Embracing Brutalism

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Brutalist architecture—those hulking, concrete buildings from the mid-1950s to mid-1970s—is making a quiet comeback in popularity. A new book by Christopher Beanland, Concrete Concept explores why:

And the sheer variety of these “brutalist beasts,” in cities from Birmingham to Madrid to Montreal, is extraordinary. There are palaces and embassies and government buildings, railway signal boxes and electricity substations. The key thing about concrete, Beanland argues, is it can span great distances (enabling architects to construct stronger and more spacious buildings) and be stretched into wild shapes, from ziggurats and beehives to flying saucers.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →