings, even as college dormitories or military barracks. Typically the residences were designed with ceilings only an inch or so higher than the average height of German men then. The Movement encompassed art and design itself. 
 

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