Shot on location at UMass Dartmouth, Concretopia is a short film by Will Lepczyk that showcases the visionary beauty of architect Paul Rudolph’s 1963 design for the campus.
"The nature of concrete as a material lends itself to film and photography," Lepczyk said. "These buildings make amazing subjects."
Concretopia was recently screened as part of a campus celebration of the architect and his late Modernist style, known as Brutalism. Students in the College of Visual & Performing Arts mounted an exhibition that featured architectural drawings, a campus model, and interpretive responses from historians, artists, and students.
Utopian vision of the campus
"I’ve always been fascinated by Brutalist architecture," Lepczyk said. "The UMass campus is an architectural playground, and it’s magical how simultaneously broad and cohesive the design for it is. While it can be aesthetically challenging to some, these buildings clearly communicate a philosophy of permanence and dependability."
The documentary offers a meditative journey through university’s "corduroy concrete" architecture
"Rudolph had a utopian vision for the campus," Lepczyk said. "As I researched the design while developing this film, the more impressive his campus became. There’s an intensity to these spaces that you don’t often experience in day-to-day life."
A graduate of New York City’s School of Visual Arts, Lepczyk is a filmmaker who has worked on a variety of documentary, sketch comedy, and commercial projects.
"This film was an opportunity for me to indulge my love of design, architecture, and cinematography without worrying about clients, deadlines and the like," he said.
The soundtrack, produced by RabbitSquirrel, is a haunting industrial soundscape composed using field recordings of the film’s environments.
"It communicates something about the architecture that’s impossible to convey in any other medium," Lepcyzk said.
- Paul Rudolph & His Architecture
- A Visionary Campus: Paul Rudolph & UMass Dartmouth
- Paul Rudolph: Playing the Campus