Have you ever wondered what makes modern architecture unique? Then we are glad you arrived here. The truth is you can look at modern architecture in different ways. Here we will dive deep into modern architecture characteristics and provide you with modern architecture examples.

Introduction to Modern Architecture

What is modernist architecture? It is using new innovative and construction technologies. These include reinforced concrete, glass, and steel. The primary purpose is that form should follow function and should embrace minimalism.

You find no ornaments in modernist architecture. The architecture structure was more dominant after World War II and taken from corporate and institutional building styles.

History of Modern Architecture

At the end of the 19th century, the modern architecture concept started. During this time, a revolution of engineering, building materials, and technology took place. Gradually the building construction industry started moving away from the traditional styles to invent something new and functional.

The first modern architecture style was using plate glass, reinforced concrete, and cast iron. The building became light in structure and taller. Due to a land shortage in the US, the 1st skyscraper appeared using fireproof steel frames with safer elevators invented by Elisha Otis.

The renowned building was constructed by William Le Baron Jenney in 1883, standing ten stories high, known as the Home Insurance Building. Louis Sullivan completed another monumental structure that arose in Chicago between 1904-1906.

However, the modernism design had the same Neo-Gothic, Beaux-Arts, and Neo-renaissance characteristics. Later Cass Gilbert completed The Woolworth Building in 1912 and became the tallest building until 1929. The Chrysler Building rose to the sky.

But What Led To The Rapid Rise of Modern Architecture?

First, industrial demands grew during the 2nd World War, resulting from a shortage of building materials. The lack of steel led to using new materials like aluminum. Secondly, the war buildings needed reconstruction. Construction businesses expanded prefabricated buildings for military and government use. Notable houses seen between 1947-1960 were the Dymaxion and Lustron Houses.

The government started funding substantial construction projects to cover housing shortages. These styles became prominent in other cities and suburbs where there was land available. Modern American architecture developed from the German Bauhaus Movement leaders when relocating there.

Characteristics of Modern Architecture

One of the most popular question asked is that what makes modern architecture unique? The principal modern architecture characteristics are as follow:

  • You lack ornament without elaborate trims or decorative moldings, leaving a clean and straightforward architecture design.
  • You notice prominent horizontal and vertical lines with rectangular forms and links like boxes or using a boxing base.
  • Noticeable low flat roofs are all created through horizontal massing. You notice a broad top protrude with horizontal planes. For this reason, your modern houses come with twisted one-story plans.
  • Modern materials and systems are prominent features. You notice exposed material applications such as steel columns with concrete blocks as the finishing touch. The concrete floors are exposed or stained with open spaces and comfortable heating systems.
  • Architects use traditional materials that are aesthetic using wood, stone, or bricks in simple ways.
  • There is more emphasis to express the natural beauty of using stained glass or wood. At the same time, the interior expands with glass to let in natural light and the landscaping.
  • The interior provides open spaces in the kitchen, living, and dining space. In contrast, shading or the sun enhances human comfort with extraordinary openings and solar energy.

What Makes Modern Architecture Unique? Its design

The Principles of Modern Architecture

Modern architecture principles are that form always follows function, and the materials used must not conceal the character or look. According to the form follows function principle, the focal point of the building needs to be the starting point of the design known as functionalism.

You see this in a structure created by the American architect Louis Sullivan. Even the materials used need to be in places not to conceal it. You see exposed concrete left unpainted or unpolished timber with the natural grain in place.

inside view of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Examples of Modern Architecture

Modern architecture examples that made history and are famous are:

  1. Devon House you find in Ada, Michigan
  2. Guggenheim Museum in New York
  3. Fallingwater Residence in Mill Run, Pennsylvania
  4. Chicago Marina Apartments, Illinois
  5. Isokon Building in London
  6. Cube House in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  7. Villa Savoye in Poissy, France

front-side view of villa savoye

What Makes Modern Architecture Unique?

Modern house architecture has something that everyone loves. Whether you love the rustic country, the modern architecture elements appeal to all. A modernist architect expresses himself or herself using simplicity while their view is clear regarding the structural elements.

Furthermore, modern architecture homes boast the actual structure with the material used compared to covering it up with ornaments. Lastly, a modern architecture house shows off the industrial structure materials used from glass, steel to wood. For this reason, it remains unique, avoiding added fluff, and as seen in the examples, all of them have unique designs.

One thing is sure the building is not dull and one-of-a-kind. You see its bold yet angular rooflines, vaulted ceilings, exposed structural elements, unusual linear lines shouting unique.  Have your thoughts been straithened by this article about what makes modern architecture unique? What do you think-feel free to let us know?


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