Brutalism has a privileged role in the history of modern architecture. After World War II, when the discussion of modernism began, Brutalism might have been the first tendency that criticized modern architecture and discussed its positive and negative aspects. In the literature on the history of architecture, two “Brutalisms” have been mentioned. One of these paths was that of Le Corbusier and his buildings, especially those produced after 1950; the other was the Brutalism of those following Smithson, who shaped their ideas in an intellectual area, with the name of “New Brutalism”, more than that of the built environment. However, in both, the common traits were the expression of the structure, materials, and functions of a building, and also the use of materials in their natural, “rough” appearance and for their unpretentious honesty. Using raw material—especially raw concrete (beton brut)—also suggested an ethical implication for brutalists: staring at reality without any veils, purified from all ornaments, and observing the naked and uncontaminated beauty of naturality. The Brutalist movement flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s and expanded into local architecture all over the world. The Brutalist effects on architectural products are not only observed in the use of raw concrete, but also in its structural expressionism, using different materials in their pure and natural state, fragmental mass conception in contrast with the huge, monoblock prisms of the International Style, and also in searching for the patterns in old, urban areas. Hence, Brutalism was shaped into delighting forms and, in the hands of talented architects in different localities, many competent Brutalist samples were produced. Although it is generally accepted that Brutalism largely fell into disuse by the 1980s, it has experienced an “updating” of sorts in recent years. Many of the Brutalist aspects have been observed in newer buildings all over the world, with concrete façades, pre-cast elements, using raw materials, and structural expressionism. Accordingly, this Special Issue is aimed at critically analyzing Brutalism again, in all its forms, and to scrutinize the newer Brutalist tendencies throughout the world. Of special interest is a focus on local experiences in Eastern and Asian countries.
Topics of primary interest include, but are not limited to:
Theoretical frame of Brutalism and its history
Brutalist examples in history of architecture
Local examples of Brutalism, especially in Eastern and Asian countries
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