brutalism or new brutalism, architectural style of the late 1950s and 60s that arose in reaction to the lightness, polish, and use of glass and steel that had come to characterize the orthodox International style; the term is derived from the French béton brut [raw concrete]. Brutalism aimed at honesty in the use of materials, e.g., unfinished concrete and brick, and a certain moral seriousness, and arose in part out of the monumental structures designed by Le Corbusier late in his career. Often employed in government, university, and other institutional buildings, it is noted for having produced such monolithic, imposing, and fortresslike structures as Paul Rudolph's Yale Art and Architecture Building (1963), Marcel Breuer's Whitney Museum (1966, now Met Breuer), Boston's City Hall (1968), London's Trellick Tower (1966–72, designed by Erno Goldfinger), and Louis Kahn's government complex (1962–83) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Brutalism fell from favor in the 1970s but has experienced some renewed interest in the 21st cent.

See V. McLeod, ed., Atlas of Brutalist Architecture (2018); studies by A. Clement (2011), K. May and J. van den Hout (2013), D. Bradley (2014), E. Harwood (2015), M. Pasnik and C. Grimley (2015), C. Beanland (2016), B. Calder (2016), P. Chadwick (2016), S. Henley (2017), and B. Highmore (2017).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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