Chicago architecture writer and photographer Lee Bey recently was on Chicago Public Radio discussing Brutalist architecture
. The focus is on Chicago but much of the commentary is applicable to Madison as everyone loves to hate the UW's Mosse Humanities building.
(Photo found here.)
Bey notes the name "Brutalism" comes from a French term - beton brut
- which means "raw concrete". And I here I thought it was because the buildings all look cold and brutal. He also says that the style is modernist but also tended to include plazas and gathering spots which offset the right angles and narrow windows. Humanities is a good example of this. The Humanities building is also proof of his statement that Brutalism became the architecture of schools and universities.