Brutalism in architecture

Brutalism in architecture

There is one direction that unites everything – brutalism in architecture.

What is brutalist architecture

What is brutalist architecture

Brutalism is an architecture based on post-war modernism. Translated from French, “beton brut” means “raw concrete.” And this name fully characterizes the monumentality, rough forms and functionality of the structural elements of buildings. This architectural style became a reflection of the needs of society during the 50-60s of the last century, when people needed mass affordable, durable and reliable housing. And the most optimal building material of that time was concrete, which, at the same time as roughness, embodied strength, power and reliability. 

After 10-15 years , brutalist architecture lost its relevance, as it looked somewhat gloomy against the backdrop of social processes and the general desire for bright and beautiful details in all spheres of life. But today this direction is again becoming interesting for architects and builders. 

Brutalist architecture and its features

Brutalism style is an architecture that has its own characteristics, although it is similar to constructivism, widespread in Soviet times. But everything was much sadder there – boring shapes, lack of variety of textures. 

Style Features

  1. Geometricity. Distortion of forms has never been characteristic of brutalism. The construction of the foundation and the subsequent construction of walls is always associated with clear geometric lines without smooth transitions. 
  2. Scale. It is this style that is characterized by the scale of the buildings. Each building is so powerful and large-scale that sometimes it seems shaky and unstable due to its massiveness. 
  3. Non-standard use of standard forms. Brutalism in architecture can be compared to clusters of crystals or structures erected by extraterrestrial civilizations. Correct and scale geometry is used here.
  4. Concrete with glass. Glass facades or roofs in combination with concrete supports, columns and walls look so harmonious that it is impossible to imagine other materials in this style. The installation of a strip foundation in this case is suitable only when the house is small – only 1-2 floors. For multi-story construction, pile foundations are used. 
  5. Visual fragility. Only externally the building looks fragile and unstable, as if individual parts are about to collapse. This is due to the standard shapes being turned at an unusual angle. 
  6. Lack of finishing. Smooth glass, cold metal, rough concrete – the texture of these materials is especially emphasized in massive forms. Thanks to this, brutalist architecture becomes even more attractive.  
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Brutalism in architecture or interior

Brutalism in architecture or interior

Recently, brutalism has begun to be used in the interior. It is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • minimal decor and only functional furniture;
  • laconic colors – no more than 1-2 shades;
  • strict geometric shapes in space;
  • natural materials for textiles and furniture;
  • natural light and lamps with a minimum of decor;
  • metal communications with open installation.

The most common materials in this direction are sheet iron, stone, wood, glass and concrete.