Meet the Team: Sales Advisor Jack Blythman on concrete architecture
We’re getting to know The Modern House staff in our ‘Meet the Team’ series. Here, we’re talking to Sales Advisor Jack Blythman about concrete architecture to explore the versatility, aesthetics and structural properties of the material.
Jack studied Visual Culture at the University of Brighton, where modules in film engaged his appreciation for Brutalist architecture. “When I was younger I used to love the dystopian cityscapes from films like ‘The Omega Man’, ‘Metropolis’, ‘Clockwork Orange’ and the original ‘Blade Runner’,” says Jack.
Link House and Pump House, Dungeness, Kent
“Link House is my dream fixer-upper as it’s got so much scope for a really cool intervention. I like how the tiles on the exterior contrast with the concrete ceiling, which has beautiful circular windows.
“I wouldn’t want to touch the outside because I love the honesty of it and the way it’s so prominent in the landscape. I would just want to revamp the interior.
“For inspiration, I would look to Pump House. I like how architect Fiona Naylor kept the concrete ceiling because it serves as a really nice detail, while also celebrating the building’s past. There’s a rawness to the concrete here, which plays off of the warmth of the interiors.”
Tiverton Road, London NW10
“Takero Shimazaki Architects have drawn out the softer qualities of concrete here by incorporating it with a textured palette of natural wood and stone. The effect is so calming, especially married with the monastic-like courtyard, which takes inspiration from Turner’s ‘Interior of an Italian Church’.”
Thomas More House, Barbican, London EC2
“I would love to live in the Barbican, especially in one of the flats that looks over the communal gardens, like this one.
“I think a theme that runs through all of the examples of concrete architecture here is that there is an element that softens its inherent hardness. In this case, the greenery that Chamberlin, Powell & Bon incorporated into the design of the estate takes a little edge of the Brutalist aesthetic.”
Oak Hill Park Mews, London NW3
“There’s something so striking about this place. I think it’s the juxtaposition of the harsh jigsaw-like facade in a greener part of the city. I particularly like the framing of the windows and how they’ve been incorporated into the puzzle.
“You wouldn’t think architecture in this style would suit this kind of environment, but it just works.”
Rowley Way VII, London NW8
“This is one of my all-time favourite pieces of architecture in London. It was built in the 1960s but it still looks quite futuristic, I think.
“Brutalism can be harsh, but I love how in this instance the concrete is softened with the interwoven greenery on the estate. Neave Brown, the architect, opted for a horizontal, low-level street pattern, which is more democratic than the hierarchy of the high-rise, and I think this arrangement also softens the concrete.”