Brutalist Form of Architecture: An Overview
The brutalist style of architecture emerged in the 1950s in the united kingdom among the reconstruction projects of the post-war era. Brutalism became a popular style throughout the 1960s and was majorly used for government buildings, universities, high-rise apartments, etc.
The term Brutalism was coined by the British architects Alison and Peter Smithson and was popularised by Reyner Banham, the architectural historian back that period. It comes from the French phrase, "béton burt", meaning ‘raw or unfinished concrete'. This style of architecture progressed synonymously with the name of modernism. Brutalist form of architecture is popularly noted for the modular elements and the utilitarian feel.
The French-Swiss modernist architect Le Corbusier is regarded as the pioneer of the brutalist form of architecture, with over a career spanning 50 years, he has successfully completed numerous projects by following this form of style in the design and in the construction process. Brutalism is often considered a part of the modernist movement in architecture with a distinctive subtype.
The materials used in the construction process, especially for the skin of the building/structure play a major role in classifying the brutalist features.
Rough surfaces, massive forms, unusual shapes, thoughtful structures, modular elements, and geometrical alignment counts for the prominent characteristics of the Brutalist form of Architecture.
Le Corbusier, Emo Goldfinger, Marcel Breuer, Moshe Safdie, Alison Smithson, Reyner Banham, Peter Smithson are some of the famous Brutalist architects of the period.
Mentioned below are some of the famous brutalist buildings across the world:
- Trellick Tower, London
- Kanye West Yeezy Studio, Calabasas, California
- The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, San Francisco, California
- The Barbican, London
- Cité Radieuse, Marseille
- The Breuer Building, New York City
- Habitat 67, Montreal, Canada
- Boston City Hall, Boston
- Economist Plaza, London
- Centre Point, London
- Sirius Building, Sydney
"The materials of city planning are the sky, space, trees, steel and cement; in that order and that hierarchy".
- Le Corbusier