The Ethic and Ideology of Brutalism: Importance Through Style and Institutional Connection
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 3:00 PM | Room 7
Brutalism is a form of architecture that rose to prominence during the mid-1900s. Characterized by simple yet imposing form, often with the use of concrete construction, as an architectural style, it is controversial. It is widely disliked, derided as “ugly” in the media, and more Brutalist buildings meet the wrecking ball each year. As a response to this widespread misunderstanding of the style, I used my research to find reasons why Brutalism is unique, important, and worthy of preservation and appreciation. Brutalism is an important testament of human history. First, in its ethic, Brutalism was honest and true to its usage of materials. In its visual form, the style rejected many prior architectural styles, utilizing its buildings’ concrete structures as both interior and exterior walls. This architectural and stylistic ethic was groundbreaking and makes Brutalism critically different from other forms of architecture. Secondly, Brutalism is inseparable from associated ideologies and a connection to civic life. Brutalist architects left their imprints through their buildings, designing with lofty, yet important goals of creating structures that promoted more equitable societies. It is notable that besides Brutalism, in no other style of architecture are the most iconic buildings public housing buildings, ones created for the poor. In its ideology, Brutalism is important. Brutalism stands out both in its unique usage and implementation of materials and style, and in how it was adopted by institutions in ways that prioritized individuals on the lower levels of society. Through its ethic and ideology, it is entirely unique as a form of architecture, and its examples, few and far between across the globe, are important relics of history.