Post-war public architecture in Western welfare states was built to improve the lives of the population. All the same, there was, and probably still is, a substantial divergence of opinion between experts and the public on how stately building projects should look. The people who were supposed to benefit from contemporary public architecture expected traditional qualities such as ‘beauty’ and ‘dignity’ in official buildings. They did not find these in the new ideals of contemporary architects. They even felt offended by the state’s willingness to invest huge sums of money in ‘ugly’, grey buildings of repetitive design, built of unembellished concrete. The ideas of the so-called ‘new monumentality’ were in many ways suitable for public building projects, and we find those design ideals reflected in many buildings constructed in the decades following the Second World War. Paradoxically, the grand-scale, raw concrete architecture of late modernist monumentality tends to be especially disliked by the people whom it should serve. So – did the state ‘cast its pearls before swine’? Probably not, but still politicians and people in general did not always appreciate the qualities ‘hidden’ in the brutalist aesthetic language which was hard for them to understand in the same way as professionals did.