Brutalism

About

Brutalism, an architectural aesthetic based on the idea of "honest" construction, was practiced from the 1950s to the 1970s. Brutalist buildings are recognizable for their rough appearance, linear, fortresslike, and blocky construction, as well as their use of common, industrial materials such as steel, glass, brick, and, most characteristically, raw concrete. Additionally, many Brutalist structures' functional components (such as water tanks, electrical towers, and support pillars) are left exposed on the outside of the building. As an architectural philosophy, Brutalism was often associated with utopian socialist ideology. Completed in 1952, Le Corbusier’s Cité radieuse—a public housing complex in Marseille that was built under the premise that each resident should have the same amount of space and equal access to sunlight—is often cited as the initial inspiration for the Brutalist style. Criticism of the style centers around its cold appearance. Brutalist buildings are often also associated with urban decay since they were often built by governments with little money, subject to poor maintenance, and the raw concrete weathered poorly and was subject to vandalism.

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