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Concrete joins the earth

Open Platform for Architecture


Brutalist architecture, the '50s movement that descended from modernism, may soon see a revival with designs by Open Platform for Architecture proposing concrete structures dramatically built into cliff faces.

Flush with a cliff face in Greece, Open Platfrom for Architecture proposes building its Casa Brutale directly into the earth, using only raw concrete, wood and glass; simple materials that put emphasis instead on the view and which adhere to the modernist ideal 'form follows function'.

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Unlike typically imposing buildings of the same style, Casa Brutale translates seamlessly into the landscape. With the residents' focus directed towards the Aegean Sea and with the glass-bottomed rooftop pool overhead whose light reflects on the walls below, there is a poetic theme of water and earth and humanity's interaction with them.

According to the Open Platform for Architecture website, Casa Brutale 'is a geometrical translation of the landscape. It is an unclad statement on the simplicity and harmony of contemporary architecture.'

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Featuring fortress-like, hulking pieces of exposed concrete, Brutalism was inspired by Le Corbusier's modernist movement in the early 1920s. Buildings were rugged, imposing and honest in their architecture, where the floor plan is visible, as is the way it was built. This is seen, literally, in the exposed joinery, functions and elements that physically keep the structure intact.

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The term 'Brutalism' originates from the French béton brut meaning 'raw concrete', and not from the English word 'brutal'.

It is surprisingly minimalist for a structure so monolithic, and, provided you're not afraid of heights, is bound to be quite literally groundbreaking in its innovation.

For more info, visit opaworks.com