Chicago doesnâ€™t have an inordinate concentration of Brutalist buildings. Cities that came up or had a boom during Brutalismâ€™s heyday doubtless have many more. But Iâ€™m in Chicago, and I know the buildings are here…somewhere. Iâ€™m trying to find them all and post them here.
If youâ€™re unfamiliar with â€œBrutalismâ€, itâ€™s a style of Modernist architecture that flourished in the 1960s and 70s, characterized by heavy, geometric forms. The unappealing (but in some ways apt) moniker comes from the French bÃ©ton brut, which means â€œraw concreteâ€—concrete construction being another common characteristic of the style. Brutalist buildings can be minimal and functional or take on daring and experimental forms.
I was surprised not to find any sites on Brutalism in Chicago, since this town takes itâ€™s architecture pretty seriously. I hope to get this site packed full, so please email me if you know of places I should visit. These are all my own photos now, though I may have some other contributors eventually.
Speaking of, please donâ€™t use any image from this site without asking first. Iâ€™ll almost certainly say o.k.
â€” Shawn Hazen