Control's Architecture Is More Than Just Saying "Brutalism" Over And Over Again

Illustration for article titled Control's Architecture Is More Than Just Saying "Brutalism" Over And Over Again
Image: Control

The defining visual signature of Control isn’t its enemies or weapons but its setting. The Oldest House, which has been lauded for its take on brutalism, is a concrete-heavy architectural style from the latter half of the 20th century. But for a moment, let’s look a little beyond that.


OK, maybe a little longer than a moment. Let’s take 14 minutes to watch this great video by Extra Office (who we’ve featured here before with his piece on Cyberpunk), where host Ryan Scavnicky suggests that, thanks to the off-kilter distortion of its architectural inspiration, and a nuance of what we tend to associate with brutalism, the defining style of The Oldest House is actually its “defamiliarization of the institutional.

Defamiliarization because it takes so many things we think we know and identify with, and skews them just enough that they become something else. And institutional because, as I’m only too aware of living in a city (Canberra) full of the things, brutalist architecture was rarely employed by your neighbour Frank’s house, or the local cinema. It’s a style synonymous with government buildings, universities and churches. Institutions.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs


You had me at fictional architecture analysis