Ernö Goldfinger is often described as a Brutalist architect. The building that most commonly triggers this labelling is Trellick Tower, the distinctive residential London tower block he completed in 1973. But Goldfinger resisted this label in his lifetime: he felt that 'Brutalist' should be reserved for architects like the Smithsons who declined to hide wiring and pipework in ducts. Goldfinger did not believe in making all the workings of a building visible. Indeed, in Trellick Tower, for instance, he fitted light switches neatly into door architrabes: much of his design involved maintaining clean lines, and avoiding clutter of wiring and piping, not leaving it visible.
My own take on this label is that those who use it of Goldfinger's buildings usually do so to put his work down. The connotations of 'Brutalism' are clearly negative: a brutal attitude to human need is implied. Yet, successful or not, Goldfinger was always concerned to build in relation to human scale, human need, and went out of his way to encourage the social integration within his tower blocks that many of his contemporaries neglected. To label him Brutalist is innacurate and misleading. Obviously Goldfinger has his critics and he was fallible, but as a matter of accuracy, although his work shares some superficial similarities with paradigm Brutalists, it is confusing to label him 'Brutalist'.