Precisely defining Brutalism is challenging. Despite being solid and imposing buildings with a brief appearance that stands out for their striking originality, brutalist structures are hard to fall in love with immediately. Still, you can spot them when you see them.
What Is Brutalist Architecture?
The word “brutalism” came from the French phrase béton brut, which means “raw or unfinished concrete.” Brutalism is anchored in functionality and simplicity, adopting the uncomplicated rules of a post-Reality War II world that demands rapid reconstruction. But it also has a little anti-aesthetic appeal. It is a modern architectural style that emphasizes minimalist designs with naked building construction materials. An angular geometric design, an overwhelmingly monochromatic color scheme, and exposed, unpainted concrete or brick are all frequent elements of the style. Other materials are often used, including steel, wood, and glass. Brutalist structures cannot have intriguing designs, which means that it is a minimalistic, straightforward, and helpful style rooted in necessity rather than aesthetics. Although the fashion spread throughout communist nations and was, at least in part, linked to socialism, Brutalism has its roots opposite where you’d think.
Features Of Brutalist Architecture
It stands out from the others due to its distinctive brutalist characteristics. The characteristics of brutalist architecture are as follows:
1. Concrete Exterior
2. Continuous skin and pattern on the outside.
3. Monolithic shapes of the buildings
4. Using modular parts repeatedly
5. Usually, windows are created by fenestrations in the walls.
Are Brutalist Structures Beautiful Or Ugly?
Brutalist architects saw concrete as a substance with integrity and distinctive expressiveness. They made heavy use of it and purposely displayed its textures. In Brutalism, you can observe the materials used in construction and how they are manufactured. After reaching its zenith in New York City in the 1970s, Brutalism started to lose ground in terms of popularity in architecture at the beginning of the same decade. As brutalist constructions deteriorated into filthy, graffiti-covered eyesores, they were criticized for appearing excessively stern, dismal, and abstract. This decline was because of many factors, including the style’s unsuitability for remodeling, high maintenance costs, and functional shortcomings. Almost three decades later, Brutalism is returning to the forefront of architectural design. However, fashion has gained new admiration recently, particularly on social media. Even brand-new structures motivated by Brutalism’s untainted beauty are beginning to appear. Many deteriorating facilities previously proudly dominated the skyline have made way for newer systems. However, a few are architectural landmarks and may still be standing due to their iconic status and the work of conservation organizations. Architects and architecture fans believe brutalist structures need to be revalued as landmarks with architectural and cultural worth, even though some people still view them as eyesores. Many brutalist facilities are undergoing substantial restructuring and repairs to make them more livable, modern, and less offensive. Many have been reincarnated as hotels and arts complexes, while some have been converted into residential units.
Brutalism is defended on ugly aesthetic grounds. Using ideological justifications to protect brutalist structures merely emphasizes the disconnect between architectural intent and the actual experiences of building occupants. A particular critic sees Brutalism as “heroic architecture,” the concrete and steel embodiment of a single designer’s idea. Many architectural visions were blatantly personal and unconstrained by custom or conventional notions of form and beauty.