Just very bad people.
How bad is detailed in an entertaining, if depressing, article on the Londonist website entitled “How Brutalism Scarred London.” The closest I can come to ripping off the veil of anonymity donned by the article’s author, who styles himself The Londonist, is that Will Noble is its features editor and Daniel Shore is its managing director. The Londonist website is the first global expansion of The Gothamist concept of websites about specific cities produced with wit. The Gothamist is about New York City.
In stating that the article is about “seven obscure men in suits [who] did more damage to London than the Luftwaffe,” The Londonist plagiarizes Prince Charles with the sincerest form of flattery. (In this case, the accusation of plagiarism as a form of imitation is an honorific.)
I expected to hear from The Londonist that Brutalists tended to live in nice old houses or apartment buildings. I did, but that’s widely known. And of course that they hold the occupants of their Brutalist buildings – many of whom are not there by choice – in contempt. That is true of almost all modern architects, of whom Brutalists are merely a subset.
I did not know that the British government gave Network Rail permission to tear down Euston Station, designed by Richard Seifert, in 2014. It has not happened yet, but we all know the wheels of justice grind slowly. I had not known that Seifert had “cynically littered London with over 600 low-spec variations on a shoebox.” Cynical may not be the best description of Seifert. The Londonist is being gentle. Worse words could be easily found. London is gigantic, so 600 concrete shoeboxes may not have wrecked the place single-handedly, but the deed may well entitle The Londonist to call him “the biggest offender of the seven” featured Brutalists. And that includes Ernö Goldfinger, who was so bad that Ian Fleming used his name for one of his most evil arch-villains in the James Bond novels and movies.
There’s plenty of bad to be spread around here, probably way further than the seven Brutalists in The Londonist’s bombsight. But for a start, readers will enjoy his tart descriptions.