Best of est | Brutalist Style

We revisit some of our favourite Brutalist style spaces, each offering a modern interpretation of an industrial-inspired, raw, sculptural and functional aesthetic.

Whether you’re a lover or a loather of Brutalist design there’s no doubting its long-standing influence over the design world. From the Barbican Centre and Trellick Tower in London to the Breuer Building in New York City, Brutalism has informed some of the most influential buildings of all time.

Often going hand-in-hand with functionality, affordability and sustainability ideals, design pioneers of Brutalist style include Le Corbusier, Marcel Bruer and Carlo Scarpa who embraced its simple and honest characteristics which place raw materials and sculptural form firmly in the limelight. While raw materials such as concrete and metals cast an industrial feel, stark and simplistic monolithic silhouettes offer these five examples of Brutalist style a functional and modern sensibility.

An internal courtyard allows for an influx of natural light throughout the home.

The bathroom features a stone freestanding bath and tapware from Brodware.

Armadale Residence by B.E Architecture

Built from 260 tonnes of granite, Armadale Residence by Melbourne-based B.E Architecture is an exploration of timeless materials. Transforming the often Brutalist aesthetic of granite to a delicate, deft backdrop for modern living, this raw and textural stone plays out beautifully across the home’s three storeys. From the dining room to the stone-carved bathtub, these stark elements are complemented beautifully with restrained landscape architecture, including a Japanese-inspired private courtyard tucked away on the upper level.

While natural light, stone masonry and open plan spaces such as the dining room will certainly stand the test of both time and trends, this is a home not only designed to remain beautiful but to age gracefully. The stone will patina elegantly as the maples and rosemary grow, ensuring the spaces will become richer and even more alive as time passes.

Perfect Storm by Killing Matt Woods

This concrete-like-bunker apartment was shaped by Killing Matt Woods for homeowners who ‘craved a home stripped back to its minimalist basics’. To the point of being utilitarian, Perfect Storm is a curvaceous, mezzanine apartment in NSW’s Camperdown suburb acts as a celebration of its local industrial heritage.

Woods had pragmatism front of mind, which meant each design decision was rooted in a practice of sustainability. The material palette is not only environmentally minded, including VOC-free finishes and strict use of FSC timbers, but the construction process was also streamlined to minimise on waste during the build.

The living room features the Jardan Valley Sofa.

Brick Barn by McLaren Excell

With an emphasis on integrity, authenticity, craftsmanship and natural materials, London-based McLaren Excell expertly transformed this 19th-century brick barn by applying a gentle, Brutalist style which honours the barn’s agricultural past.

True to Brutalist form, the interiors are minimalistic, letting the original features tell the narrative. A restrained palette of grey, charcoal and white bring black accents to the fore and concrete connects nearly every space. In a final salute to Brutalism, a cast concrete kitchen bench creates the sculptural hero and heart of the home.

Premium Gaggenau appliances feature in the kitchen.

The Clubhouse by Wolveridge Architects

Steel, concrete and timber sculpt a timeless quality in this beach house which takes up a pristine position in the dunes of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. The Clubhouse by Wolveridge Architects reveals highly sculptural features throughout, including steel and concrete stairs and bathroom, a standout concrete kitchen sink and a monolithic-like stone bath which perches on a timber platform.

Throughout the home, a layer of warmth is reflected through the use of patinated and burnished, textural material finishes. Also paramount to this holiday home was the creation of a luxury upper-level suite which includes a landscaped outdoor area and cantilevered pool.

Kloke Store by Studio Goss

Located in inner-city Melbourne, apparel brand Kloke’s second flagship store is a fusion of innovation and minimalist design — a retail environment that accurately re-appropriates Kloke’s design values, courtesy of local Architect David Goss of Studio Goss. Inspired by a mutual interest in Brutalist architecture, the client was keen for the store to represent a sculptural and textural feast from floor to ceiling.

The design encourages visitors to become lost in a ‘sensory experience’. Without a doubt, the interior captures the brand’s focus on detailed finishes and durable materials while maintaining a restrained palette to ensure the product is visible. “We talked a lot about materials, and sampled various textures & techniques throughout the process to make sure we achieved the right balance,” says Architect David Goss.

The Kloke Melbourne flagship store draws inspiration from Brutalist architecture; a sculptural feast of stucco finishes and concrete render from floor to ceiling.

Megan Rawson

As Acting Managing Editor at est living, Megan has built her career in the interiors media industry. Prior to joining the Est team, Megan spent the last few years working both internationally and locally with interior design studios, most notably Tom Dixon and Mim Design. Follow her visual journey here:

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