Tom Davies - The Architecture of the Ordinary: Redefining protection, designation and the role of stakeholders in the future of Brutalist heritage.

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This study looks at the heritage and use of Brutalist architecture, for the people who live and work in them and the buildings themselves. By examining current planning and heritage practice and use by residents, workers and visitors, it seeks to analyse current methods and understand how they might be improved. 

Research into the design and ‘ethic’ of Brutalist architecture, informing their development is balanced by working with the ‘communities’ to understand how the buildings are used and valued today. Preservation of material and form and how we might sensitively meet the needs of users are key. The study charts the 20th Century journey from protection of ancient monuments to notions of historic environment and Modernist architecture’s journey from a clean-slate to integrated development which together provide the impetus for better cooperation between conservation and use.

A selection of paired residential and public case-studies provide close examination of what works and what doesn’t in use and care of heritage values, highlighting useful commonalities and contrasts, which can be used to explore improvement. Methods comprise research through secondary sources and interview and participation through events to engage with stakeholders, to develop existing quantitative and qualitative data and provide benefit by contributing to ongoing efforts to build heritage in community.  


Institute of Form, theory and history / Even Smith Wergeland (Supervisor)

PhD started in 2017