Coffee table book of photos of Brutalist architecture: This Brutal World


Originally published at:


A brutalist building wearing a pink necktie.


I like it better already.

I know bare concrete what makes it “brutal” but…bare concrete buildings are a stupid idea, for damp climates. Plus color adds visual interest.


even with colours concrete buildings can be very uninspiring


“Sure, Brutalist is horrifying, but to really inspire feelings of unease and dread you can’t go wrong with a Death Star!” ~ Gruto Bing, Star Wars architect.


As someone sitting in a windowless office this very moment - surrounded by concrete on all sides - I can appreciate this. This college campus, like many others on the west coast are uninspired brutalist constructions that resemble highway overpasses.

Picked up a copy so that my coworkers and I can revel around it in our cold, dark bunker.


Yes but combined with the brutalist use of creative geometry I think it’d fit.

Color can’t make a bland concrete building interesting, a lack of color can make an interesting concrete building look crap.

Hell, just a coat of white or gray or even clearcoat to cover up/prevent the concrete stains would have helped a lot of brutalist buildings, I think.


That first one isn’t a building, it’s a Pokemon.


The fact that all the photos are in black-and-white is a nice poetic touch.


Even brick, minus windows, gives a building an oppressive presence. I get to eyeball this beauty with regularity:


With windows though, brutalism can look good (up until the concrete stains and it starts looking all 1984-y).


As a child of 70s Britain, Brutalism was the future, or at least it was on Doctor Who and Blake’s Seven so I’ll always have a soft spot for a large blocks of looming concrete, particularly if juxtaposed with features of the natural landscape.

The deterioration concrete suffers from can be dealt with, the decline of the buildings from the 60s & 70s was down to the quality of the building and larger socio-economic factors, not the physical design or an insurmountable inherent fault of concrete itself - the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome is doing fine almost two millennia after it’s construction after all.


I think that’s actually a Dadaist urinal.


I love Brutalist architecture, but it looks best covered in graffiti and murals.


That third picture reminded me of the Slovak Radio building, which is probably not brutalist but still probably the most insane, and memorable, building I’ve ever seen in my life:


This I could look at for years without it giving me heartburn. It bends far more modernist than brutalist.


Doesn’t have to be exposed concrete to be brutal.

Reminds me of the parasitic Combine architecture invading City 17, in spirit if not in every detail.


Looks like the Geisel Library at UCSD. They always claim it’s a triumph of engineering, architecturally important, but… meh. I just think it’s ugly and a poor use of the space. Now get off my lawn.


That’s the same building that’s pictured in the post, no?

And the building I was referring to that reminded me of the building I posted above.


Yep. Same building from the other side. I confess that I seldom read the actual bOINGbOING posts anymore, I just come here for the BBS.