Photo Diary of a San Diego Designer in Europe: Modernist Architecture

Feb 21, 2011

Main Entry: mod·ern·ist architecture
Pronunciation: ˈmä-dər-ˌnist ˈär-kə-ˌtek-chər
Function: noun
Definition: Modernist architecture emphasizes function. It attempts to provide for specific needs rather than imitate nature. The roots of Modernism may be found in the work of Berthold Luberkin (1901-1990), a Russian architect who settled in London and founded a group called Tecton. The Tecton architects believed in applying scientific, analytical methods to design. Their stark buildings ran counter to expectations and often seemed to defy gravity.

Modernist architecture can express a number of stylistic ideas, including Structuralism, Formalism, Bauhaus; The International Style, Desert Modernism, Mid-Century Modern, Brutalism and Minimalism.

Modernist architecture has these features:

  • Little or no ornamentation
  • Factory-made parts
  • Man-made materials such as metal and concrete
  • Emphasis on function
  • Rebellion against traditional styles


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