We love Brutalism. If you’re not familiar with the term, we promise we’re not confessing a penchant for violence: the architectural movement is so named not because it’s “brutal”, but because it’s “brut.” Adapted from the French term “béton brut,” meaning “raw concrete.”
The architectural movement boomed from the 1950’s to the mid-1970’s. And like any unique design, the style of massive, fortress-like structures made of exposed, poured concrete was not without controversy. While it’s hard to beat brutalism for conceptual purity – it can alternately be called honest, functional, authoritative, and powerful – some people today see the buildings as wasteful (it takes a lot of power to heat and cool these concrete beasts), and perhaps even ugly.
To them we say: you are boring. Brutalism is the illegitimate lovechild of Bauhaus and furturism (hats off to Antonio Sant’Elia). And we love it unconditionally. We even have Brutalist toys on our conference table. Get your own here.
In the Boston area we have our own controversial Brutalist building in the form of City Hall. But for us, and one of our new favorite sites, Fuck Yeah Brutalism, there’s no argument. Impractical? Maybe. Less than environmentally ideal? Sure. Like a spaceship from Planet Minimalism landed in the middle of a city? Hell yes.
Happy Friday, everyone. Enjoy some concrete and Halloween candy on us.