The New Outdoor Design Trend? Believe It or Not: Brutalism
Kanebridge News
Share Button

The New Outdoor Design Trend? Believe It or Not: Brutalism

What’s behind the revival—and how to pull it off without turning your backyard retreat into a totalitarian bunker.

By COURTNEY LICHTERMAN
Fri, Jul 22, 2022 11:51amGrey Clock 2 min

CALL IT FLINTSTONES CHIC: On balconies and in backyards, hulking stone chairs and chunky concrete tables are making their weighty presence known. The look, though not actually prehistoric, is one with a past. Brutalism, the modern-design movement more typically associated with no-frills 1960s and 1970s public buildings than patio furniture, has long been an aesthetic critics love to hate. So why, after years of trim minimalism, are designers embracing the monolithic look for outdoors?

“People want unusual, sculptural pieces that have an edge and patina,” explained New York designer Amy Lau. Brutalist designs tick those boxes. Cameos in high-profile Instagram feeds like Gwyneth Paltrow’s haven’t hurt, either: Recent snaps of the lifestyle guru’s new Montecito home show what appear to be vintage “pod chairs” by Brutalist designer Willy Guhl looming trendily around an equally chunky fire pit. (Snag your own pair on 1stDibs for a rather brutal $21,293)

The post-apocalyptic style, named for the French term, “béton brut” (meaning “raw concrete”), might seem at odds with gentle plant forms, but fans say that juxtaposition is exactly what makes it work. “[Outdoors] the bold, elemental shapes of Brutalist furniture create a sense of dynamic contrast and edge,” said Kelly Wearstler, a Los Angeles designer whose work is heavily influenced by Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, midcentury masters who ushered in the Brutalist movement.

Take for example, the Boletto Chair from Cassius Castings, a Santa Monica, Calif., studio specializing in made-to-order concrete pieces. With its angular shape, drab colour and textureless surface, it sets off verdant green spaces with satisfyingly bratty dissonance. A Corten steel chiminea from Terrain also upends gentility with a straight-from-the-steel-mill look—though its saffron patina and columnar, tree-trunk shape evoke more natural forms.

Brutalist patio furniture can also be just plain practical. As Ms. Lau explained, concrete—one of Brutalism’s signature mediums—does particularly well outdoors. “It’s sturdy, and you don’t have to cover it for winter.”

For those worried Brutalist furniture will make their terrace look more like a totalitarian bunker than a posh retreat, Gaithersburg, Md., designer Shoshanna Shapiro points out that many new designs—like Boxhill’s lightweight and surprisingly elegant swooping Lucio loungers—are more approachable than their 1960s-era counterparts. Another way to temper the severity of Brutalist elements: Use them sparingly, or combine them with more delicate wood or rattan pieces.

“We’re seeing more sophisticated versions with slimmer, gentler curves and richer colours,” Ms. Shapiro explained. One of her favourite examples of this new iteration is the monumental, modular Spolia planter from Opiary. “It blends biophilic design and Brutalism in a modern, minimalist way.”

Neo-Brutalist designer James De Wulf also marries the organic and the industrial with his new bronze and concrete Exo dining table. While he’s best known for his hulking half-ton pieces, the craftsman’s recent work skews subtler. “I’m letting the shapes be organic rather than following the rigidity of circles and straight lines,” he explained.

“Some clients shy away from [Brutalist pieces] thinking they’ll be cold and uncomfortable,” said Seattle designer Anna Popov, who says she’s recently been crushing on a sensuous line of sealed concrete furniture from Sunpan. “But the truth is that it’s form, not material, that determines comfort,” she said. “A well-designed chair, in any material, can be the most comfortable one you’ve ever sat in.”

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: July 21, 2022



MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Property
It’s a slam dunk as a covetable $2m KDR site complete with basketball court hits the market in the Hills District
By KANEBRIDGE NEWS 18/04/2023
Property
The top 10 Australian locations at highest flood and bushfire risk
By Bronwyn Allen 11/06/2024
Property
I.M. Pei’s Son Speaks of His Father’s Legacy of Creating ‘Places for People’ Ahead of a Retrospective in Hong Kong
By ABBY SCHULTZ 11/06/2024
It’s a slam dunk as a covetable $2m KDR site complete with basketball court hits the market in the Hills District

The ball is in the buyer’s court with this knockdown/rebuild opportunity

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, Apr 18, 2023 2 min

Glenhaven in Sydney’s Hills District is one of those areas that locals tend to keep to themselves. Leafy with large blocks on offer, the suburb takes its name from its valley location, with the northern end originally known as the Glen and the southern end called the Haven. 

En route from Parramatta to the Hunter, Glenhaven has become an ideal place for growing families in search of a little more space, or even room to house several generations under one roof.

The challenge is finding properties that tick all the right boxes.

As demand for trades and supply chain issues continue to ease, now could be the right time for a knockdown/rebuild project for would-be buyers looking to create their dream home.

Fairmont Homes specialises in knockdown/rebuild projects in Sydney. General manager at Fairmont Homes, Daniel Logue, said there are key features to look for when choosing a knockdown/rebuild site.

“The key items we look for are the site falling to the street, not to the rear, to help with stormwater drainage as well as access to the site,” he said. “Neighbouring property front setbacks are also important. In some older areas, the older houses are set closer to the street, meaning your new home will have to be set to suit.

“Value for money and the return on the end sale price of the home is another issue.”

If possible, he said designing a home that meets the criteria of the Complying Development legislation will speed up approvals considerably.

While suitable knockdown/rebuild sites can be hard to find in Glenhaven, there are still hidden opportunities if you know where to look.

One block at 158 Gilbert Road, Glenhaven is ideally suited for rejuvenation. With almost 850sqm to play with, it slopes down to the street and sits between neighbouring properties that have already been stylishly updated.

 

 

An existing basketball court at the rear could provide the perfect teen backdrop to a family home, or it could make way for a larger house with landscaped gardens and pool. Alternatively, it could be the perfect position for a cabana or granny flat to serve as in-law accommodation or a source of secondary income.

With recent sales of completed homes in nearby streets reaching well above $5 million, it’s a great opportunity to make a slam dunk of a buy into one of Sydney’s best kept secrets.

Address: 158 Gilbert Road, Glenhaven
Price guide: $1.8 million
Inspection: By appointment only
Contact: William Brush, LJ Hooker Dural 9651 1566 

 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Lifestyle
EV Trade War Could Spread to Luxury Cars
By STEPHEN WILMOT 12/06/2024
Lifestyle
Stressing Over Your Next Home Renovation Project? Let AI Handle It.
By NANCY KEATES 13/06/2024
Money
How to Avoid Pitfalls When Loaning Money to a Family Member
By ANDREA RIQUIER 13/06/2024
0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop