Brutalism — Visual Digest vol.2

Brutalism is often the black sheep of the architectural community, but some of its designs can take your breath away. Check out what I found!

Max Stepanov


Vera Machoninova, 1981
Prague, Czech Republic
Image: Vitvit. cats_of_brutalism

Brutalism is an architectural movement that emerged in the mid-20th century, around the 1950s, gaining prominence until the 1970s. The term “Brutalism” derives from the French “béton brut” or “raw concrete,” a phrase used by the French architect Le Corbusier to describe his choice of material.

Brutalist architecture is characterized by its stark, rugged appearance, substantial use of concrete, and large geometric shapes. Buildings in this style often appear as if they have been constructed emphasizing mass and scale, sometimes seeming fortress-like with a sense of monumentality.

The style was partly a reaction against mid-century modernism's lightness, optimism, and frivolity. It also reflected the need for economical construction methods during the post-World War II reconstruction period. Brutalist buildings were typically used for government buildings, educational institutions, and social housing, reflecting a sense of social utopianism and the ideal that form follows function.

Architects like Le Corbusier, Alison and Peter Smithson, Ernő Goldfinger, and Paul Rudolph were crucial figures in this movement. They designed buildings that were often controversial for their imposing appearance. Still, these structures were also appreciated for their honest expression of materials, structural innovation, and their powerful statement against traditional architectural ornamentation.

Over time, Brutalism has undergone a reappraisal, with many of the remaining buildings now being protected for their architectural significance and their role as cultural markers of a particular era in design.

Utilitarian architecture moment Photo: Michal Karcz

That wasn't lovely 🫣 But let’s have a look at brutalism architectural examples of the countries:

  • Bulgaria



Max Stepanov

Design Lead| MBA| Ph.D.| Human-Computer Interaction specialist| Experience in Product Development and Digital Communications🦄