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Discover Brutalist design

Brutalist design

Discover everything about Brutalist design

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ByEvelien RemmelsAugust 2021

What is brutalist design?

Where the name suggests otherwise, brutalism is not as heavy as you might expect. The term comes from the French béton brut from 'rough concrete'. Brutalism came in the 1950s when low-cost housing and government buildings were designed with mostly raw, unprocessed materials. Culturally and economically, countries around the world - from Europe to South America - were looking to rebuild after the war. Steel was expensive to import at the time, so builders turned to an affordable variant: concrete. As an artistic, brutalism was a reaction to the modernism of the early 20th century. Where modernism was equal and polite, often with white walls, brutalism evolved into something daring and confrontational. The movement is shy of decorative elements and focuses on displaying the foundation of the design: concrete. The beauty lies in the cold hard natural materials: raw and untreated that conceal nothing at all.

ParagraphPhoto: Portret of Monique des Bouvrie
ParagraphPhoto: Monique des Bouvrie Interior design

World Wonders

The Geisel Library. For fans of both brutalism and Dr. Seuss, there is only one building that matters: Geisel Library in California. This library is named after local La Jolla author and benefactor Theodor Seuss Geisel. Architect William Pereira is the creator of the unique design that resembles a pair of hands (the flared concrete pillars) holding up the books (the glass floors). Another Brutalist Wonder of the World is The Met Breuer in New York by architect Marcel Breuer. The Met Breuer was a modern and contemporary art museum located on Madison Avenue and East 75th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City.

ParagraphPhoto: Monique des Bouvrie Interior design

Brutalist furniture design

Brutalism spread far beyond its architectural foundations. From furniture that bore a striking physical resemblance to the buildings to ornate decorative artifacts. However, there is less consensus about what Brutalism is in furniture design. Under the motto "I'll know when I see it", a lot is labeled as brutalism and that's fine. When we look at popular brutalist design items, we see an increasing popularity of the (Wenge) Belgian Brutalist cabinets, the coffee tables of Paul Kingma and the Brutalist chairs of

ParagraphPhoto: Interior by Gio Ponti
ParagraphPhoto: Whoppah Vintage club chair by Raphaël Raffel, 1970s