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Encyclopedia > Modern architecture

Modern architecture, not to be confused with 'contemporary architecture', is a term given to a number of building styles with similar characteristics, primarily the simplification of form and the elimination of ornament. The style was conceived early in the 20th century. Modern Architecture was adopted by many influential architects and architectural educators, however very few "Modern buildings" were built in the first half of the century. It gained popularity after the Second World War and became the dominant architectural style for institutional and corporate buildings for three decades. In architecture, ornament is decorative detail on buildings. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ...


The exact characteristics and origins of Modern architecture are still open to interpretation and debate.

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Origins

Some historians s

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ee the evolution of Modern architecture as a social matter, closely tied to the project of Modernity and thus the Enlightenment. The Modern style developed, in their opinion, as a result of social and political revolutions. Modernity is a term used to describe the condition of being modern. Since the term modern is used to describe a wide range of periods, modernity must be understood in its context. ... ...

Melnikov House near Arbat Street in Moscow by Konstantin Melnikov.
Melnikov House near Arbat Street in Moscow by Konstantin Melnikov.

Others see Modern architecture as primarily driven by technological and engineering developments, and it is true that the availability of new building materials such as iron, steel, concrete and glass drove the invention of new building techniques as part of the Industrial Revolution. In 1796, Shrewsbury mill owner Charles Bage first used his ‘fireproof’ design, which relied on cast iron and brick with flag stone floors. Such construction greatly strengthened the structure of mills, which enabled them to accommodate much bigger machines. Due to poor knowledge of iron's properties as a construction material, a number of early mills collapsed. It was not until the early 1830s that Eaton Hodgkinson introduced the section beam, leading to widespread use of iron construction, this kind of austere industrial architecture utterly transformed the landscape of northern Britain, leading to the description, "Dark satanic mills" of places like Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire. The Crystal Palace by Joseph Paxton at the Great Exhibition of 1851 was an early example of iron and glass construction; possibly the best example is the development of the tall steel skyscraper in Chicago around 1890 by William Le Baron Jenney and Louis Sullivan. Early structures to employ concrete as the chief means of architectural expression (rather than for purely utilitarian structure) include Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple, built in 1906 near Chicago, and Rudolf Steiner's Second Goetheanum, built from 1926 near Basel, Switzerland. Image File history File links Moskow_melnikow_house2. ... Image File history File links Moskow_melnikow_house2. ... One of the oldest street of Moscow. ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... One of buildings designed by Melnikov Konstantin Stepanovitch Melnikov (Russian Константин Степанович Мельников; July 22 (August 3) 1890, Moscow - November 28, 1974, Moscow) was a Russian architect and major figure member of the Constructivist avant-garde in the early 20th century. ... General Name, symbol, number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... For other uses, see Steel (disambiguation). ... This article is about the construction material. ... This article is about the material. ... The Industrial Revolution was a major shift of technological, socioeconomic, and cultural conditions that occurred in the late 18th century and early 19th century in some Western countries. ... Year 1796 (MDCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... , Shrewsbury (pronounced either or [1]) is the county town of Shropshire, West Midlands, England. ... Fireproof is Christian band Pillars second full length album. ... Eaton A. Hodgkinson (February 26, 1789 - June 18, 1861) was an English engineer, a pioneer of the application of mathematics to problems of structural design. ... This article is about the City of Manchester in England. ... Coat of Arms of South Yorkshire West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, that has a population of 2. ... For other uses, see Crystal Palace. ... Sir Joseph Paxton (1803–1865) was an English gardener and architect of The Crystal Palace. ... The Great Exhibition: Paxtons Crystal Palace enclosed full-grown trees in Hyde Park. ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... The Home Insurance Building in Chicago built in 1885 Leiter II Building, South State & East Congress Streets, Chicago, Cook County, IL William Le Baron Jenney (25 September 1832—14 June 1907) was an American architect and engineer who became known as the Father of the American skyscraper . ... Louis Henri Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) was an American architect, called the father of modernism. He is considered by many as the creator of the modern skyscraper, was an influential architect and critic of the Chicago School, and was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. ... Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was one of the worlds most prominent and influential architects. ... In 1905, after the original Unity Church burned down, the Unitarian congregation of Oak Park, Illinois turned to architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design them a new structure. ... 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Rudolf Steiner. ... The Goetheanum is a center for the anthroposophical movement in Dornach, Switzerland. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Basel (British English traditionally: Basle and more recently Basel , German: , French: , Italian: ) is Switzerlands third most populous city (166,563 inhabitants (2004); 690,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area stretching across the immediate cantonal and national boundaries made Basel Switzerlands second-largest urban area as of 2003). ...


