Brutalism in Montreal

Tuesday 9 January 2024

McLennan Library
Each building tells a unique story, embodying a specific architectural movement or drawing inspiration from diverse influences. Among these trends, Brutalism stands out as one of the most emblematic.
If this technical term is foreign to you, perhaps concrete examples such as the bold architecture of Habitat 67, the distinctive design of the Guy Favreau complex, or the imposing appearance of the Judith Jasmin Pavilion at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) will be more evocative.

Habitat 67

Le brutalisme au Québec est un mouvement architectural qui a émergé au milieu du XXe siècle et s'est développé au fil des décennies suivantes. This style is recognizable by its angular, geometric shapes, gray facades and use of concrete as the main building material.
Raw concrete, the central element of Brutalism, is often used to create heavy, massive structures. Brutalist buildings also feature simple, geometric shapes, bright colors, rough textures, and use heavy typography in their graphic design.

Guy-Favreau Complex

Brutalism, chosen by architects for its honest approach to materials, particularly raw concrete, met the needs of post-war reconstruction and rapid urbanization through its functionality, durability and economic cost.
UQAM | Université du Québec à Montréal
This style was also a statement against traditionalism, symbolizing innovation and modernity. It offered an imposing visual impact and blended with the political and cultural themes of the time, reflecting power and stability, making it particularly popular for public and government buildings.

Maison de Radio-Canada


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