Tag Archives: latin america

Architecture: San Jose Brutalism

The capital city of Costa Rica doesn’t have much of a high-rise skyline to speak of. But one unmissable architectural landmark on San Jose’s urban landscape is a massive brutalist skyscraper that’s home to the Instituto Nacional de Seguros.

Depending on your point of view, the building is either an ugly eyesore, an oddly ambitious and out of place gesture of modernist architecture, or it’s an architectural gem, a shining, living example of brutalism.

In any case, the structure is one of the largest in  San Jose and it’s architecturally significant. The brutalist style was an influential architectural  movement that came of age in the 1950s and was in vogue for a time in the  ’60s and ’70s, a time when many large cities in Latin America were experiencing a building boom. (See more examples of San Jose architecture here and here.)

(See another example of brutalist architecture on Global Graphica.)

san-jose-architecture-modern-post-brutalist-socialist-bauhaus-urban-costa-rica-capital-design-2

san-jose-architecture-modern-post-brutalist-socialist-bauhaus-urban-costa-rica-capital-design-3

san-jose-architecture-modern-post-brutalist-socialist-bauhaus-urban-costa-rica-capital-design-4

san-jose-architecture-modern-post-brutalist-socialist-bauhaus-urban-costa-rica-capital-design-5