Looking into key terms such as the materials used in Brutalist architecture. An example: Reinforced concrete – Rough unfinished surfaces are one of the key features of brutalist architecture, therefore reinforced concrete can be seen in most brutalist forms; Central Library at UC Irvine in Orange County.


Steel –  Although steel is not the key material we see in brutalist architecture, it is the material often used to reinforce it.  It is also used to frame windows or as a support structure.

Glass – Creative glass use: Brutalist buildings often take a ‘less is more’ approach to glass use. They reject the ubiquitous ‘glass wall’ that was taking over city structures during the middle of the 20th century and instead opt for windows that are either recessed into the surrounding concrete, patterned to complement the intricate outline of the structure itself, or that provide an engaging creative glass contrast which emphasises the building’s shape—for example, the Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago, where small circular ‘porthole’ style windows both flatter the round central tower and oppose the hard rectangles of the rest of the building.


Sarah Abuzeid

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