Brutalism and Collective Living in Europe, Through the Lense of Stefano Perego

Brutalism and Collective Living in Europe, Through the Lense of Stefano Perego
Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano (1990, Milan, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano (1990, Milan, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

Genex Tower, Mihajlo Mitrović (1977-1980, Belgrade, Serbia). Image © Stefano PeregoRozzol Melara Complex, Carlo Celli, Luciano Celli y Dario Tognon (1969-1982, Trieste, Italy). Image © Stefano PeregoOrpheus & Eurydice Buildings, Jürgen Freiherr von Gagern, Peter Ludwig y Udo von der Mühlen (1971-1973, Munich, Germany). Image © Stefano PeregoHousing Complex, Otar Kalandarishvili y G. Potskhishvili (1974-1976, Tiflis, Georgia). Image © Stefano Perego+ 21

Although there is much conflict surrounding the term Brutalist, there are certain constants and patterns within the movement that offer a concrete idea of the movement and its place in contemporary architecture.

The buildings that adhere to Brutalism—an off-shoot of the Modern Movement that erupted between 1950 and 1970— stand out in part to their constructional sincerity- that is, keeping no secrets about the materials that went into their creation, their bold geometry, and the asperity of their textures and surfaces. Reinforced concrete is the predominant material in Brutalist works thanks to its prominent and dramatic texture, which is put on full display.

In his book, "The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic?," Reyner Banham establishes what, according to him, was the key factor in defining the semantic roots of the term Brutalism--"and that is Le Corbusier's La Unité d'habitation in Marseille, France.

If there is one single verbal formula that has made the concept of Brutalism admissible in most of the world's Western languages, it is what Le Corbusier himself described as 'Breton brut' (raw concrete). The term and the buildings it describes, emerge together."

Another definition that seeks to illustrate this style is the one offered by architects and urbanists Alison and Peter Smithson, as explained in Banham's book--"Brutalism seeks to be objective in the face of reality, society's cultural objectives, its demands, its techniques, etc. Brutalism confronts a society of mass production and elicits rough poetry from the confusing and powerful forces that it works within (...) Until now, Brutalism has been discussed on the basis of aesthetics, while its essence is a matter of ethics."

In an effort to trace Brutalism's mark on European architecture, photographer Stefano Perego has worked to document projects within the movement, namely collective housing projects, towers, buildings, and residential complexes.

In this article, we present 20 works from across Europe--Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Serbia, and the United Kingdom--from the likes of architects Gérard Grandval, Émile Aillaud, Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza, Aldo Luigi Rizzo, Neave Brown, Leonardo Ricci, Renaat Braem, Mihajlo Mitrovic, Jean Renaudie, Renée Gailhoustet, the Chamberlin firm, Powell and Bon and, of course, Le Corbusier:

Unité d’Habitation in Berlin / Le Corbusier

  • Year: 1957-1959
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

Unité d’Habitation of Berlin, Le Corbusier (1957-1959, Berlin, Germany). Image © Stefano Perego
Unité d’Habitation of Berlin, Le Corbusier (1957-1959, Berlin, Germany). Image © Stefano Perego

Residential Building / Renaat Braem

  • Year: 1960-1965
  • Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Residential Building, Renaat Braem (1960-1965, Antwerp, Belgium). Image © Stefano Perego
Residential Building, Renaat Braem (1960-1965, Antwerp, Belgium). Image © Stefano Perego

Torres Blancas / Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza

  • Year: 1961-1969
  • Location: Madrid, Spain

Torres Blancas, Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza (1961-1969, Madrid, Spain). Image © Stefano Perego
Torres Blancas, Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza (1961-1969, Madrid, Spain). Image © Stefano Perego

 "La Nave" Residential Building / Leonardo Ricci

  • Year: 1962-1970
  • Location: Florence, Italy

"La Nave" Residential Building, Leonardo Ricci (1962-1970, Florence, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
"La Nave" Residential Building, Leonardo Ricci (1962-1970, Florence, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

Residential Building / Leonardo Saviol

  • Year: 1962-1970
  • Location: Florence, Italy

Residential Building, Leonardo Saviol (1962-1970, Florence, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
Residential Building, Leonardo Saviol (1962-1970, Florence, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

Karaburma Housing Complex / Rista Sekerinski

  • Year: 1963
  • Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Housing Complex in Karaburma, Rista Sekerinski (1963, Belgrade, Serbia). Image © Stefano Perego
Housing Complex in Karaburma, Rista Sekerinski (1963, Belgrade, Serbia). Image © Stefano Perego

Residential Building, / Leonardo Savioli and Danilo Santi

  • Year: 1964-1967
  • Location: Florence, Italy

Residential Building, Leonardo Savioli y Danilo Santi (1964-1967, Florence, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
Residential Building, Leonardo Savioli y Danilo Santi (1964-1967, Florence, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

 Barbican Estate Complex / Chamberlin, Powell and Bon

  • Year: 1965-1976
  • Location: London, United Kingdom

Barbican Estate, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon (1965-1976, London, United Kingdom). Image © Stefano Perego
Barbican Estate, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon (1965-1976, London, United Kingdom). Image © Stefano Perego

