Why Many People Hate Brutalist Buildings

Brutalist architecture is a minimalist style that emphasizes the bare building materials and structural elements over artistic flourishes or decorative designs. Many college campuses in the US were constructed using this style resulting in buildings that look drab and nondescript.

In this video from Vox, they look at Evans Hall in the University of California Berkley, which has been rumored to be slated for demolition. Despite denials from the administration saying no such plans are under way, there have been subtle hints that point toward an eventual demolition of the building. The reason: because of poor seismic ratings.

That reason, however, is unconvincing as there are more buildings within campus that have similar seismic ratings. So, the real reason: because it obstructs views of San Francisco and beyond, which might be a roundabout way of saying that it looks ugly.

Still, many proponents of brutalist architecture are trying to raise awareness about the good sides of brutalism. It may not be like the postmodern architectural style featuring asymmetrical geometry, colorful facades, and playful designs, but they contend that brutalist buildings are expressive and bold. Truly, many brutalist buildings are imposing and very striking in their appearance.

So, before we start hating on these brutalist buildings, maybe we can try to see the good in them.

(Video credit: Vox/Youtube)

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I like brutalism.... I like the design principle "form follows function", which requries not decoration or obstrtuction of the building material. Concrete as a building material is actually not so new when considering e.g the Pantheon in Rome. The Nakagin Capsule Tower has also been an impressive example of brutalism. Even the "Sagrada Familia" in Barcelona has to be considered as belonging to the "beton brut" architecture. However, the tendency to neglect brutalist buildings until they get FUBAR is the saddest part of this particular architectural style.
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Sorry, no. There is no grace in them. They are like skeleton bones. No 'meat' on them. I don't find them to be welcoming structures. Imposing? Yes. Someplace you would willingly want to live or work in? My answer is "No".
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