Brutalism is an architectural style, characterized by its imposing, geometric appearance. The functionality of the concrete and steel gave brutalist buildings a distinctly utilitarian feel that lent themselves well to institutional uses such as libraries, schools, and public housing . Originating from a post-WWII world, in the 1950s, the brutalist architectural aesthetic stemmed from the early 20th-century modernist movement and the desire for honesty . While the term “brutalism” seems naturally fitting for the brutal aesthetic, the term actually came from the French word for raw concrete, béton brut. The French-Swiss architect, Le Corbusier’s love of concrete resulted in the massive housing complex, Unité d’Habitation, which is thought of as the birth of Brutalism .
Building: Unité d’Habitation Architect: Le Corbusier Established: 1952 Location: Marseille, France 
While Le Corbusier is thought of as the father of Brutalism, other 20th century masters, as well as contemporary architects, made there mark on Brutalsim such as Marcel Breuer, Lina Bo Bardi, Carlo Scarpa, Ernö Goldfinger, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Oscar Niemeyer, Paul Rudolph, Peter Zumthor, Alvaro Siza, David Chipperfield, Diller and Scofidio, Herzog & de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, and Zaha Hadid . The architectural aesthetic peaked in the mid-1970s , resulting in famous buildings such as Boston City Hall and the Giesel Library in San Diego.
Building: Boston City Hall Architect: Michael McKinnell and Gerhard Kallmann Established: 1968 Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA 
Building: Giesel Library Architect: William Pereira Established: 1970 Location: San Diego, California, USA 
Despite some of the most iconic brutalist buildings being located in the US and UK, Brutalism particularly took hold in Eastern European Communist countries, where the style became a good way to represent socialist power, pride, and unity. Many of these awe-inspiring monuments are still standing today, such as the Tjentište War Memorial , the Mound of Glory , and the Monument of the Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship .
Monument: Tjentište War Memorial in the Valley of Heroes Sculptor: Miodrag Živković Architect: Ranko Radović Established: 1971 Location: Tjentište, Bosnia and Herzegovina 
Monument: Mound of Glory Sculptor: O. Stakhovich Architect: A. Bembel Established: 1969 Location: Minsk, Belarus 
Monument: Monument of the Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship Sculptor: Alyosha Kafedzhiyski and Evgeni Barumov Architect: Kamen Goranov Established: 1978 Location: Varna, Bulgaria 
Due to pop culture using Brutalism to symbolize future dystopia (A Clockwork Orange), its socialist connotations, and the generally imposing nature of the buildings, Brutalism quickly fell out of favor in the 1980s . Boston City Hall was even named the ugliest building in the world in 2008 . However, in recent years it has regained popularity, due to its unique aesthetic and architectural ethic. The honesty of the materials and forms used in Brutalism makes the style undeniably appealing. Many brutalist buildings are being renovated, while other monuments are being turned into UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As for new construction, Kanye West’s Yeezy HQ, designed by Willo Perron, adopts the brutalist aesthetic .
Building: Yeezy HQ Designer: Willo Perron Established: 2017 Location: Calabasas, California, USA 
Lastly, for all my fellow skiers out there, here’s a beautiful segment from ski film, Ruin and Rose, filmed at the Buzludzha Monument, which is the Memorial House of the Bulgarian Communist Party [12, 13].
Monument: Buzludzha Monument Architect: Georgi Stoilov Established: 1981 Location: Buzludzha, Bulgaria 
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 B. Goldsmith, “Travel Picks: 10 top ugly buildings and monument”, Reuters, Nov. 14, 2008. [Online]. Available: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-travel-picks-ugly/travel-picks-10-top-ugly-buildings-and-monument-idUSTRE4AD2V720081114. [Accessed Jan. 21, 2020].
 A. Pacheco, “Look inside Kanye West’s Yeezy Studio, his headquarters in a California office park”, The Architect’s Newspaper, May 14, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://archpaper.com/2018/05/look-inside-kanye-wests-yeezy-studio-calabasas/#gallery-0-slide-2. [Accessed Jan. 21, 2020].
 “Ruin and Rose”, Matchstick Productions, Oct. 25, 2016. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AanSRu6m11A. [Accessed Jan. 15, 2020].
 “Buzludzha Monument”, Buzludzha-Monument.com, 2019. [Online]. Available: http://www.buzludzha-monument.com/#welcome. [Accessed Jan. 18, 2020].