View this post on Instagram
A frequently overlooked bonus #brutalist gem on the #southbank. #samson #house. Looks like it could survive an explosion since it was fundamentally designed too. Hence why it is used by #IBM to host things to ensure the city's biggest institutions' systems are highly available. Less interesting inside than out since occasionally have meetings in there. #brutal_architecture #london
As my Instagram stream proves I love brutalist architecture, and have been actively pursuing opportunities to photograph it this year. I’ve covered many of the “headline” buildings in London whilst making my way about between meetings, though still have a few to go on my list.
Why do I love brutalism? Well I’m a child of the early-70s so perhaps it was imprinted into me then. More likely it’s because I like the blend of “of its time” futurism mixed with something of stark dystopian feel. Similar reasons see me mooching around exploring derelict buildings. I’m just a post-apocalyptic vibe junkie!
Anyhow, I was heading back to the south bank over Blackfriars bridge yesterday, and decided I needed to see if I could quickly find a good angle on Sampson House. It’s a building whose literally robust architecture I’ve long enjoyed, though it’s missed by many, slightly hidden on a side street in Southwark. Hidden is perhaps an overstatement since it’s nothing if not imposingly brutal! It’s also interesting since, unlike it’s more famous brutalist brethren slightly along the south bank that in the National Theatre/Southbank Centre/Hayward Gallery that are almost totally stark concrete, Sampson House is literally more battleship like with its strong use of metal surfaces.
Practically speaking it’s a building I occasionally visit for meetings, typically when other locations have no space. I knew about it being originally constructed for one of the banks, and its use today by IBM BCRS as a location for providing business continuity capabilities to customers. As always though it was interesting to read more, and see its relative youth in brutalist terms, and next opportunity I get I’ll be checking out its Kubrickesque vibe! Here’s Johnny …