Brutalism is one of those architectural styles that took us a little time to decide whether or not we would give it its own subheading here under our architects section. Not that it doesn’t deserve its own section as a style, but more because the architects who practiced and experimented with brutalism understood it more as a transitional style within the modernist movement as a whole. Although in many respects it still lives on and thrives, but for the purpose of this catalogue we’re sticking with strict interpretation. Let’s put that within context. Brutalism was a reaction to the over stylized Beaux-Art and the relatively rigid yet lightheartedness of the International Style. To the layman, brutalism is as it suggests, rough, fortress-like, cold, imposing… brutal. But in fact the “brutal” was meant more to be “raw”, what was the raw materials that made the building? The brick and the concrete. Brutalism would be, and still is epic and monolithic in style.
By the early 1970’s Brutalism was rapidly losing it’s luster (or lack thereof, pun intended), architects were taking the idea of exposing the raw structure of a building to its natural progression and brining more of the structure and the technological advances in design and material and component out, which would eventually become structuralism. One need only compare a building such as Trellick Tower to the Pompidou Centre to see the obvious difference but acknowledge the similar thought principals at work.
Jurgen Mayer Hermann