Concrete Giants: 20 Global Masterpieces of Brutalism

Brutalism, a post-war architectural movement that flourished between the 1950s and the 1970s, is known for its bold, imposing structures made of raw concrete. “Brutalism” is derived from the French word “brut”, which means raw or unfinished. While many associate Brutalism with housing estates and government buildings in Europe and North America, it’s a global phenomenon with remarkable examples worldwide. Here are 20 Brutalist buildings from various countries:

1. Barbican Estate, London, UK

A residential estate that also contains the Barbican Centre, an arts venue.

2. Habitat 67, Montreal, Canada

A housing complex designed by Moshe Safdie for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition.

3. National Assembly Building, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Designed by Louis Kahn, this building is a prime example of combining regional architectural traditions with Brutalism.

4. Bank of Georgia Headquarters, Tbilisi, Georgia

This sculptural structure with stacked blocks uniquely interprets the Brutalist style.

5. Boston City Hall, Boston, USA

Often debated but remains a symbol of Brutalism in America.

6. SESC Pompéia, São Paulo, Brazil

A cultural center designed by Lina Bo Bardi, combining concrete with whimsical spaces.

7. Torres Blancas, Madrid, Spain

An organic-looking structure inspired by the idea of a vertical forest.

8. Casa del Fascio, Como, Italy

Designed by Giuseppe Terragni, it’s an earlier example which some argue borders on Brutalism due to its raw concrete appearance.

9. Western City Gate, Belgrade, Serbia

A mixed-use skyscraper that’s become a symbol of Belgrade.

10. Trellick Tower, London, UK

A residential building designed by Ernő Goldfinger, known for its iconic service tower.

11. Wotruba Church, Vienna, Austria

A religious building looking like an assemblage of concrete blocks, inspired by the sculptures of Fritz Wotruba.

12. Unité d’Habitation, Marseille, France

A housing complex designed by Le Corbusier, considered one of the most influential Brutalist works.

13. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad, India

Another of Louis Kahn’s masterpieces, showcasing the beauty of exposed brick.

14. High Court of Justice, Chandigarh, India

A part of Le Corbusier’s larger architectural works in the city.

15. Russian State Scientific Center for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics, St. Petersburg, Russia

An intricate web of concrete geometry.

16. Edificio Copan, São Paulo, Brazil

A sinuous residential building designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

17. Monument to the Revolution, Podgarić, Croatia

A symbolic structure commemorating the site’s significance in the anti-fascist resistance.

18. UTS Tower, Sydney, Australia

A significant Brutalist structure in Sydney.

19. The Breuer Building (previously Whitney Museum), New York, USA

Designed by Marcel Breuer, now housing the Met Breuer.

20. Central Bank of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya

A towering structure with vertical slits, exemplifying African Brutalism.

These buildings, among many others globally, showcase the breadth and depth of the Brutalist movement and its significance in the world of architecture.

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