Brutalism x Agnes Audio Speaker

Brutalism, ah Brutalism. Designed by industrial designer Philipp Emrich, the Agnes audio speaker is a Brutalist design desk speaker that was inspired by the form of the distinctive Gallery St. Agnes located in Berlin, Germany. A former Church once designed by Werner Düttmann, what is now home to Johann König's innovative art gallery, is a building that is externally as pure a geometric shape as ever an architectural form will be. Formed of several distinctive volumes, a bell tower stands tall next to a cubic structure.

What is Brutalism Architecture?

Brutalism is an architectural style that emerged in the mid-20th century, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. It is characterised by its raw, unadorned, and often imposing appearance, with an emphasis on exposed concrete, geometric shapes, and a sense of massiveness. The name Brutalism is derived from the French term '"béton brut' which means 'raw concrete.' Key features of Brutalist architecture include:

  • Exposed Concrete: Brutalist buildings typically showcase raw concrete as the primary construction material. The concrete is often left unfinished or only lightly treated, exposing its texture and providing a sense of honesty in materiality.
  • Geometric Forms: Brutalist structures often feature bold, massive and imposing, geometric shapes, such as cubes, rectangles, and angular forms. These shapes contribute to the overall sense of monumentality and austerity associated with the style.
  • Minimal Ornamentation: Brutalist architecture tends to eschew decorative elements and embellishments, focusing instead on the pure expression of form and function. Any ornamentation is typically minimal or integrated into the overall structure in a functional manner.
  • Functionality: Brutalism often prioritises functionality and utilitarianism, with buildings designed to serve their intended purpose efficiently. This can result in spaces that are straightforward and pragmatic in their layout and design.
  • Rawness: The rough and unfinished appearance of raw concrete is central to the aesthetic of brutalist architecture. This rawness is often celebrated for its authenticity and honesty, as it reveals the inherent qualities of the construction material.

Brutalism has long been a polarising architectural style, eliciting both admiration and criticism. While many appreciate its boldness, honesty, and uncompromising expression, others find its starkness and imposing presence to be oppressive or austere. Nevertheless, brutalist architecture has left a significant mark on the built environment, with many iconic structures around the world exemplifying the style's distinctive characteristics.

The Philip Enrich Agnes Speaker

The Agnes Audio Speaker

As for the Agnes audio speaker, its form is characterised by Brutalism's minimalism. Featuring clean lines, geometric shapes and a balanced aesthetic, the speaker has a sleek and understated appearance with an emphasis placed on its functionality and simplicity. Its clear to see its design inspiration drawn from the Gallery St. Agnes, and exhibiting a distinctive form that combines elegance with a sense of architectural refinement, the Agnes audio speaker is certainly interesting.

The Agnes consists of two sections, a main speaker with the ability to distribute sound in a 360 degrees surround sound manner - the bell tower -, and a bass boom box that may be detached as and when required ~ what's wrong with bass? For portability opportunities, of course.

With the audio able to be streamed via AirPlay, Bluetooth, or via the USB-C connection in the front of the speaker, plus the unit offer electronic device charging capabilities, the Agnes sutio speaker certainly packs its punch. With just three knobs to its design, its lower-most one controls volume, above that are the controls for activating its 360 surround sound, and its bass boom box knob provides bass control. With the bell tower speaker section capable of offering the 360 distribution of sound, you may control the speaker to direct it's sounds from whichever direction as you desire.

We're sold.

The Philip Enrich Agnes Speaker

Project / Brand: Philipp Emrich
Photography: Philipp Emrich

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