7 Reasons Why Brutalist Architecture Was So Popular

The entire human history is an interesting period because of many things. Different things were popular in different eras of human development. Before everything, people were leading a different way of life not a long time ago. They had a different mentality, way of thinking, and other things. People have the habit to often repeat the phrase “good old times.” On the other hand, others would say the 21st century is better because of many reasons. They would say that living without advanced technology looks almost impossible for them. That especially counts when we talk about the youngest generations.

On the other hand, people have had different tastes and styles during history. We do not have to go too far in human history. It would be enough to get back to the 20th century and analyze the architecture of that period. More precisely, we would like to talk about brutalist architecture and the reasons why it became popular.

1. A Few Words about Brutalist Architecture

The entire story around brutalist architecture started after WW2. However, there is one essential thing that we need to say. We know that many people would connect the world “brutalist” with something cold and brutal. However, the style got the name thanks to the French phrase Beton brut. When you translate that to English, it would mean “raw concrete”.

It is hard to say who is the first person who named the architecture style in that way. Some people claim it was one of the most popular Swedish architect Hans Asplund. The architect itself claims he used the phrase for the first time in 1949. His goal was to describe a square brick home. However, there are no direct pieces of evidence that can confirm his statement. So far, the first written evidence in English was used by Alison Smithson. Yet, that happened three years later.

You will manage to hear different opinions about this type of buildings. Some people will say they were the ugliest type of buildings a human hand has ever made. On the other hand, these buildings were still noticeable in many countries around the globe. That especially counts when we talk about Eastern Europe. As you know, communism was established after WW2 in those countries. The brutalism architecture was more related to countries that had that type of ideology.

As you see, the story becomes even more complex. That is the reason why we would like to highlight the reasons why brutalist architecture was so popular. Despite that, we will say why that style may become popular once again in the modern world.

2. The Constructions Were Not Expensive

Things have not back to normal after World War II ended. Many countries around the world were still looking for ways to recover their economies. That is the reason why governments around the world had to look for the best possible alternatives. More precisely, they were looking for different ways to make the lives of people more comfortable without investing a lot of money.

Constructing those builds did not require a lot of money. Indeed, all these buildings are big, but it is characteristical for them that they do not have many windows. Because of that, people did not have to spend a lot of money to heat the space. That is another reason why they were cheap and popular in that period.

3. Their Design Was Monumental

As we said, this design was more connected to communistic governments. Of course, we do not want to tell you won’t find traces in different parts of the globe. However, leaders of that period were looking to create something stunning and monumental. Huge buildings were some sort of synonymous with power. That is the reason why they wanted to use those buildings. We can say they served as some sort of motivation for all the citizens that lived there.

4. It Looked Futuristic In That Period

As we said, you can hear different opinions about these types of constructions. Yet, the tastes of people are changing over time. Some people will now say that they do not look nice. However, they were popular and looked futuristic for people that lived in that period. It was a completely new style that many considered modern and unusual.

Keep in mind that the entire world needed a new start after the WW2. That is one of the reasons why these buildings became so popular. They were a sign of the new beginning, society, mentality, and a new way of living.

5. They Were a Trend

Let’s use the buildings in today’s world as an example. You will notice that the buildings built in the last five years look almost identical. Of course, there are small variations, but they are all following the latest trends. That’s exactly what happened in the period when brutalist architecture was popular. People of that time were simply following trends. It seems that the habits of people are not changing at all. People of today are often doing the same.

6. Brutalist Arhitecture Was Practical

Have you ever about Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation in Marseille? It is one of the first brutalist buildings that we got. Believe it or not, the building could welcome more than 1600 people. There were 337 apartments in that building where many working-class families were living. As you see, this is good evidence that brutalist architecture existed in all parts of the world. It is not only characteristical for Eastern Europe. Some people even claim that the period of brutalism architecture started when that building was made.

7. Characteristics of Brutalist Architecture

Before we say goodbye to each other, we would like to highlight some features of brutalist architecture. The surfaces of these constructions are usually rough and unfinished. Despite that, they come in a massive monolithic form. Their shapes are unusual, and that is the easiest way to recognize them. Finally, the construction contains different heavyweight materials.

We highlighted some of the most important things about the history of brutalist architecture. If this subject seems interesting to you, we invite you to read more on the link that we attached. There you will manage to find out more interesting information and see some samples of brutalist architecture.

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