Brutalism: How It Influenced Modern Architecture

By Stacy Mellete

Brutalist architecture is perhaps the most controversial and noteworthy design movement of the 20th century. A relic of the post-war era, this architectural style is defined by “brutal-looking” architecture, imposing facades and fortress-like appearances with a predilection for rugged and exposed concrete.

Read on as Affordable Roofing Systems, your residential roofing and commercial roof experts, take a brief look back at this controversial yet influential architectural style and how it influenced modern residential and commercial properties.

A Brief History of Brutalism

The “brutal” in brutalism actually comes from the French word Béton brut, which refers to the raw cement used in commercial buildings. This has defined brutalist architecture, as the buildings made in such fashion showcase this exposed concrete look.

This architectural design became popular during the post-war eras of the 50s, 60s, and mid-70s after their respective population booms. To meet the demand for affordable residential homes and commercial buildings, architects utilized concrete as an inexpensive material that allowed quick construction.

Brutalism Today

The once quintessential brutalist architecture is now widely considered a relic of the past. While the few remaining buildings that exhibit this style still remain and stand out, the architectural style no longer fits the modern urbanscape of many cities, even in the countries where the movement started, such as the US, the UK and Russia.

That said, no one can deny the influence this strange yet innovative architectural style had on modern architecture. This design movement popularized flat roofs as an option for residential roofing, and in turn, the development of more resilient roof membranes.

The ultra-minimalist and often imposing look of many brutalist buildings also paved the way for a more subdued and sleek appearance for many modern homes.

Although modern properties aren’t as fortress-like as their influences, it can’t be denied that the focus on simple and often “flush” aesthetics was influenced by the dreary, no-nonsense look of Brutalist architecture.

At Affordable Roofing Systems, we offer complete roofing services – from roof repairs to installation. Call us now at (813) 542-8462 or use this form to learn more about our services. We are a local roofing company Tampa FL, and offer residential and commercial roofing services throughout Tampa and Saint Petersburg, FL.

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