SOS Brutalism

Save the Concrete Monsters!

As a teenager I had a t-shirt with „Toujours sous pression, mais résistant – c´est du béton“ written on it. Concrete is patient, interesting and yes, it can be beautiful, too. Archtiekturzentrum Wien now dedicates a whole exhibition to the brutalistic buildings which have been constructed worldwide between 1953 and 1979 , together with the appeal to save them. For – never uncontested – they today often are demolished, blown up, or „beautified“. There is, though, more than just an aesthetical idea behind the concept of brutalism (from the french „brut“, meaning „dry“ or „bitter“, and not so much from „brutal“): This style, appearing to us today at the same time both retro and futuristic, is very much about political and socio-cultural rejuvenations and reformations after two world wars.

After the exhibition´s first stop at Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, it now gives the Viennese public a beautiful photographic overview over concrete buildings all across the world, together with some large cardboard models, and some smaller ones out of concrete itself. Ten Austrian highlights have been added, the most famous one being the church by Fritz Wotruba in Mauer in the 23rd district.

The initiative that gave rise to the renewed interest in brutalism can be found on

Julia Maurer




Architekturzentrum Wien

Museumsplatz 1

1070 Wien



Header: Ausschnitt aus Fritz G. Mayer, Fritz Wotruba, Kirche zur Hl. Dreifaltigkeit, Außenansicht, Wien 23, 1974–1976, Bild: Architekturzentrum Wien, Sammlung, Margherita Spiluttini

1: O. Gurevich / V. Zhukov, Hotel Rus, Sankt Petersburg, Russland, 1980–1988, Bild: Konstantin Antipin 2016

2: Rinaldo Oliveri, La Pyramide, Bild: Rinaldo Olivieri, La Pyramide, Abidjan, Elfenbeinküste, 1968–1973

3: Werkgruppe Graz, Terrassenhaussiedlung St. Peter, Fest in der Siedlung, Graz, Steiermark, 1972–1978, Bild: Architekturzentrum Wien, Sammlung

4: Norbert Heltschl, Internat Mariannhill, Wasserbecken auf der Dachterrasse, Landeck, Tirol, 1964

Bild: Architekturzentrum Wien, Sammlung, Friedrich Achleitner