The raw lines of Brutalist architecture at their time of design were criticised for the harshness they imposed on city skylines around the globe, with many demolished just decades after they were built. Today, the design movement is having a serious resurgence.

From the 1950s to the mid 1970s, Brutalist architecture came as a post-war reaction to the intricate designs of the Beaux-Arts style. Brutalist architecture became synonymous with governmental and institutional buildings.

Britain was at the forefront of the movement, as London and other large cities across the UK had been ravaged by war and the economy was in a major downturn. Brutalism offered an inexpensive solution to cheap housing.

Who can forget Tony Blair's speech in 1997 at The Aylesbury estate in south-east London where he launched Labour's urban regeneration plan - although, sadly, a lot of Brutalist housing estates were demolished at the end of the last and beginning of this century.

These fortress-like buildings with exposed concrete construction caught the eyes of clients with big budgets - soon architects were creating Brutalist designs on big budgets.

villa-goth Villa Göth in Uppsala

Although Brutalism became a central part of Britain's landscape in the mid 20th century, the style is universal. Swedish architect Hans Asplund first used the term to describe Villa Göth in Uppsala, which was designed in 1949.

Smithson Hunstanton School Alison and Peter Smithson Hunstanton School Alison and Peter

British architects Alison and Peter Smithson and Michael Ventris were key Brutalist figures, as well as American architects Paul Rudolph, Ralph Rapson and Walter Netsch.

The Tricorn Centre, designed by Owen Luder and Rodney Gordon was a shopping, nightclub and car park complex in Portsmouth The Tricorn Centre, designed by Owen Luder and Rodney Gordon was a shopping, nightclub and car park complex in Portsmouth

Many criticised the Brutalist movement at the time it was founded, unimpressed by the dystopian-like buildings in a post-war, economically unstable world. Today, during a time of political upheaval and financial uncertainty, solace is being found in the unpretentious, honest designs of Brutalism.

If the style has you more excited than reading a George Orwell novel, check out how to get the look.


f32458e0-fcc5-4741-8205-484fc3889cbe Mid-century French lucite and steel chaise longue prototype

d20ef71e-0425-4dd1-938b-d090524e45a8 Paul Evans Cityscape ii faceted console, model PE370, 1973


c21e5a4d-8f8a-4ed5-8b38-0013b788f1b0 Erwine and Estelle Laverne 'Lotus' swivel chair model 117-LF, 1958

d6f37448-3730-4817-b229-abcce4e996c2-2 Saporiti shelving units designed by Vittorio Introini in the late 1960s


39e6b7ff-7028-48f4-aa80-b45b3d1e42ed-2 "Barba D'Argento" easy chair by Paolo Pallucco Mireille River for Pallucco

224f3b8e-93a0-417d-a12a-626dc909b5a3 Large and dramatic 1970s abstract form consisting of square tubular steel welded into a stacked and interlocking formation. Heavy applied rust patina. Reminiscent of Marcello

75a74f6c-4075-4d53-b90a-196d32a29a72 Mies van der Rohe Tugendhat chairs

All pieces featured are on sale at Decaso. Check out more here.