Ten beautiful Brutalist interiors with a surprisingly welcoming feel

For our latest lookbook, we’ve collected 10 brutalist interiors from the UK to Brazil and Indonesia that show how textiles, plants and color can be used to soften monolithic concrete spaces and create a cozy atmosphere.

Brutalism as an architectural style often makes use of concrete to create large, sculptural buildings. These Brutalist building interiors have lots of concrete and hard angles, but still manage to feel both warm and inviting.

Colorful tiles, wooden details and tactile textiles, as well as an abundance of green plants, were used to create inviting living rooms, bathrooms and even workspaces in these Brutalist buildings, which include the Barbican in London and the Riverside Tower in Antwerp.

This is the latest in our lookbook series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see past lookbooks featuring granite kitchens, terrazzo dining areas and atriums that spice up living spaces.

Photo is of Tommaso Riva

A Brutalist Tropical Home, Indonesia, by Patisandhika and Dan Mitchell

Designer Dan Mitchell worked with architecture studio Patisandhika to create this Brutalist home in Bali, which features a double-height living room filled with books, records and greenery.

The house has a split-level design that was modeled on modernist architect Ray Kappe’s Kappe Residence. Inside, colorful objects, textiles and furniture draw on the work of Clifford Still, Ellsworth Kelly and the Bauhaus movement to make the house feel homely.

Learn more about A Brutalist Tropical Home ›

Large living room with concrete ceiling
Photo is of Nivedita Gupta

House of Concrete Experiments, India, by Samira Rathod

As the name suggests, the House of Concrete Experiments features sculptural concrete walls. Warm wood details offset the gray tones, while the concrete floor is inlaid with black stones to create an interesting pattern.

Large windows and geometric skylights help make the room feel bright and inviting.

Find out more about House of Concrete Experiments ›

Turquoise table in room with concrete walls
Photo is by Olmo Peeters

Riverside Tower Apartment, Belgium, by Studio Okami Architecten

Studio Okami Architecten stripped the walls of this apartment in Antwerp’s Riverside Tower to let its original structure take center stage.

Colorful details such as a turquoise table and baby blue spiral staircase and a playful, sculptural lamp make the home feel contemporary, while lots of green plants give more life to the otherwise gray interior.

Find out more about Riverside Tower Apartment ›

Light-filled atrium in brutalist home
Photo is by Photographix

Beton Brut, India, by The Grid Architects

Designed as a “neo-brutalist” house, Beton Brut in India has a number of dramatic features, including a skylite atrium that stretches through the home.

Grid Architects described the residence as “characterized by bare concrete, geometric shapes, a monochrome palette and a monolithic appearance”. Wooden floors and furniture and plenty of textiles soften the house’s brutalist interior and potentially austere appearance.

Find out more about Beton Brut ›

Shakespeare Tower apartment by Takero Shimazaki Architects
Photo is by Anton Gorlenko

Barbican apartment, UK, by Takero Shimakazi Architects

This apartment in Shakespeare Tower of London’s Brutalist Barbican estate was overhauled by Takero Shimakazi Architects in a nod to the client’s strong ties to Japan.

Details such as toasted wood paneling and wood joinery were added throughout the apartment, which also features Japanese-informed details, including an area lined with tatami mats.

Find out more about the Barbican Apartment ›

Under the architecture block
Photo is of Joanna France

Concrete house, Brazil, by Under the Architecture Block

Debaixo do Bloco’s design for this sculpture house in Brazil is divided into three sections to provide a clear distinction between the different programs.

Inside, the interior has a mid-century modern feel, with gleaming wooden parquet floors and a glass PH table lamp by Danish designer Louis Poulsen decorating a side table.

Find out more about the concrete home ›

An office table and chairs inside the office
Photo is of Lorenzo Zandri

Smithson Tower office, UK, by ConForm

The brutalist Smithson Tower in Mayfair is the site of this “domestic” office designed by ConForm Architects. The studio divided the space into eight zones defined by the strong structural grid of the existing building, and added low-level joinery.

The result is a design that softens the harsh office spaces and makes the rooms feel more intimate.

Learn more about the Smithson Tower office ›

The Standard Hotel in London by Shawn Hausman Design
The image is published by The Standard

The Standard London, UK, by Shawn Hausman

Designer Shawn Hausman created the brightly colored interior of London’s The Standard hotel, which is housed in a Brutalist building, to contrast the “greyness of London”.

“I would say with this property we were a little more colorful than usual, and I think part of that is acting in contrast to the brutalist building that the hotel is in,” explained Hausman.

In the bathrooms, striped pink and black tiled walls and pops of pale mint green give the room a fun, playful feel.

Find out more about The Standard London ›

The Preston Hollow by Specht Architects
Photo is of Casey Dunn

Preston Hollow, USA, by Specht Architects

The long corrugated concrete volumes of Preston Hollow in Dallas were designed to reference Brutalist Texan architecture of the 1950s and 60s, but the house was built to enclose courtyards, creating a lively, open feel.

Inside the low-rise buildings, mid-century modern-style furniture nods to the home’s architectural references, but the interior is updated with the addition of modern art.

Learn more about Preston Hollow ›

Barbican apartment designed by John Pawson
Photo is of Gilbert McCarragher

Barbican apartment, UK, by John Pawson

British architect John Pawson created this apartment in London’s Barbican building using his signature minimalist aesthetic.

The apartment, which overlooks central London and has a small concrete balcony, has been kept almost empty with just a smattering of furniture and light wooden surfaces. Three works of art, a Buddha sculpture and a grandfather clock are the only decorative elements in the room.

Find out more about the Barbican Apartment ›

This is the latest in our lookbook series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see past lookbooks featuring granite kitchens, terrazzo dining areas and atriums that spice up living spaces.

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