P. Zuk
Tuesday 10 April 2018 by lib_admin

References: 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2018, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2018 Vienna ART Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-33-1 / ISSN 2367-5659, 19 - 21 March, 2018, Vol. 5, Issue 5.1; 53-60 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/51/S17.007


In the 1950s, Alison and Peter Smithson, somewhat unfortunately used the term brutalism to name an emerging trend. In English, the element of brutality of this term turned out to be very strong, creating negative thinking about architecture made of raw concrete. However brutalism is not only the rawness of the material, it is also an expressive architectural form, and this rawness emphasizes this expressiveness. Brutalist architecture is often sculptural, but above all it is massive, dominating over its surroundings, consciously negating context, it can even be said that it is totalitarian, which in some sense justifies the popularity of this style in former communist countries, including Poland. In this fact we can see the reasons for the contemporary aversion to the use of the word "brutalism". The ideological layer is interesting as well. The Smithsons wrote that" "Brutalism tries to face up to a mass-production society, and drag a rough poetry out of the confused and powerful forces which are at work [1]." Brutalism is a favorite movement of artists and this is also the most hated one by so-called ordinary people. In the royal city of Cracow, a city known for its conservative approach to architecture, there were several interesting projects representing this movement during the communist era. They include the "Bunker of Art" or the Forum Hotel. Although it is believed that the time of brutalism has passed, works in its spirit are still being created in Cracow. Perhaps the semantic clumsiness of the Smithsons is the reason that nobody calls them brutalist today.

Keywords: brutalist architecture, Cracow

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