Types of Modern Architecture

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Functionalist buildings often lack decorations and utilize smooth lines, creating a streamlined, clean look.
Functionalist buildings often lack decorations and utilize smooth lines, creating a streamlined, clean look. (Image: modern architecture image by AGITA LEIMANE from Fotolia.com)

Modern architecture, also referred to as neo-traditional architecture or functionalism, evolved in Western countries around the first World War. A common tenet of modern architecture is that form must follow function instead of disguise it. While the style never developed fully among residential structures, modern architecture in its many variants became popular with institutions, university and corporate buildings.

International Architecture Style

Emerging in the 1920s and 30s, the international style possessed three major principles: the focus of volume over mass, balance over symmetry and minimalism over ornamentation. The international style focuses on the stylistic and aesthetic properties of Modernism and came to be adopted by the modern movement as a whole.

Bauhaus Style

The international style was an off-shoot of the Bauhaus movement, which sought to apply the philosophies and ideals developed in modern architecture to other objects. It incorporated machines and production design as positive elements of the design process, rejecting precedent. This philosophy influenced modern architecture’s reaction against eclecticism, which threw together a number of elements from various art periods into the elaborate decorations of building.

Brutalist Architecture

Developed from modernist architecture, Brutalism is characterized by the hard, repetitive angles created in the building shapes. While the material associated the most with Brutalism is concrete, the style focuses on displaying the texture of any given material that makes up the building. The structural elements will also be exposed.

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