Have you ever wondered about the massive, monolithic, ‘blocky’ building situated at 100 Wellington Square? It’s home to Brantford’s City Hall.
Designed by Michael Kopsa and built in 1967, it was built to replace the Town Hall which served the city from 1877 to 1967. This building serves as an excellent representation of the Brutalist style of architecture. Also known as Brutalism, it’s a style that emerged in the 1950’s and grew out of the early 20th century modernist movement that affected architectural designs worldwide. Because modern architecture chose to follow modern industry, the use of new materials and technology resulted in characteristics such as simplicity of form, exposed structure and lack of ornamentation.
By incorporating rigid geometric styles and large scale use of poured concrete, buildings designed in the Brutalist fashion create a powerful statement as structural elements are deliberately given prominence over ornate or decorative features. The end result is almost sculpture-like with visual heaviness, geometric lines, exaggerated slabs and massive walls. Examples of Brutalist architecture can be found across North America and Europe. Some have even achieved UNESCO heritage status.
The next time you find yourself in the area of 100 Wellington Square, stop and take a moment to enjoy the stark beauty of this magnificent, artistically inspired ‘Brute’.