Carte Brute Zurich

CARTE BRUTE

CARTE BRUTE

CARTE BRUTE

CARTE BRUTE

Carte Brute Zürich

Carte Brute

OBJECTS

Objects

Carte Brute Zürich

Carte Brute Zürich

Carte Brute Zürich

Carte Brute

HEARTBRUT - IT MEANS: BE BOLD AND BRAVE. IT'S ABOUT SHARING CONCRETE LOVE IN A TOUGH WORLD.

Nude concrete – for some it is plain ugly and evil, for others it is pure love, and for some brutalist buildings make the ideal selfie-background. In Switzerland, exposed concrete is so omnipresent, it has become part of the cultural DNA. HEARTBRUT takes a fresh look at this uniquely rich and diverse heritage. Our message is simple: go out and discover the raw beauty of those concrete icons with your own eyes. We take care of the inspo and info. 

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Carte Brute Zurich Map © Karin Bürki/HEARTBRUT. Explore more on Heartbrut.com

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EXPLAINER

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, brutalist references remain resonant in the pared-down, all-over-rough-design of many contemporary objects.

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.

Switzerland embraced concrete early on. The bold and elegantly curved concrete bridges designed by the Swiss engineer Robert Maillart caused a worldwide sensation at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1928, the first exposed concrete church was built in Basel. Until the 1950s, Swiss architects regarded concrete as a noble material. Swiss brutalism therefore tends to avoid crudity and provocation. The aim is always to blend the nobility and roughness of concrete in an ambitious but efficient and cost-effective way. The architecture 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 exposed concrete 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.

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Dahinden House, designed by Justus Dahinden I © HEARTBRUT / Karin Hunter Bürki
House Tours

DAHINDEN HOUSE

Architecture, art and interior design meet in this 1971 brutalist Zurich family home

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ABOUT & MISSION

Taking inspiration from the bold and brave attitude of brutalist architecture, we champion Switzerland’s rich concrete heritage and give it a contemporary spin. Our aim is to open up this striking and distinct piece of modern Swiss DNA to new audiences, discussions and experiences. Our fresh take, strong online presence and growing range of print editions connect with worldwide audiences. HEARTBRUT was founded in 2019 by Zurich-based writer and photographer Karin Bürki.

We say good-bye to old clichés and prejudices, treating the ground-breaking and style-defining concrete works simply as the cultural assets that they are. With contemporary objects, we focus on bold aesthetics with a climate-friendly CO2 footprint. The discussion about concrete is still strongly informed by the technical and male. We are doing away with that, too. You don’t want to struggle through plans and lenghty texts? Neither do we. HEARTBRUT offers you new experiences, plenty of inspo and no-bullshit info.

We want to make products that we are really proud of. As in products that are well made, easy to love and hard to throw away. Your purchase will help fund the extensive research, traveling and editorial work that go into HEARTBRUT. Any profits we may make will go straight into the development and production of  new Carte Brute editions. Win-win.

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