joan ockman


The Heroic Project

At a time when concrete buildings across the United States are widely disparaged and in danger of insensitive renovation or demolition, the Heroic Project surveys the original aspirations of the 1960s and 1970s, recorded through the lens of Boston’s transformation. After nearly eight years of research and advocacy, with your help we can complete fundraising for a book (scheduled to be published by The Monacelli Press in October 2015) documenting Boston’s unparalleled collection of concrete structures and an expanded web archive that will provide an ongoing platform to consider anew the legacies of these works and others like them across North America.

Often labeled with the misleading term “Brutalist,” these buildings were conceived with progressive-minded intentions by some of the world’s most influential architects, including Marcel Breuer, Henry Cobb, Araldo Cossutta, Gerhard Kallmann and Michael McKinnell, Le Corbusier, I. M. Pei, Paul Rudolph, Josep Lluís Sert, and The Architects Collaborative. We have commissioned essays by historians Joan Ockman, Lizabeth Cohen, Keith Morgan,and Douglass Shand-Tucci, and conducted interviews with Cossutta, Cobb, McKinnell as well as prominent local protagonists such as Peter Chermayeff, Tician Papachristou, Tad Stahl,and Mary Otis Stevens.

If you care about Heroic concrete architecture, we invite you to support this effort to reshape discourse around the importance of these buildings not only in Boston but across the nation.

Check out this Kickstarter!


“When faced with a crisis today, architects may be able to do something.” - Tschumi 

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