Anna Bronovitskaya. Brutalism and neo-Brutalism

Lecture Cycle: 20th Century Architecture
21 January 2016


This lecture is devoted to the social aspects of the post-war architecture: affordable housing and infrastructure projects. One of the key styles of the new age is brutalism.

In the postwar period, the governments of several countries in Western Europe embarked on large construction programs aimed at achieving social justice. New typologies of schools, universities, cultural, commercial and medical centers, as well as residential complexes were developed and implemented. Whole new cities, where inequality was intended to be overcome, were built. Unlike corporate structures and architecture for the elite, the socially oriented buildings were to be "honest," not seeking to seduce with grace and beauty. In the 1960s and 1970s, Soviet architects were solving similar problems as their Western colleagues, designing buildings with an eye to the communist future.

This lecture will discuss the works of Le Corbusier, Alison and Peter Smithson, Jaap Bakema, Nathan Osterman, and others.


Anna Bronovitskaya is an architectural historian, director of research at Moscow’s Institute of Modernism, and associate professor at MARCHI (Moscow Architectural Institute, State Academy). In 2015 she became one of the founders of the Institute of Modernism—an independent institution that researches Soviet architecture of the 1960s to 1980s. Since 1993, she has been lecturing at MARCHI. From 2011 to 2013, Bronovitskaya was head of the DOCOMOMO Russian section. She is also the author of multiple publications on 20th century architecture.

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