Soviet Brutalist Architecture: A Legacy of Concrete Modernism

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Soviet Brutalist Architecture

The brutalist architecture is a style of architecture that became popular between the 1950s and the 1960s. It was an answer to more traditional and ornate styles of architecture, which were popular previously.

The brutalist architecture was therefore seen by the Soviets as a representation of the strength and modernity of the communist state. Thereafter, it was employed during construction of many types of buildings such as the state offices, flats and cultural places.

Characteristics of Soviet Brutalist Architecture

Some of the key characteristics of Soviet Brutalist architecture include:

Use of raw concrete: Brutalist architecture in Soviet used concrete as the most common material. It is viewed as a long-lasting and economical medium that can be used to build large and majestic structures.

Dramatic large-scale shapes: Soviet Brutalist buildings were usually characterized by their big geometrical forms. The monolithic appearance was created by leaving these shapes unadorned.

Textured surfaces: Brutalist architects from the Soviet Union employed textures on their buildings to make them more interesting. This was achieved through different methods such as casting formwork and exposing the aggregate in the concrete.

Representative Soviet Brutalist Building Works.

Palace of Soviets

Palace of the Soviets was an unfinished government complex in Moscow that was supposed to be the highest building of the world. The construction project commenced in 1931, but it was abandoned in the course of the Second World War. The Palace of Soviets was certainly a symbol of Soviet brutalist architecture, with a huge concrete structure and impressive, dramatic shapes.


Madeonium – a monument that honors the Ilinden Uprising of 1903, which took place in Kruševo, North Macedonia. The Makedonium in this regard is one of the most spectacular examples of Soviet Brutalist architecture and features an immense concrete construction as well having a unique sculptural form.

Other notable examples of Soviet Brutalist architecture include:

  • Palace of Culture, Warsaw, Poland
  • New Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
  • Minsk, Belarus, National Library of Belarus.
  • Legacy of Soviet Brutalist Architecture

It should be noted that the Brutalist style was controversial during the time it was in use. Its modernist forms were applauded by some while others felt cold and oppressed as they viewed the building. Soviet brutalist architecture is still a divisive style but it also is increasingly acknowledged for its historical and architectural value.

Recently, there has been growing attention towards Soviet Brutalist architecture. This is because there is an increasing appreciation for the aesthetic aspects of the style. Moreover, many Soviet Brutalist buildings are being acknowledged as having a cultural and historical value.

This has led to a renewed endeavor to conserve and remodel Soviet Brutalist buildings. This is a significant job since these buildings form an important and unique part of Soviet architecture.


Soviet Brutalism is one of the many significant styles of architecture. The style is controversial and yet, adored and is still relevant to date. With time, we will begin to appreciate Soviet Brutalist architecture’s uniqueness and significance in architectural history as we learn more about it. For more, Keep following Write for Us Architecture.