 Split Level House Complex / Atelier 40

  • Year: 1966
  • Location: Wuppertal, Germany

Split Level House, Atelier 40 (1966, Wuppertal, Germany). Image © Stefano Perego
Split Level House, Atelier 40 (1966, Wuppertal, Germany). Image © Stefano Perego

 Les Choux de Créteil Buildings / Gérard Grandval

  • Year: 1969-1974
  • Location: Créteil, France

Les Choux de Créteil, Gérard Grandval (1969-1974, Créteil, France). Image © Stefano Perego
Les Choux de Créteil, Gérard Grandval (1969-1974, Créteil, France). Image © Stefano Perego

Housing Complex / Jean Renaudie and Renée Gailhoustet

  • Year: 1969-1975
  • Location: Ivry-sur-Seine, France

Housing Complex, Jean Renaudie y Renée Gailhoustet (1969-1975, Ivry-sur-Seine, Francia). Image © Stefano Perego
Housing Complex, Jean Renaudie y Renée Gailhoustet (1969-1975, Ivry-sur-Seine, Francia). Image © Stefano Perego

 Rozzol Melara Complex / Carlo Celli, Luciano Celli, and Dario Tognon

  • Year: 1969-1982
  • Location: Trieste, Italy

Rozzol Melara Complex, Carlo Celli, Luciano Celli y Dario Tognon (1969-1982, Trieste, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
Rozzol Melara Complex, Carlo Celli, Luciano Celli y Dario Tognon (1969-1982, Trieste, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

Edificios Orpheus & Eurydice / Jürgen Freiherr von Gagern, Peter Ludwig, and Udo von der Mühlen

  • Year: 1971-1973
  • Location: Munich, Germany

Orpheus & Eurydice Buildings, Jürgen Freiherr von Gagern, Peter Ludwig y Udo von der Mühlen (1971-1973, Munich, Germany). Image © Stefano Perego
Orpheus & Eurydice Buildings, Jürgen Freiherr von Gagern, Peter Ludwig y Udo von der Mühlen (1971-1973, Munich, Germany). Image © Stefano Perego

 Alexandra Road Estate / Neave Brown

  • Year: 1972-1978
  • Location: London, United Kingdom

Alexandra Road Estate, Neave Brown (1972-1978, London, United Kingdom). Image © Stefano Perego
Alexandra Road Estate, Neave Brown (1972-1978, London, United Kingdom). Image © Stefano Perego

Aillaud Towers / Émile Aillaud

  • Year: 1973-1981.
  • Location: Nanterre, France

Aillaud Towers, Émile Aillaud (1973-1981, Nanterre, France). Image © Stefano Perego
Aillaud Towers, Émile Aillaud (1973-1981, Nanterre, France). Image © Stefano Perego

Housing Complex / Otar Kalandarishvili and G. Potskhishvili

  • Year: 1974-1976
  • Location: Tiflis, Georgia

Housing Complex, Otar Kalandarishvili y G. Potskhishvili (1974-1976, Tiflis, Georgia). Image © Stefano Perego
Housing Complex, Otar Kalandarishvili y G. Potskhishvili (1974-1976, Tiflis, Georgia). Image © Stefano Perego

 Genex Tower / Mihajlo Mitrović

  • Year: 1977-1980
  • Location: Belgrade, Serbia

 Atlas Tower / Groupe EGAU

  • Year: 1978
  • Location: Liège, Belgium

Atlas Tower, Groupe EGAU (1978, Liege, Belgium). Image © Stefano Perego
Atlas Tower, Groupe EGAU (1978, Liege, Belgium). Image © Stefano Perego

Housing Complex "Pegli 3" / Aldo Luigi Rizzo

  • Year: 1980-1989
  • Location: Genoa, Italy

Housing Complex "Pegli 3", Aldo Luigi Rizzo (1980-1989, Genoa, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
Housing Complex "Pegli 3", Aldo Luigi Rizzo (1980-1989, Genoa, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano

  • Year: 1990
  • Location: Milan, Italy

Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano (1990, Milan, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego
Residential Building in Paderno Dugnano (1990, Milan, Italy). Image © Stefano Perego

Stefano Perego (1984) is a Milan-based architectural photographer, collaborating frequently with firms, architects, and artists. He is the co-author of SOVIET ASIA (Modern Soviet Architecture in Central Asia). His interest in architecture from the second half of the 20th century has led him to focus on Modernism, Brutalism, and Post-modernism.

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Cite: Maiztegui, Belén. "Brutalism and Collective Living in Europe, Through the Lense of Stefano Perego" [Brutalismo en viviendas colectivas de Europa, por Stefano Perego] 21 Oct 2020. ArchDaily. (Trans. Johnson, Maggie) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/949383/brutalism-and-collective-living-in-europe-through-the-lense-of-stefano-perego> ISSN 0719-8884
Genex Tower, Mihajlo Mitrović (1977-1980, Belgrade, Serbia). Image © Stefano Perego

摄影作品:欧洲的粗野主义和集体生活 / Stefano Perego

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