Matouš Pudil, the creative force behind the successful Instagram page @prgbrut, talks to us about what first drew him to the Brutalist architectural style, its impact, and growing popularity. With an impressive following of 33.4k on Instagram, Matouš is not only an influential figure in the architectural community but also a writer for CAMP Praha, a multimedia gallery and centre for architecture and metropolitan planning.
What first drew you to an appreciation of Brutalist architecture? What led you to start your account?
“I grew up in the centre of Prague, all the time between very historic architecture. I slowly became bored by this and started enjoying trips to very different parts of the city, such as housing estates. It felt like a different world. Then I started to see this architecture popping up around social media, so in 2019, I decided to open this account fully focused on brutalism in Prague.”
Many people label Brutalist architecture as ugly or inhuman. Could you summarise your thoughts in response to this?
“Brutalism is different, and one indeed sometimes needs time to appreciate it. But its value is exactly in the difference—how it enriched our cities and made them more diverse. The buildings are often full of art, and every detail was thought through.”
Brutalism has been growing in popularity in recent years, in large part due to social media accounts such as yours. How did you know that this style of architecture would attract so many admirers and followers?
“When I was starting my account, there had already been a hugely popular Socialist modernism account. So I thought there might be some potential, especially as Prague is such a well-known city. I hoped people would enjoy seeing its different face. But I didn’t expect that much engagement.”
What kind of response or feedback have you received from your followers?
“The feedback has always been overly positive. Even in a way that people started to like brutalism thanks to my account. Sometimes there is some negative comment, but always regarding the architecture itself, not the account in general.”
How do you think the preservation and promotion of brutalist architecture in Prague can contribute to the city’s cultural heritage?
“Prague is one of the cities with the most diverse architecture; there’s something from every century and style. The diversity has to be preserved. Also, brutalist architecture was built in the socialist times; it’s a sad epoque, but we can’t forget it. Also, for Prague, it’s important to move tourists from the city centre and main highlights; promoting brutalism can do just that.”
Finally, are there any lesser-known or hidden gems of brutalist architecture in Prague that you would like to highlight?
“My beloved place is the Strahov tunnel control centre, amazing architecture and view. Then DBK department store with its globe like ventilation shafts is a bit forgotten. And concrete sculptures around Barrandov Bridge, they are now undergoing careful renovation.”
For more inspiration and insights into Brutalist architecture, be sure to check out Matouš Pudil’s Instagram page, @prgbrut. There, you can explore a curated collection of stunning photographs and learn more about the unique beauty and value of Brutalist architecture in Prague.