Brutalism, an architectural style that emerged post-war in the 1950s and 1960s, is an ode to structural honesty and functional simplicity. Originated in Europe, this movement gained global prominence, defining urban landscapes with its bold lines and robust materials.

The Brutalist Philosophy

In essence, brutalism embraces the honesty of materials and functionality over ornamentation. Its name derives from the French term "béton brut", which means "raw concrete". This style moves away from polished and decorative aesthetics, preferring to expose the structural truth of buildings. For the Brutalists, each architectural element must have a clear and functional purpose, without camouflage or superfluous adornments.

Inspired by the modernist theories of Le Corbusier, Brutalist architects sought to create structures that reflected authenticity and efficiency. The emphasis was on simplicity, clarity of form and the use of industrial materials such as concrete, glass and steel, which were left exposed, without disguise.

The Brutalist Aesthetic

Photography by Manuel Sá Aesthetically, brutalism is unmistakable. Brutalist buildings are often monolithic and geometric, with angular shapes and bold volume. The use of exposed concrete is a striking feature, presenting textured surfaces that celebrate the beauty of the raw material. This approach results in buildings that appear imposing and solid, almost like modern fortifications.

Windows and doors are generally large and functional, providing abundant natural lighting and effective ventilation. The color palette tends to be neutral, highlighting the natural tones of the concrete and metals used in construction. Integration with the urban environment is a priority, with many Brutalist buildings designed to blend harmoniously with their surroundings despite their austere appearance.

Paulo Mendes da Rocha: Brazilian Representative of Brutalism

In Brazil, one of the most representative architects of the brutalist style is Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Among his most emblematic works is the Brazilian Sculpture Museum (MuBE) in São Paulo, completed in 1995 (photograph by Manuel Sá). MuBE perfectly exemplifies the principles of brutalism with its exposed concrete structures, open spaces and harmonious integration with the surrounding environment. Paulo Mendes da Rocha's work is a celebration of material honesty and functional simplicity, making him a central figure in Brazilian brutalism.

Brutalism in Fashion and Lifestyle

As in architecture, brutalism influenced other areas of design, including fashion and lifestyle. In fashion, brutalism manifests itself in pieces that emphasize structured shapes, clean lines and the use of robust materials. The neutral color palette and preference for natural textures reflect the philosophy of the architectural movement.

In interior design and lifestyle, the brutalist aesthetic values ​​minimalist environments, with functional furniture and no decorative excess. The emphasis is on practicality and durability, with spaces that exude a laid-back elegance and austere beauty.

Inspired by these principles, Muese incorporates brutalism into its design creations, translating the strength and simplicity of this style into pieces that defy convention and celebrate the essence of the movement.

Back to blog