BRUTALISM AND CONCRETE-LOOK

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An architectural movement whose audacity and functionality has always been a source of debate, fruit of the mid-20th century but increasingly current.

Assiduous use of raw materials, bold and insolent shapes, and extreme functionality are the distinctive features of the movement, and concrete in particular embodies the very essence of Brutalism.

Imagine walking past the Barbican Centre in London: a residential and cultural complex designed in the 1960s and 1970s, where concrete acts as a blank canvas for architecture, featuring intricate details and majestic structures that steal the show. Or Trellick Tower, a massive and imposing silhouette designed by Ernő Goldfinger, which has become a symbol of the trend thanks to its exposed concrete façade.

These buildings show how raw concrete can be transformed into a major aesthetic element, creating bold and imposing geometric shapes that bestow a monumental appearance.

The term “béton brut” was coined by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, one of the pioneers of Brutalism.

Le Corbusier saw concrete as a “democratic material,” cheap and accessible, which allowed the construction of solid and functional buildings for the working class. This ideal of social equality was reflected in the severe and lineal shapes of the buildings, which did not attempt to hide their true nature.

In recent years, perhaps due to cultural needs or perhaps purely due to aesthetic taste, Architecture and Design have allowed Brutalism to flourish in full; a clear stance and a clear awakening in opposition to the minimalist and smooth aesthetic of recent decades, which was no longer a concept and lifestyle but plain fashion for many.

Contemporary designers and architects are increasingly seeking authenticity and ideals, and are thus struck by the expressive power of concrete and its applications, viewing it as a form of resistance to modern conformity and superficiality.

A contemporary example is the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, designed by Herzog & de Meuron. This building uses concrete in an innovative manner, combining Brutalist aesthetics with modern techniques to create an architectural work that is both functional and artistically expressive.

With the rediscovery of Brutalism, concrete-look porcelain stoneware tiles are gaining popularity as a versatile and practical alternative to raw concrete.

Porcelain tile, known for its strength and durability, manages to capture the raw, industrial aesthetic of Brutalism, while maintaining the practical advantages of porcelain tile, such as ease of maintenance and stain resistance. Available in a wide range of shades and finishes, these tiles make for great design flexibility, ideal for floors, walls and work surfaces that want to evoke the boldness and sincerity of Brutalism.

This material not only offers an uncompromising aesthetic solution, but is also an environmentally responsible choice.

The production of porcelain stoneware has less impact on the environment than the production of cement, and the durability of the product guarantees long and profitable material life, reducing the need for frequent replacement.

Brutalism has always divided public opinion, especially from the moment it no longer was a necessity but became an idea and concept. Some see it as cold and inhospitable, others experience it and celebrate it for its boldness and structural integrity.

This perpetual dualism makes Brutalism a fascinating topic in the architectural debate.

With the rediscovery of this style, concrete-look stoneware offers an innovative and practical method to bring brutalist aesthetics into our environments.

In conclusion, thanks to its fascination with raw concrete and monumental forms, Brutalism continues to influence the contemporary architectural landscape.

The rediscovery of this style reflects a desire for authenticity and a search for renewed aesthetic expressions, confirming concrete as a timeless material in the world of design.

Concrete-look porcelain stoneware tiles are not just a trend, but a silent revolution that is changing the way we perceive and experience architectural spaces, uniting past and present in an embrace of concrete and creativity.

Try out the relaxed elegance of the lake

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