A Fresh Take on Béton Brut

Beton Brut Switzerland

Béton Brut Switzerland

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The Brutalist Compendium

The Brutalist Compendium

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New In

Cards & Prints

Cards & Prints

The Swiss Brut Compendium

The Compendium

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Cards & Prints

Cards & Prints

Switzerland is full of raw concrete beauties. HEARTBRUT wants to make it easy to explore and appreciate these important, but still undervalued national assets. We present key béton brut objects from the 20th century to today and tell their stories from a new perspective. Our postcards and print editions make it even easier to love and share the beauty of brut.

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. It championed raw, unfinished materials, bold geometries and massive forms, challenging traditional notions of what a building should look like. Sculptural béton brut continues to inspire contemporary architectural styles, especially in Switzerland.

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

In postwar Switzerland concrete was more than just a building material – it became part of the national DNA. In the 1960’s the country began to radically modernise and rebuild itself. Concrete, which was affordable and functional, made it possible. The countless 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 fallen out of love with béton brut. Nowhere is raw concrete more omnipresent and popular than here. HEARTBRUT hopes to inspire you to rediscover this important, but still undervalued piece of Swiss cultural heritage.

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