Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An architectural style of the mid-20th century characterized by massive or monolithic forms, usually of poured concrete and typically unrelieved by exterior decoration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A style of modernist architecture characterized by angular geometry and overt signs of the construction process.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Brutish quality; brutality.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The practice or exercise of brutality; inhumanity.

Etymologies

Coined in 1954 by the English architects Alison and Peter Smithson, after Le Corbusier's béton brut (French, raw concrete). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The name Brutalism -- from the French béton brut, the raw concrete used by Le Corbusier and favored by modernists -- is more commonly used today as a term of opprobrium by a public that profoundly dislikes the style's rough textures and powerful forms.

    The Beauty in Brutalism, Restored and Updated

  • Commission characterized the old six-story cube as a "good example of a modern form of architecture known as Brutalism which is gaining notoriety and appreciation among architects and historic preservationists."

    PegasusNews.com stories

  • Not so fast, say the city's historic preservationists; it's a good example of the modern architectural style known as Brutalism and ought to be saved.

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  • The architectural style of that building is called Brutalism, a Modernist style, and like all Modernist styles, is extremely unpopular with those that read about such things right now.

    Lowell Sun Forum

  • As I read on, of course, I realized that the term "Brutalism" was actually a nickname for the mainstream modern architecture pioneered by Le Corbusier, who was practically God Himself to the architecture schools and art history departments of my undergraduate years.

    InstaPunk

  • The design of The Hepworth Wakefield is unconventional, reviving Brutalism in an already fairly bleak Northern landscape.

    Constantin Bjerke: The Significance of David Chipperfield (VIDEO)

  • Brutalism created Le Corbusier-inspired "streets in the sky", intended to mirror the roads in the slums they replaced, later epitomised by Erno Goldfinger's 1968 Trellick tower in North Kensington.

    British architecture: modernism

  • I did wonder if the setting, a town called New Bruton, was named for the architectural style of Brutalism.

    The first readings & watchings of 2010 « It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

  • Brutalism especially has become a scapegoat for the failure of that post-war welfare state optimism.

    Ballardian » 'Architectures of the Near Future': An Interview with Nic Clear

  • In the 1960s, modernists were wedded to the in-your-face raw concrete monumentality of Brutalism, arguably one of the less people-friendly and more offputting styles of all time.

    Lincoln Center Rejoins the City

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