Other historians regard Modernism as a matter of taste, a reaction against eclecticism and the lavish stylistic excesses of Victorian Era and Edwardian Art Nouveau. Eclecticism is a kind of mixed style in the fine arts, in which features are borrowed from various sources and styles. ... Queen Victoria (shown here on the morning of her accession to the Throne, 20 June 1837) gave her name to the historic era The Victorian era of the United Kingdom marked the height of the British Industrial Revolution and the apex of the British Empire. ... The Edwardian period or Edwardian era in the United Kingdom is the period 1901 to 1910, the reign of King Edward VII. It is sometimes extended to include the period to the start of World War I in 1914 or even the end of the war in 1918. ... Vitebsk Railway Station one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau architecture. ...


Whatever the cause, around 1900 a number of architects around the world began developing new architectural solutions to integrate traditional precedents (Gothic, for instance) with new technological possibilities. The work of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago, Victor Horta in Brussels, Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona, Otto Wagner in Vienna and Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow, among many others, can be seen as a common struggle between old and new. Äž: For the film, see: 1900 (film). ... Interior of Cologne Cathedral Gothic architecture is a style of architecture, particularly associated with cathedrals and other churches, which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. ... Louis Henri Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) was an American architect, called the father of modernism. He is considered by many as the creator of the modern skyscraper, was an influential architect and critic of the Chicago School, and was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. ... Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was one of the worlds most prominent and influential architects. ... Maison and Atelier Horta, designed in 1898, now houses the Horta Museum, dedicated to his work. ... Antoni Gaud i Cornet (more widely known in the English speaking world under the Spanish version of his first name, as Antonio Gaud , or, just simply, Gaudi), (25 June 1852–10 June 1926) was a Catalan architect famous for his unique designs expressing sculptural and individualistic qualities. ... Otto Wagner Otto Koloman Wagner (13 July 1841–11 April 1918) was an Austrian architect. ... Hill House, Helensburgh. ...


Modernism as dominant style

The 'Glass Palace' (1935) in the Netherlands by Frits Peutz, made purely of concrete, steel and glass

By the 1920s the most important figures in Modern architecture had established their reputations. The big three are commonly recognized as Le Corbusier in France, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius in Germany. Mies van der Rohe and Gropius were both directors of the Bauhaus, one of a number of European schools and associations concerned with reconciling craft tradition and industrial technology. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3934x5110, 332 KB)Photograph uploaded by DirkvdM The Glaspaleis on 1 June 1935, one day after the official opening. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3934x5110, 332 KB)Photograph uploaded by DirkvdM The Glaspaleis on 1 June 1935, one day after the official opening. ... The Glaspaleis as seen from the market square (Bongerd) The mezzanine and ground floor The pillars and ventilation system The Glaspaleis (in English: Glass Palace or Crystal Palace) is the name of former fashion house and department store Schunck in Heerlen, The Netherlands, built in 1935, which is now the... F.P.J. Peutz (April 7, 1896 - October 24, 1974) was a Dutch architect. ... The 1920s is a decade that is sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born architect and writer, who is famous for his contributions to what now is called Modern Architecture. ... Ludwig Mies van der Rohe born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies (March 27, 1886 – August 17, 1969) was a German architect. ... Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of Bauhaus. ... Typography by Herbert Bayer above the entrance to the workshop block of the Bauhaus, Dessau, 2005. ...


Frank Lloyd Wright's career parallels and influences the work of the European modernists, particularly via the Wasmuth Portfolio, but he refused to be categorized with them. Wright was a major influence on both Gropius and van der Rohe, however, as well as on the whole of organic architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was one of the worlds most prominent and influential architects. ... The Wasmuth portfolio (named after the German publisher), was one of Frank Lloyd Wrights first published works. ... Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright Organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world through design approaches so sympathetic and well integrated with its site that buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition. ...


