Brutalism

circa 1953 to mid-1970's

The term originates from the French béton brut, or “raw concrete.” Brutalism was a relatively short-lived architectural movement which reached its apex in the 19060s (although there are plenty of classic examples from the 1970s). Proponents of the style advocated the brutally frank expression of the nature of modern materials. This was often a popular style for governmental and institutional buildings. Characteristics include:

  • Massive weighty buildings, with irregular massing
  • Rough exterior surfaces, unadorned exposed concrete walls
  • Blunt detailing of joints and openings
  • Broad wall surfaces
  • Window openings that are rarely flat with the wall plane, but often either recessed or protruding from the wall plane.