What is Brutalist Architecture? 

What is Brutalist Architecture? 
3 min read
06 January 2023

Brutalist architecture, also known as “New Brutalism” or simply “Brutalism,” is a style of architecture that emphasizes the use of raw concrete and other unfinished building materials. The term "Brutalism" comes from the French phrase béton brut, which translates to "raw concrete." This style was popularized in the 1950s and 60s, but it still has an influence on modern architecture today. Let's take a closer look at what makes Brutalism so unique. 


Characteristics of Brutalist Architecture 
Brutalist structures are characterized by their heavy use of raw concrete. This gives them a rough, unfinished look that stands out from other architectural styles. Other characteristics include large geometric forms, repetitive patterns, exposed staircases, and minimal ornamentation. The design often features strong vertical lines and sharp angles that evoke feelings of power and strength. Many buildings constructed in this style are monolithic in appearance; they appear to be cut from one large block of stone or concrete instead of being assembled from many smaller pieces. 

In addition to its physical characteristics, Brutalism also has a distinctive set of ideological characteristics. It is often associated with modernist ideals such as utilitarianism and social reform. This type of architecture is meant to be functional and accessible for all people regardless of class or wealth level. For example, the raw concrete used in many brutalist structures was chosen for its affordability and durability, making it accessible even to those with limited financial means. 

The Legacy Of Brutalism 
Despite its often stark appearance, there is much beauty to be found in Brutalism. These structures stand out from the crowd with their bold shapes and striking designs that have made them iconic landmarks around the world. While some critics have argued that this style has become outdated due to its lack of decorative elements, others argue that its simplicity is part of its charm—and that it’s timelessness lies in its ability to evoke feelings of awe and wonderment in viewers no matter when it was constructed.  Also, there is now a movement towards Eco Brutalism.


Brutalist architecture has left an indelible mark on modern architecture as we know it today. Its use of raw materials such as concrete gives it a unique aesthetic that stands out from other styles while still evoking feelings power and strength through its sharp angles and geometric forms. Its ideology emphasizes utilitarian principles such as accessibility for all people regardless of wealth or class level - making it a timeless design concept that continues to influence architects today!

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Justin Ankus 2
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