"Architecture contradicts the need of the here and now as soon as it proceeds to serve those needs -- without simultaneously representing any absolute or lasting ideology."

-- Theodor Adorno, 1965

THAT THING REMAINS is an on-going research and illustration project that meticulously investigates and carefully exhibits exceptional brutalist architectures in the context of our daily lives.

"Architecture does not exist in a vacuum."

There is always an underlying motivation to design, reconfigure or even demolish a brutalist architecture. By the time of its construction, a brutalist architecture usually meets the needs for public uses and iconographic representation. However, the use of contemporary technology enables and encourages people to meet through public fare instead of public space. Once they are built in casting concrete, brutalist architectures can no longer adapt to the change of society.


beatty hall

Wentworth Institute of Technology
Boston, MA

The original design was shown to Wentworth Institute in 1967 by Colletti Brothers. Beatty Hall houses the Alumni Library, Computer Center, Print lab, Cafeteria, as well as many other student used centers. It was named after H. Russell Beatty, the first president of Wentworth who served for 18 years.

Several renovations were done in the past few decades, including one major extension by SG&A in 2011 and an interior renovation by Perkins+Will in 2016.



Marcel Breuer
New Haven, CT

The Armstrong building is one of two major New Haven buildings by Marcel Breuer. Originally set like sculpture on a large green space, it illustrates the principal characteristics of Breuer’s style: separations of functionally different elements and a clear articulation of each. The building was organized in two sections: a two-story research/warehouse at the bottom (substantially altered in 2000) and an office block elevated above, supported at the sides by massive end piers holding the utilities and service systems. 

IKEA acquires the ownership of the building as it expanded its merchandise to the heart of New Haven. It went further to demolish the architecture to provide additional outdoor parking on site, although it never confirmed its plan. It has then became a huge banner announcing an IKEA sale or the Connecticut Open tennis tournament, but otherwise it is a zombie building: unoccupied and looking a bit worn around the edges.