A Central Library cupcake will be given out to admirers of Brutalist architecture at a special debate in Birmingham this weekend.

‘Raw Beauty – a new life for Brutalist buildings’ has been organised by Friends of the Central Library and the Twentieth Century Society West Midlands Group and is being chaired by urban designer and Birmingham Post columnist Joe Holyoak.

The conference will take place in The Dickens Room at the Birmingham and Midland Institute on Margaret Street in the city centre on Saturday, June 28, between 9.30am-4.30pm.

Speakers include Barnabas Calder (Liverpool University), Ross Brown (Scottish Brutalism), Sally Stone (Preston Bus Station Campaign), Andy Foster (author of Pevsner’s Birmingham), Dr Roger Bowdler (English Heritage) and Catherine Croft of the Twentieth Century Society.

 

Birmingham Central Library, also known as the Ziggurat, was designed by Birmingham-born architect John Madin in the early 1970s and is recognised as one of the finest examples of Brutalist architecture in the UK. It is due to be demolished later this year to make way for the new Paradise Circus development.

Mr Holyoak, who recently spoke out about Birmingham City Council’s treatment of its civic history through a Birmingham Post column, said: “The Raw Beauty conference has two purposes: to reduce/remove the prejudices that some people have, by explaining its origins and intentions, and to examine how redundant Brutalist buildings can be viably reused, instead of being wastefully demolished as the Central Library will be.”

The debate will be followed with a walkabout led by Owen Hatherley, author of Militant Modernism, followed by a bring-your-own picnic in Chamberlain Square – with a free Ziggurat cupcake.

Tickets cost £25 for members of the Twentieth Century Society and Friends of the Central Library, or £35 for non-members.

Visit www.c20society.org.uk and select events for more information.