If you’re reading this blog you’re either in one of two camps: You’re a fan of brutalist art and you’re just here for the locations, in which case feel free to skip ahead. Or, you have no idea what brutalist art is and you’ve never heard such a harsh-sounding adjective used to describe art before. It’s for the readers of the latter that this brief description is for: Brutalism is a term coined in the 1950’s referring to an architectural style characterised by simple, block-like forms, and raw concrete construction. The name is derived from the words ‘beton brut’, which means, ‘raw concrete’ in French. And while this form of architecture may sound boring or devoid of emotional depth, we assure you, Brutlist architecture is an art style that is raw, passionate, and about as straightforward as it gets. Here are three locations where you can see the best that brutalist art has to offer.
If you like a little Dr. Suess with your Brutalism, look no further than Geisel Library in La Jolla, California. The building looks akin to a giant concrete flower in bloom and is named after La Jolla local, author and benefactor Theodor Seuss Geisel. That’s right, Dr. Seuss was a fan of brutalism. Visiting the library has the added bonus of being able to check out it’s vast collection of Dr. Seuss drawings, books, audio recordings, and memorabilia — over 8,500 items in all, plus a large bronze statue of the Cat in the Hat right outside!
Habitat 67, Montréal
Habitat 67 was, and we’re not making this up, inspired by LEGOS. And once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Located in Montreal Québec, Canada, the massive structure resembles a collection of square and rectangular LEGO bricks stacked on top of each other in various ways – and it looks so cool! The structure was developed as an affordable, modular apartment-based living destination in modern cities. Over 350 prefabricated modules comprise the complex that’s truly a sight to behold.
Hill of the Buddha
For this truly beautiful piece of artistic architecture, we’re heading across the pacific. Located at the Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo, Japan, this structure has the distinction of already having a giant stone representation of the Buddha. This Giant Budda became the eventual centerpiece for what is now known as The Hill of Budda. Today, if you visit the Buddha's head is clearly visible with the body surrounded by a hill of lavender plants. Embedded under the hill are a 43-yard approach tunnel and a rotunda encompassing the statue. As you reach the end of the tunnel, it opens up into a massive hall where Buddha sits. And when visitors look up at the Buddha, his head is encircled by a halo of sky.
For more great places to see fantastic things be sure to check out our other blog posts.