In 1932 came the important MOMA exhibition, the International Exhibition of Modern Architecture, curated by Philip Johnson. Johnson and collaborator Henry-Russell Hitchcock drew together many distinct threads and trends, identified them as stylistically similar and having a common purpose, and consolidated them into the International Style. Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1932 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... General Electric GE90-115B fanblade, on display at MOMA. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. ... 1933 Portrait of Philip Johnson by Carl Van Vechten Philip Cortelyou Johnson (July 8, 1906 – January 25, 2005) was an influential American architect. ... Henry-Russell Hitchcock (1903-1987) was an American architectural historian and professor at Smith College. ... The Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart, Germany (1927) The Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart, Germany (1930) The International style was a major architectural trend of the 1920s and 1930s. ...


This was an important turning point. With World War II the important figures of the Bauhaus fled to the United States, to Chicago, to the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and to Black Mountain College. While Modern architectural design never became a dominant style in single-dwelling residential buildings, in institutional and commercial architecture Modernism became the pre-eminent, and in the schools (for leaders of the profession) the only acceptable, design solution from about 1932 to about 1984. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Typography by Herbert Bayer above the entrance to the workshop block of the Bauhaus, Dessau, 2005. ... The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is a graduate school at Harvard University offering degrees in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning and Design. ... This article is in need of attention. ...

Marina City (left) and IBM Plaza (right) in Chicago.
Marina City (left) and IBM Plaza (right) in Chicago.

Architects who worked in the international style wanted to break with architectural tradition and design simple, unornamented buildings. The most commonly used materials are glass for the facade, steel for exterior support, and concrete for the floors and interior supports; floor plans were functional and logical. The style became most evident in the design of skyscrapers. Perhaps its most famous manifestations include the United Nations headquarters (Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, Sir Howard Robertson), the Seagram Building (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), and Lever House (Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill), all in New York. A prominent residential example is the Lovell House (Richard Neutra) in Los Angeles. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 326 × 598 pixel Image in higher resolution (1580 × 2900 pixel, file size: 681 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Modern architecture User... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 326 × 598 pixel Image in higher resolution (1580 × 2900 pixel, file size: 681 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Modern architecture User... Marina City from across the river. ... IBM Plaza skyscraper in downtown Chicago, Illinois designed by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe . ... Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... The Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart, Germany (1927) The Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart, Germany (1930) The International style was a major architectural trend of the 1920s and 1930s. ... The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ... The Seagram Building is a skyscraper in New York City, located at 375 Park Avenue, between 52nd Street and 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan. ... Lever House, designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and located at 390 Park Avenue in New York City, is the quintessential and seminal glass box International Style skyscraper, and holds the distinction of being the first curtain wall in New York City. ... The architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) was formed in Chicago in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings; in 1939 they were joined by John Merrill. ... Lovell House or the Lovell Health house was a large modernist style house designed and built by Richard Neutra¸in 1929 on a site in Los Angeles, California for the physician Philip Lovell. ... Kaufman House, Palm Springs, California. ...


Detractors of the international style claim that its stark, uncompromisingly rectangular geometry is dehumanising. Le Corbusier once described buildings as "machines for living", but people are not machines and it was suggested that they do not want to live in machines. Even Philip Johnson admitted he was "bored with the box." Since the early 1980s many architects have deliberately sought to move away from rectilinear designs, towards more eclectic styles. During the middle of the century, some architects began experimenting in organic forms that they felt were more human and accessible. Mid-century modernism, or organic modernism, was very popular, due to its democratic and playful nature. Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen were two of the most prolific architects and designers in this movement, which has influenced contemporary modernism. Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto (February 3, 1898 — May 11, 1976) was a Finnish architect and designer, sometimes called the Father of Modernism in the Nordic countries. ... Saarinens Gateway Arch frames The Old Courthouse, which sits at the heart of the city of Saint Louis, near the rivers edge. ...


