Brutalist architecture emerged during the post-war reconstruction period in the United Kingdom. This architectural style focuses on the physical properties of building materials. It also embodies the principle of circularity.
Brutalist architecture exemplifies the principle of circularity
Brutalist architecture is a design style developed in the mid-20th century. Originally characterized by its use of raw concrete, it became popular in the 1970s. However, it fell out of fashion in the 1980s. Now, it’s making a comeback. It’s been re-discovered and more people are noticing its uniqueness.
The term “Brutalist architecture” was coined by Swedish architect Hans Asplund in 1949. It was derived from the French phrase, “Beton brut,” meaning “raw concrete.” This type of architecture is known for its utilitarian atmosphere and modular features. Brutalist buildings are built with heavy, rough surfaces, small windows, and straight lines.
Architects such as Peter and Alison Smithson helped shape the look of Brutalist architecture. These two couples met at Durham University in the early 1940s. They started out by designing a school. In 1954, they joined Team 10, and designed the Hunstanton Secondary Modern School.
Later, the couple became known for their work in East London’s Robin Hood Gardens council housing complex. In the 1970s, they designed the Golden Lane complex, which contains two high-rise apartment towers.
After they finished their work, the Smithsons became associated with Brutalism. Their projects were often criticized for being too harsh and unattractive. Nonetheless, they were viewed as pioneers of this style.
During the 1970s, brutalist architecture was used in government facilities and corporate offices. Several notable structures were built during this time period. But by the 1980s, brutalist architecture had lost its popularity.
Brutalist architecture emphasizes physical properties of building materials
Brutalist architecture is an architectural style that focuses on the physical properties of building materials. The most famous Brutalist motif is raw concrete, which shows the true nature of the material and the construction process. This was a popular design element of the 1960s and 1970s.
During this period, Europe’s major cities were heavily bombed, and architects were encouraged to design large-scale housing projects that would improve the conditions of common citizens. These massive rehousing developments were a key feature of Brutalist architecture.
In the United Kingdom, Peter and Alison Smithson won an architectural competition in 1949. They designed Hunstanton Secondary Modern School, which later became regarded as an important example of Brutalist architecture.
Brutalist architecture was also used to create the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It was also used in academic buildings, churches, and corporate offices. Often focusing on cheap construction materials, it was considered an efficient and practical approach to building.
In the United States, Paul Rudolph was regarded as one of the foremost Brutalist architects. He created the Yale Art and Architecture Building, and also designed Brigham Young University’s performing arts building.
Another notable Brutalist architect was Evans Woollen III, who worked in the Midwest. He designed several houses and churches in Minnesota.
One of the most prominent Brutalist structures is the Chrysler Building. Polls of architects have repeatedly named the building as one of the best in North America.
Brutalist architecture was reviled in the 1980s
Brutalist architecture is a style of modern architecture that emerged after World War II. The movement was criticized for being harsh and ugly. In spite of this, it spawned a host of striking buildings that arose throughout the twentieth century. However, the style fell out of favor in the 1980s. Fortunately, it is gaining popularity again.
During the 1960s, a number of universities turned to Brutalist architecture for new campus building projects. These architects applied repetitive rhythms and strong contrasts to their designs. They also introduced juxtapositions of solids.
By the 1970s, brutalism was becoming widely used in the public housing sector. Large-scale rehousing projects were being implemented across much of Europe. This trend is largely due to the need to clear urban slums.
Brutalist architecture used ordinary materials, including brick, wood, and sheet metal. Typically, the facades of these buildings were made from rough, unfinished concrete. Raw concrete was considered to be the most authentic material, and the resulting surface left evidence of the construction process.
Brutalist architecture was used for academic and government buildings, as well as churches. It was especially popular in European communist countries from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s.
One of the most prominent Brutalists was British architect Sir Denys Lasdun. Another influential practitioner was French architect Le Corbusier.