These works are mostly public buildings, built by local authorities, and by a kind of civic confidence going back to Victorian times that, it would turn out, was in its death throes. They are also socialist. They tend not to maximise the commercial efficiency of their sites, preferring a generosity of space that now makes them vulnerable to property developers who can multiply their profit-making area by factors of two, three, four and more.
No, not just the word \”socialist\”.
So, knocking down these monstrosities will allow a three or four fold increase increase in the value that can be created from the underlying land. Land is indeed a scarce resource: they\’re not making any more of it for a start. Further, we keep being told that the ever onwards march of concrete across our green and pleasant land has to be stopped. We must use brownfield, not greenfield, sites for our urban architecture.
So, by knocking them down and replacing with higher value buildings, we are moving an asset from a low to a higher value use. This is the very definition of wealth creation.
Perhaps the best way of defending, of perserving, Brutalist architecture is not to point out that we\’ll all be richer by knocking them down.