Although there is debate as to when and why the decline of the modern movement occurred, criticism of Modern architecture began in the 1960s on the grounds that it was universal, sterile, elitist and lacked meaning. Its approach had become ossified in a "style" that threatened to degenerate into a set of mannerisms. Siegfried Giedion in the 1961 introduction to his evolving text, Space, Time and Architecture (first written in 1941), could begin "At the moment a certain confusion exists in contemporary architecture, as in painting; a kind of pause, even a kind of exhaustion." At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a 1961 symposium discussed the question "Modern Architecture: Death or Metamorphosis?" In New York, the coup d'état appeared to materialize in controversy around the Pan Am Building that loomed over Grand Central Station, taking advantage of the modernist real estate concept of "air rights",[1] In criticism by Ada Louise Huxtable and Douglas Haskell it was seen to "sever" the Park Avenue streetscape and "tarnish" the reputations of its consortium of architects: Walter Gropius, Pietro Belluschi and the builders Emery Roth & Sons. The rise of postmodernism was attributed to disenchantment with Modern architecture. By the 1980s, postmodern architecture appeared triumphant over modernism, including the temple of the Light of the World, a futuristic design for its time Guadalajara Jalisco La Luz del Mundo Sede International; however, postmodern aesthetics lacked traction and by the mid-1990s, a neo-modern (or hypermodern) architecture had once again established international pre-eminence. As part of this revival, much of the criticism of the modernists has been revisited, refuted, and re-evaluated; and a modernistic idiom once again dominates in institutional and commercial contemporary practice, but must now compete with the revival of traditional architectural design in commercial and institutional architecture; residential design continues to be dominated by a traditional aesthetic. Sigfried Giedon (April 14, 1888, Prague – April 10, 1968, Zürich) was a Bohemia-born Swiss historian of architecture, and critic for architecture. ... The MetLife Building in New York City The MetLife Building, formerly the Pan Am Building, is located at 200 Park Avenue in New York City. ... The clock in the Main Concourse © 2004 Metropolitan Transportation Authority Grand Central Terminal (often still called Grand Central Station, although technically that is the name of the nearby post office) is a train station at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York, a borough of New York City, located... Air rights are a type of development right in real estate. ... Ada Louise Rene (Landman) Huxtable (b. ... Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of Bauhaus. ... Pietro Belluschi (August 18, 1899 - February 14, 1994) was an architect, a leader of the Modern Architecture movement, and responsible for the design of over one thousand buildings. ... Emery Roth (1871 – August 20, 1948) was an American architect who built many of the definitive New York City hotels and apartment buildings of the 1920s and 30s, incorporating Beaux-Arts and Art Deco details. ... 1000 de La Gauchetière, with ornamented and strongly defined top, middle and bottom. ... La Luz del Mundo La Luz del Mundo (The Light of the World) is a controversial religioius denomination with international headquarters in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. ...


Characteristics

Modern architecture is usually characterized by:

  • a rejection of historical styles as a source of architectural form (historicism)
  • an adoption of the principle that the materials and functional requirements determine the result
  • an adoption of the machine aesthetic
  • a rejection of ornament
  • a simplification of form and elimination of "unnecessary detail"
  • an adoption of expressed structure
  • Form follows function

Preserving Modern Architecture

Although relatively young, great works of Modern architecture may be lost because of demolition, neglect, or insensitive alterations. While awareness of the plight of endangered Modern buildings is growing, the threats continue. Non-profit groups such as the World Monuments Fund and Docomomo International are working to safeguard and document imperiled Modern architecture. In 2006, the World Monuments Fund launched Modernism at Risk, an advocacy and conservation program. The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic art and architecture worldwide through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training. ... Docomomo International (sometimes written as DoCoMoMo) is a non-profit organisation whose full title is International Working Party for Document and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement. ...


External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Modern movement
  • Lotta Living Bulletin Board for fans of Mid-Century Modern Architecture
  • Graphic and chronological vision of modern architecture through its houses.
  • Famous architects - Biographies of well-known architects, almost all of the Modern Movement.
  • Architecture and Modernism
  • World Monuments Fund Modernism at Risk

  Results from FactBites:
 
Modern architecture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1028 words)
Modern architecture is a broad term given to a number of building styles with similar characteristics, primarily the simplification of form and the elimination of ornament, that first arose around 1900.
Some historians see the evolution of modern architecture as a social matter, closely tied to the project of Modernity and hence to the Enlightenment, a result of social and political revolutions.
Others see modern architecture as primarily driven by technological and engineering developments, and it's plainly true that the availability of new materials such as iron, steel, concrete and glass drove the invention of new building techniques as part of the Industrial Revolution.
Architecture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1841 words)
In every usage, an architecture may be seen as a subjective mapping from a human perspective (that of the user in the case of abstract or physical artifacts) to the elements or components of some kind of structure or system, which preserves the relationships among the elements or components.
Vitruvius states: "Architecture is a science, arising out of many other sciences, and adorned with much and varied learning: by the help of which a judgement is formed of those works which are the result of other arts." He adds that an architect should be well versed in fields such as music and astronomy.
In many ancient civilisations such as the Egyptians' and Mesopotamians' architecture and urbanism reflected the constant engagement with the divine and the supernatural, while in other ancient cultures such as Iran architecture and urban planning was used to exemplify the power of the state.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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