Winnipeg Architecture Foundation


Brutalist Tour

By Jeffrey Thorsteinson

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Like many stylistic terms in architecture, the exact parameters denoted by the word “Brutalism” are difficult to precisely pin down. As it is commonly understood today, Brutalism is a style which was particularly prominent during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This approach shifted the vocabulary of Modern architecture away from the International Style’s lightness and predominant use of glass and steel. In place of these tendencies, Brutalism embraced the plastic qualities of masonry and generally adopted heavy, rough or unfinished aesthetics.

This tour documents a number of Brutalist buildings found in Winnipeg, and explores their genesis as well as the place of Brutalism in the history of the city.