The Milan-based photographer Roberto Conte once remarked on the “persistent repetition of patterns” he noticed as a peculiar and interesting feature of Brutalist designs. Riffing on that idea in the Taste issue of ArchitectureBoston, we went in search of high-low pas de deux in the architectural realm. The concept is admittedly cheeky: Take a joint serving food (or shaped like it) and match it up with a building in the Brutalist style. Conte’s work was what inspired us when we noticed that The Donut Hole, a landmark bakery in La Puente, California, eerily echoed the geometry of a 1997 residential building in Novazzano, Switzerland, he had photographed.
We’re not sure this is what Reyner Banham had in mind when he wrote his 1955 seminal essay, “The New Brutalism,” declaring that it “requires that the building should be an immediately apprehensible visual entity, and that the form grasped by the eye should be confirmed by experience of the building in use.” These stark mash-ups, though, might be concrete proof that neo-Brutalism is funnier than Banham could ever have imagined.