Germany's Most Beautiful Ugly Buildings

Today, there is a love-hate relationship with these beautifully ugly buildings. In Germany, where brutalism has myriad examples, we have collated a guide to our must visit locations.

by Sarah Goodrum & Christina Hambi

Heroic, crazy and reliable structures define the architecture of the brutalism era. Known as the the last period in architecture where see is what you get, these fascinating structures can be easy to miss in the urban landscape but deserve a closer look.

St. Agnes Church, Berlin

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This church in the heart of Berlin’s trendy Kreuzberg neighbourhood was originally constructed in 1895, but was completely destroyed in an April 1945 air raid. It was rebuilt in 1967 by Werner Düttman in the Brutalist style and redesigned in 2015 by Brandlhubler + Emde.

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Bürgerhaus Sindlingen, Frankfurt

Haus Sindlingen Foto Jupp Falke

Designed by Frankfurt architect Günter Bock, this community centre has had a variety of purposes since its opening in 1963, including hosting the trial of Red Army Faction (RAF) member Astrid Proll in the early 1970s. It was refurbished and reopened in 1974 as a community centre. Today it’s a venue for a variety of cultural events and performances, from jazz to comedy.

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Atelierhaus Hermann Rosa, Munich

 

IMG 5132

This small studio building in central Munich is a gem of Brutalist design. Designed and built by the sculptor-architect Hermann Rosa himself from 1960 to 1968, this simple concrete structure has large walls of glass that give it a double sense of heavy bluntness and openness to the landscape. It makes a lovely setting for periodic art exhibitions.

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Kongress am Park, Augsburg 

 

Photo Alexander Wohlrab 2016

 

This cultural and events centre is a lively and dynamic example of Brutalist architecture. Designed by architect Max Spiedel, Kongress am Park was opened in 1972, renovated in the early 2000s and reopened in 2012.

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Neviges Pilgrimage Church of Mary, Velbert

maria konigin des friedens pilgrimage church Photo seierseier

Located 35km from Düsseldorf, this church, located in the Hardenberg hills in the Neviges area of the North Rhine-Westphalia city of Velbert, is part of a pilgrimage location dating back to the vision of a Franciscan Monk in the 17th century. The present-day church was designed by Gottfried Böhm and constructed between 1963 and 1968. Its interior spaces and stained glass windows are as striking as its unique rooflines, standing out dramatically in the landscape.

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For more inspiration on things to DO in Berlin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne; visit our Destinations pages.