“The basics of modern architecture were derived from pathbreaking revolutions,
Inspiring minds to evolve techniques & materials to ensure different solutions.”

The period from late 1800’s to the present has been described as one of the most creative & productive times in the history of architecture. Architects have used new materials & new building methods to develop the first completely new styles in centuries.
The remarkable changes in architecture since the late 1800’s have emerged from the theories & works of some great architects.
Many masterpieces of modern architecture were designed or influenced by some major architects. These include Frank Lloyd Wright of the U.S.A, Walter Gropius & Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe of Germany, Le Corbusier of France, Charles R Mackintosh of Great Britain, Louis-i-Kahn of U.S.A.


The various sources & factors that are responsible for the development of completely distinct & creative architectural styles are:-
1.A need among the architects of the mid & late 1800’s to develop an architectural style that would reflect their time.
2.Architects wanted to break free from the ornamentation & highly decorative revival structures & instead stressed on building’s simple & spare designs.
3.Industrial revolution was also a major factor that led to the idea of modern architecture. It generated new problems, supplied new materials & suggested new forms.
4.Industrialization proved that architecture was more than just ornamentation, grandness & decoration. It had to cater to the basic requirements of the masses.
5.Industrialization transformed lifestyle in cities, led to the fulfillment of new building tasks- railway stations, suburban houses, skyscrapers.
6.With new building materials like R.C.C., steel & glass the construction became faster & was ideal for the buildings to be constructed.
7.Industrialization also triggered collapse of vernacular buildings. It also created new centre of economy & power.
8.It also implied the rejection of superficial imitations of past forms, & a more direct & honest portrayal of the contemporary world.
Architecture was purely based on practical utilities & the technical, structural & creative advances of modern era.

There were many developments in modern architecture with the passage of time. These were based on various philosophies promoted by the leading architects from time to time.
One of the first major architects to work the modern philosophy were Hedrick Petrus Berlage used an unusual red brick masterpiece, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (1903). Otto Wagner founded modern arch. In Austria in 1890’s. He designed structures with little ornamentation, flat roofs that projected beyond the walls. Josef Hoffmann designed a house called Palais Stoclet(1911) in Brussels, Belgium. The plain white walls, cubelike geometric outlines of the house made it one of the most advanced architectural works of the early 1900’s.

The major philosophies that define modern architecture are:
1)Arts & Crafts movement.
2)Skyscraper as symbol.
9) Rationalism.


*Founded in mid-1860 in England by William Morris.
*Creation of high quality designs for furniture, stained glass, textiles, & wall paper.
*Movement encouraged a new artistic freedom & spirit experimentation that played an important role in modern arch. In Europe.
*Indigenous materials & usages were to be translated to good use by the modern practitioner.
*Fusion of houses with gardens, use of pergolas, pathways, sunken gardens were main features of houses of this period.
*There was sharp interplay of wall planes & openings, silhouettes & surfaces as well as direct use of functional elements like chimneys, etc.
*Frank Lloyd Wright was the most influential architect of this period.
*Arts & Crafts movement had an important function by stressing the values of simplicity, honesty & necessity.

*Skyscraper was a part of a system which included railroads, & the closer suburbs.
*Chicago of the late 19th century demonstrated the fundamental forces & the typical components of the capitalist city in the age of steel & steam.
* A shift from the notion of mechanism to the idea of a tall building as a living organism whose weight, pressure, tension, resistance could be experienced physically.
*It was a white-collar building type, a direct expression of the division of labour between management & manufacturing.
*kyscrapers were derived out of the need of private buildings for trade & business such as warehouses, factories, & stock buildings etc.
*Due to the revolution & modernization American cities were divided into rectangular grids & blocks. This led to the structures that would relate to the geometry of the city as well as solve the residential problems.


*Ideas that required a practical justification for formal effects.
*Opened up a new language of abstraction & implied new ways in which nature’s lessons could be incorporated in architecture.
*Rationalism & R.C.C were two elements that triggered the heroic period of modern architecture.
*Main focus was on structure & function.
*Concrete was widely used as it was cheap, standard, fire proof, flexible, could be moulded to any shape.
*Grid plans & simple rectangular elevations of pleasing proportions were main features.
*There were repetition of elements & forms, rectangular cubic forms were greatly used.
*Le Corbusier evolved his idea of “Dom-ino” system that led the basis for future architectural & urban systems.

*Stressed on the design of “type forms” that included industrial design, building elements, or components of urban structure.
*In this ideology an artist had to function as a mediator between invention & standardization.
*The main features included recessing of wall piers, glazing, brick mouldings, etc.
*Walter Groupius was one of the chief architects. He accomadated the symbols of the mod. World .
*Futurism was a poetic movement that attacked traditionalism, championed an expression nourished by contemporary forces released by new industrial developments.
*It was in the favour of revolutionary change, dynamism, speed of all sorts and the exploitation of the machine.
*It pulled together a collection of progressivist attitudes, anti-traditional positions, & tendencies towards an abstract form.

*Visual & philosophical concerns with mechanization, moral yearnings for honesty, integrity, & simplicity; interpretations of new institutions & building types in industrial cities.
*It stressed on the fusion of the entire 3-d structure with a geometrical & spatial character discovered on the picture plane.
*Blending abstraction with fragments of observed reality, allowing space & form to merge with each other.
*Le Corbusier was the chief architect to work in this style.
*Main features were flat-roofed, simple rectangular structures made of R.C.C.
*Geometrical forms, rectilinear grids, & intersecting planes were also the part of this style.
*This style seemed to have a universal application from painting to typography.
*Cantilevered conc. Construction was effectively blended with shimmering & transparent effects of glazing.
*Schroder House a very good example pf this movement.

**Germany between 1910 & 1925.
*It includes works that are complex, jagged, & have a free flowing form.
*It also includes qualities like simplicity, rectangularity, & stasis.
*The chief architects of this movement were Michel de Klerk & Walter Groupius.
*The properties of steel & concrete were exploited effectively.
*The sharp forms, romantic silhouettes, a rich play of reflecting & transparent surfaces define this movement.
*Interlocking, interplay between density, weight & shadow, etc also define this period.
*Le Corbusier developed his “Five Points in New Architecture”.


*It consisted of buildings in which function was given priority & importance.
*It includes strip windows, flat roofs, grids of supports, cantilevered horizontal projections, metal railings & curved partitions.
*Le Corbusier’s “Five Points in New Architecture “ helped in the production of some masterpieces like Villa Savoye, Poisse.
*The functions could only be translated into the forms & spaces of arch. through the screen of the style.
*This was a style of symbolic forms that referred to the notions of functionalism.
*White plaster walls, plane surfaces were employed to convey a non-material quality, to suggest the abstraction of machine.
*This style provides a set of conventions, which in the compelling & profound work of art, come together in such a way that the conventionality is forgotten.
*The cruciform chrome columns, supply vertical accents of light, the polished marble & onyx surfaces, the glass planes etc also define this style.

Besides these philosophies, the leading architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Walter Groupius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Louis Sullivan, Alvar Aalto, Michel de Klerk etc. produced some of the finest works that have remained as symbols of Modernism.


debshelton said...

An enjoyable and interesting read, great overview on the birth of modern architecture. Thank you.

angelo h said...

Very cool modern property, and beautiful. Looks like an incredible place to be.

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