Last summer Chicago Magazine commissioned me to shoot 7 Brutalist buildings in the Chicago area for their November issue. If you’re unfamiliar with this style of architecture, it was common from the 1950’s-1970’s and consists largely of raw concrete, giving a cold, oftentimes, oppressive feeling. It was quite popular for institutional buildings: schools, government, etc.
I’ve never much liked this style of architecture, but this assignment gave me a bit of a new appreciation for the hidden beauty in these buildings. River City was first on my list. Designed by Bertrand Goldberg, most famously known for Marina City here in Chicago, and dubbed the “Corncob Towers”, you can see the similarities. Curves abound on both buildings as well as many of his other designs.
I tried shooting this building years ago and just never managed to get anything that seemed to work. This time, thankfully, I came away with a few I liked much better. Guess I just needed to look a little closer 😉
While I tend to prefer brutalist architecture in B&W, might add to that somewhat dystopian feeling, the next few shots seemed to work well in color. Gave a bit of warmth to its typical harshness.
If you’d like to read the feature from this assignment you can head over to Chicago Magazine’s post, here.
More from River City itself, here.
And a wider selection of Brutalist Architecture, here. Somehow I seem to find my way to it 😉