How Julien Boudet is redefining brutalist architecture


All images: @bleumode

Julien Boudet Synergising the hardness of neglected buildings with the softness of detailed features, French photographer, highlights the importance of brutalism and the excitement of symmetric greatness. Contributing to global publications with his innovative eye to fashion and architecture, here's how the Boudet is redefining brutalism.


In your words what is brutalism?

To me, brutalism is synonym of raw, architecture with clean lines combined with the use of steel and concrete. Overall, it's a very minimal aesthetic. It plays with perfect geometries and gives you a sense of retro industrial style.


Why does the concept of brutalism interest you so much?

I find it very inspiring and pleasant to capture. My eyes get excited to see all the lines perfectly mirror them together in defined shapes. When I'm taking photographs of such buildings I really feel like I'm achieving something great, but it is a bit difficult to transcribe this feeling into words. Every time, the challenge is to find the right angle, the right perspective to show these concrete beauties at their best.

Favorite brutalist building/space you've ever shot and why?

It's very difficult to name only one...I have a couple in mind that are very different from each other but I suppose it must be the housing complex by Otar Kalandarishvili in Tbilisi, Georgia. I went inside the building, walked over on this little bridge that links the two buildings, observed every single detail... I spent about two hours there, by myself, walking around and capturing every angle of it. I will go back next time I'm in town for sure; I think I just love the feeling of being surrounded by concrete, it is very special. Otherwise, I'd say the Rokko housing complex in Kobe, Japan, by Tadao Ando, and Habitat 67 in Montreal, Canada, by Moshe Safdie.


Name one place which shocked you with its architecture and why?

Tbilisi, Georgia, mainly because of the numerous beautiful brutalist buildings in the city, and the special atmosphere I found there. It is a very fascinating place for a photographer, I really didn't expect that before going there for the first time. In the next couple years I want to travel more in the ex-soviet countries to capture more of these pieces.

What and/or where is the future of architecture?

Well, I'm not an expert in architecture, but I'd say it will either remain very minimal or the trend will go back to the classic designs, with a lot of colors, details and ornaments. In the future, the technology will also play an important role in the design of these new buildings, starting from the use of modern materials (eco or sustainable ones) to the use of domestics.


What camera(s) do you use to shoot architectural landscapes?

I mostly use my Mamiya pro 7 ii (medium format) and my Voigtlander Bessa 4m (small format) – both analog cameras, I never shoot digital for architecture.

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