A Fresh Take on BEton Brut

Carte Brute

Carte Brute

Objects

Objects

Cards & Prints

Carte Brute

Carte Brute

Objects

Objects

Cards & Prints

Cards & Prints

Carte Brute

Carte Brute

New In

Cards & Prints

Cards & Prints

Did anyone say “concrete monsters”? HEARTBRUT presents the most exciting and significant béton-brut objects from the 20th century to this day and tells their stories from a fresh perspective. Start exploring now.

Béton brut is French for raw concrete. The term was popularised by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier who used it to describe the materiality of his seminal 1952 Unité d’habitation in Marseille. In response, the movement Brutalism emerged via the UK. It championed raw, unfinished materials, bold geometries and massive forms, rewriting the rules of what a building should look like. In Switzerland, béton brut remains resonant in the all-over-rough-design of many contemporary objects.

Switzerland embraced béton brut early on. The Swiss school is characterised by a pragmatic approach, attention to detail and a commitment to high-quality craftsmanship. It boasts a rich variety of styles, ranging from stark asceticism and opulent expressiveness to the subtle and poetic.

In postwar Switzerland concrete played an important part in building a new and modern national identity. As the country began to radically modernise during the 1960, a tremendous building boom set in. Concrete, which was affordable and functional, made it possible. The numerous housing projects, schools, civic buildings, cultural centres, churches and essential infrastructure in bold béton brut optics bear witness to an optimistic era that looked confidently into the future. The buildings tell of a nation in motion in a time of unprecedented economic prosperity.

Switzerland has never really fallen out of love with béton brut. Nowhere is raw concrete more omnipresent and part of the everyday fabric than here. HEARTBRUT hopes to inspire you to rediscover this important, but still undervalued piece of Swiss cultural heritage.

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