1950’s Modernism: A guide for the clueless.

What is characteristic of Modernist architecture?

  • 458300001_detailDo the major design features involve steel and glass?
  • Was the design machine-inspired? (does it look somewhat like a machine?)
  • Do the upholstery’s and fabrics look like those found at www.maharam.com?
  • Does the design lack unnecessary details? Does its form follow its function?
  • Does the design emphasize linear qualities? Are there a lot of horizontal and vertical lines?
  • So, when exactly did Modernism develop as an architectural style?
  • Modernism gained popularity after WWII and its influence is most exemplified by corporate buildings.

Who are some famous Modernist architects?

  • mies-van-der-rohe-04Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – German-American architect. “Skin and bones” architecture. His designs used plate and glass to emphasize open spaces.
  • Walter Gropius – German architect who couldn’t draw. His article “The Development of Industrial Buildings” influenced a lot of European modernists. His most famous contribution, however, is the Gropius door handle, as depicted in this article by Salvaged Grace: “Bauhaus”
  • Le Corbusier –French citizen, but born in Switzerland. His designs improved city-dwellings for lower-class people by stacking apartments on top of each other in a feature called “high design.”
  • Louis Sullivan – dubbed the creator of the modern skyscraper.

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