Docomomo DC board president Tom Jester and member Deane Madsen were invited to speak on the subject of Brutalism at the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) on January 11. As it happens, the NCPC's executive director, Marcel Acosta, attended our 2017 Tour Day, Rediscovering Brutalism. With so many of the buildings under his agency's purview relating to this period of Modernism, Acosta invited Docomomo DC to host a lecture on Brutalist architecture for the NCPC office.
Following a brief introduction, Deane Madsen, who is founder of BrutalistDC and served as one of the tour leaders for the Rediscovering Brutalism Tour Day event, spoke about the origins of Brutalism before delving into more detail on some of the landmark Brutalist buildings in the D.C. region as well as a few of the buildings that have been lost to demolition.
Tom Jester's talk focused on some specific examples of renovations and updates to Modern buildings as part of his work with Quinn Evans Architects. These included several sensitive restorations, some local and some spread farther afield, that delved into the scope of work often involved in modernization of buildings from this era as they age, and, in many cases, begin to deteriorate.
Both presentations highlighted the importance of Brutalism as a movement within the Modern era, and as the NCPC staff considers changes to and improvements on Brutalist buildings, they will have a better understanding of the importance of conserving examples of a style that contributes to the D.C. architectural fabric.