Brutal….ist

Potentially unpopular opinion: I’ve always been fond of Brutalist architecture.

I grew up with a lot of it abundant in the South Florida area where it could be really nice when done right (notably, when concrete was WELL sealed, and humidity buildup was prevented). Some of the structures were pretty damn cool and had things like well sheltered indoor plazas that managed to make an open-air building in Florida heat still comfortable to use.

So… needless to say… I was very amused by this concept, and I never thought I’d say this phrase like, ever—

Brutalist self-storage facility.

There’s a U-Haul building in Roseville, California, that was built in an old hospital. I haven’t found details on when it was originally constructed, but wow it’s Brutalist all right. It had been a hospital until Sutter Health sold it in 1998. It had been a Sierra College campus for a while, was bought by a Bay Area development company and redeveloped in 2014-2017(?) to become an office/school complex, but I guess the demand was low for such at the time. Most of the interior was bashed out, revealing the GLORIOUS CONCRETE… but it still has…..

Stained glass window
Stained glass mini-storage window. Because. Fnord.

…this. It’s actually entirely perplexing – look above the window. I suspect it was probably added while the building was a college, otherwise, the poured concrete probably would have been formed for it directly. Weird, right?

Some of this may have been later construction – it doesn’t match the style

The silly thing about this, of course, is that if this had been a 1970s building, the orange would have been right in place!!! The white walls might have wound up brown, though.

Pictures taken from an old real estate portal listing:

The elevator shaft/mechanical core of the building was built in a way as to look SUPREMELY WEIRD… you know, as you do.

It looks a bit like what you’d get if you flattened the sides of Doofenschmirtz Evil Incorporated. Yes you heard that jingle in your head too.

It’s kinda awesomely cool that U-Haul reuses buildings when possible instead of just buying those weird knock-together storage barns. The one where I ran into the bad case of Truckwall was a former bakery.

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