What is modern architecture?
Modern architecture started as an expression that questioned many conventional building strategies and focused on the process of designing, rather than the building itself. It is often associated with the birth of the United States’ mid-20th century Bauhaus movement and a philosophy that was characterized by clean, white, modern and rational aesthetics. These ideas quickly spread internationally to become a hallmark of design in countries like Japan, Netherlands and Switzerland and even today continue to shape the architectural discourse.
What are some features of modern architecture?
This architectural movement tends to embrace technologies without losing sight of the human experience. This new aesthetic is most frequently characterized by its clean-lined and rational elements such as light, transparent or open floor plans; the use of new materials such as glass, steel or concrete; and the reduction or elimination of ornamentation, decorative details. By the end of the 20th century, the postmodern era also started to evolve, adding unexpected details, a “jagged” structure and a focus on the human body and scale.
Today, modern architecture is defined by open floor plans, rational and minimalist architecture and a return to the traditional aesthetic. However, its use, and design intent, are changing and becoming less formal, as well. Also, as cities become denser and people demand more functionality, space and creativity in an urban environment, the modern architecture is likely to move towards a more accommodating and integrated approach. This is evident in the use of more sustainable materials; the way it integrates interior and exterior spaces; and the way it responds to the way we live and work today (e.g., work in an office and stay at home).
Is the modern architecture an architectural trend?
Modern architecture in its pure form is not seen as an architectural trend. However, it is increasingly applied in practice and, as a result, has become popular among architects and designers alike – especially in cities that are interested in enhancing their ecological, social and cultural assets.
With their unique and engaging character, modern architecture is frequently used for large-scale architectural projects such as high-rise housing developments, office towers or schools. Because of this, it is now being incorporated in public projects, such as the Guggenheim Museum or the Brooklyn Bridge Park (USA), or even as a retroactive design for historic buildings, such as the New York State Supreme Court.
Why is modern architecture popular?
Modern architecture is still popular among architects and designers for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, it is easy to understand and adapt, allowing practitioners to see ways how new technologies and building features can be successfully incorporated into design. Moreover, its conceptual transparency and minimalist forms also make it accessible to people.
Second, modern architecture is often linked to the development of sustainability. Many of these concepts, such as the integration of the built environment with nature, are aligned with many aspects of sustainable design. As a result, it is often chosen when the application of sustainable design becomes more important.
What are some criticisms of modern architecture?
Although modern architecture is now less popular and less rigid than ever before, some elements from it are still criticized from a sustainability standpoint. For example, its lack of a clear and direct narrative is often criticized, especially since it tends to integrate many design elements such as a “white” or “clean” aesthetic that reduce the feeling of the nature and space. Moreover, a lack of attention given to the human experience can negatively impact the way we live and interact with elements.
While modern architecture is far from being a trend, and there are many other ways of designing or designing better, modernism still has many advantages in the way it looks, with its focus on transparency, simplicity, honesty and an emphasis on the process of designing, rather than the final building. Modern architecture is also still a great choice for people to live in, since it has a way of incorporating green features that can create both a beautiful space and a unique city address.
For example, many skyscrapers are now using green walls and greenery to minimize the impact of large buildings on the surrounding environment. In addition, many of the new, innovative buildings that are being designed or built worldwide include a modern architecture element – and the fact they are designed and built differently from traditional buildings and traditional solutions is an interesting phenomenon worth studying in details for years to come.