Masterpiece or monstrosity? From Le Corbusier’s big housing project through to crumbling castles. Get to know this divisive design style.
What is Brutalist Architecture?
You may have heard of the term Brutalist architecture and thought, that sounds a bit harsh.. But the rough and aggressive name is the perfect moniker for this love-it-or-hate-it style of architecture. The word ‘brutal’ comes from the French béton brut, referring to the ‘raw cement’ used in many of these buildings. In Brutalist architecture this rawness refers to the stripped back and glaringly conspicuous concrete that composes the designs. Arguably the most controversial design movement of the 20th century, here is everything you wanted to know about Brutalist architecture.
Where and When
World War Two put an end to the frivolity of previous decades’ design styles. With determination and optimism, areas destroyed by enemy bombs were rebuilt across Europe. The post-war population boom exaggerated the need for housing around the world. To meet demand for affordable homes, architects moved to concrete as an inexpensive material that allowed for quick construction.