23 Walls: Different Brutalist Strokes For Different Low Budget Folks

apartment building in brutalist style
Vigo - Edificios 04 photo by Zarateman is licensed under the public domain
Brutalism is often linked to concrete, the main building material in these homes in Vigo, Spain.

Can flexibility added to brutalism be enough to make concrete walls into cozy homes? When the contest is fictional architecture,1 a real-life answer is not as important so much as the flamboyant expression of architecture as an art form.

Nevertheless, the combination of modularity and flexibility of a recent second prize international award winner offers the possibility that brutalism might possibly be married to coziness. It must be noted, however, that social housing residents have given thumbs down before to ‘designedly’ rather than cozy homes,2 which have escaped from the avant garde drawing board. And in United Kingdom not all that long ago, then-prime minister David Cameron high-handedly declared brutalism to be a root cause of the failure of public housing.3

Still, the “23 Walls” project described in the article below might be capable of achieving coziness in more conventional forms if its creative modularity were to include (possibly over the dead bodies of its visionary architects) habitation modules that are cozied up in a true realization of flexibility. That might include multi-pane windows, flocked wallpaper and lashings of chintz.

Read more at design boom: ΜΕΣΟΤΟΙΧΙΕΣ is a social housing concept composed of 23 parallel party walls


  2. Try: Social Housing At Odds With Architect Pride: Recipe For Community Failure?
  3. Try: Brutalism: The Demise Of The High Rise Live-in Parking Garage?