WHY ARE BRUTALIST BUILDINGS UNDER ATTACK? One reason, of course, why brutalist buildings are out of favor is that the name is uncongenial. As the wikipedia article points out, the name comes from the French term for raw concrete: “beton brut”. The unfavorable overtones of “brutalism” are apparently just an unfortunate pun. However, the cost profile of brutalist buildings is the main reason for much of the criticism. Brutalist buildings proliferated in part because they were relatively inexpensive to build. They are in trouble now because they are relatively expensive to maintain. This article by James S. Russell on the Bloomberg site describes one major problem with the Orange County Government Center: Flat roofs tend to develop leaks. Roof seams tend to develop leaks. There are 80 different roof levels on the building. The building has been closed since last fall because of severe water damage.

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