Chinese Brutalism Today:
Concrete and Avant-Garde Architecture
Bologna, Alberto. 2019. Chinese Brutalism Today: Concrete and Avant-Garde Architecture. San Francisco: ORO Editions.
China is the largest consumer of cement and concrete in the world, the use of which has peaked in the first two decades of the twenty-first century. Used for the construction of extensive infrastructure and buildings, over the last twenty years renowned Chinese architects have been working in and studying the constructive limits and spatial and superficial effects of exposed concrete. In the process, they have created a wave of avant-garde architecture in China. Chinese Brutalism Today investigates the compositional, formal, and ornamental reasons for this architecture and its different surface finishes, from rough to smooth. This new wave of Chinese brutalism is, in large part, a regional evolution and development closely linked to local construction processes and the available labor force. The finished tectonics represent not only a way to read the architecture, but also reveals the complex decision-making processes and planning that led from the conception to construction of these buildings.