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Brutalist Architecture Takes Center Stage in New Book

‘This Brutal World’ is a visual love letter to one of architecture’s most controversial styles

Graphic designer and photographer Peter Chadwick grew up in North East England in the late 1970s surrounded by chemical and steel plants (and their sounds). This industrial landscape fueled Chadwick’s imagination, starting him on a life-long love of Brutalist architecture. In 2014, he set up the popular Brutal House Twitter account (named after a house track "This Brutal House" by Nitro Deluxe) to share images of the best Brutalist buildings from his extensive archive, and now, he has created a book.

Out from Phaidon, This Brutal World is, as he writes in the introduction, "an homage to Brutalism and a visual manifesto that celebrate this awe-inspiring style of architecture." The 224-page is a love letter of sorts, and brims with black-and-white photographs of Brutalist buildings—320, to be precise.

The book takes readers all over the world, from Argentina and Nepal to North Korea and Serbia, to India and France, and, of course, to the United Kingdom. Works from 20th century masters including Marcel Breuer, Paul Rudolph, and Le Corbusier are featured alongside those of contemporary architects Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Herzog & de Meuron, and of lesser known architects as well.

It’s clear from this collection that Brutalist architecture, which fell out of favor for a time and was considered dystopic, can be both powerful and poetic. Take a look inside and you may find, as Chadwick has, that the Brutal world is your oyster.