Fast forward to 2023, however, and brutalism is making a serious comeback. In the Oscar-nominated Tar, a brutalist Berlin apartment gathered just as much audience intrigue as Cate Blanchett’s character of Lydia. when Vogue published its annual interior-design trend report, multiple designers noted they’d seen an uptick in its signature stark hallmarks, such as concrete floors and the use of raw industrial materials. One designer, Colin King, explained he had used everything from exposed bulbs and pipes to materials like bronze, plywood, and cement in recent projects. “I have historically been impacted most by [architectural features] that feel monolithic—I want stuff to be big, strong, and silent,” he says.
Growing up in Venezuela, architect Maurizio Bianchi Mattioli of Studio MBM was surrounded by brutalist buildings; now based in New York, he finds himself regularly weaving its elements into his projects. In a recent Manhattan loft project, for example, he crafted a sink with boxy stone inserts and a giant partition separating the vanities, while a cast-iron column acts as a kind of found object within the space. Outside of Park City, Utah, Mattioli is also working on a mountain home with a wedged roof and a pared-back interior with concrete floors. Like Frazen, Mattioli makes it clear that his work is not a carbon copy of the 1950s movement nor does it have any political agenda. Rather, it’s a modern interpretation of the movement’s original ethos. “There’s something to be said about the zeitgeist of brutalism’s heyday—there was this heightened aspiration for the future and collective optimism around what that might look like,” he says.