When Did Modern Architecture Actually Begin? | ARTiculations

When Did Modern Architecture Actually Begin? | ARTiculations


I remember in school, we were taught that
Modern Architecture began around the early 1920s, with the rise of prominent architects
such as Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier. And in a way, the image of their building
styles are probably what most people associate with Modern Architecture, sleek geometric
boxes of mostly glass and steel. So, for many years I took this as fact. However, the more I thought about it, the
more this seemed questionable. Ongoing developments in technological innovation,
changing attitudes of society, and the shifting of architectural theories were gradual process
that didn’t always coincide with each other. So when did Modern Architecture actually begin? Modernity is a complicated term to define
of course whether in architecture, art, literature, or philosophy. However in architecture, many attribute the
earliest beginnings of “modernization” to the industrial revolution, which first
took place in Britain from the mid-1700s to mid 1800s The development of large scale iron production
resulted in a large amount of iron making their way into building by the late 1700s,
which resulted in more efficient structural elements, wider beam spans, better lateral
stability as well as less fire-hazardous structures due to metal being non-combustible. But of course, while buildings during this
time used technologically advanced materials for practical reasons, they still “looked”
like traditional buildings, such as being cladded in traditional masonry and adhering
to classical proportions and visual styles. The building that is commonly accepted by
many to be the first example of “modern architecture” is the “The Crystal Palace”,
which was a 990,000 sqft building that hosted London’s legendary Great Exhibition of 1851. It was almost entirely made of slender cast
iron frames that sustained large sheets of plate glass. By the 1830s, technologies of the industrial
revolution made it possible for windows to be made significantly larger than ever before. However, what made the Crystal Palace revolutionary
was not only that it was tall, light and open, but it also seemed to defy conventional structural
expectations. Prior to this, all buildings were expected
to have a solid and sturdy base, with architectural elements getting progressively lighter as
it went up the building. This was not only true physically, but also
aesthetically. Classical architectural principals emphasized
this hierarchy of visual elements. To design a building that “looked” top
heavy not only seem to defy the laws of physics but also defied long-held aesthetic principals
of western architecture. The Home Insurance Building in Chicago, completed
in 1885, is often credited as the world’s first “Skyscraper.” Many construction projects in Chicago during
this time opted to use metal framing as opposed to timber due to the fact that most of Chicago
was destroyed during the Great Chicago fire of 1871. The Home Insurance Building became the first
tall building to be entirely supported by a structural steel frame. Steel is even stronger and more light weight
than iron, which not only meant buildings could be much taller, but window openings
could also be much larger, which is especially important at the ground level where retail
shopfronts are typically located. These early skyscrapers paved the way for modern
office towers and retail buildings. So why are we generally taught that Modern
Architecture didn’t begin until the early 20th century? Well it comes down to philosophy and theory. Even though new, revolutionary materials and
technologies were used in construction throughout the 1800s and buildings were starting to divert
away from classical aesthetics, most of those design decisions were made for practical and
economic reasons. It took until the turn of the 20th century
for the elements of modern architecture to be rationalized and standardized into a set
of formal principals. In 1896, American architect Louis Sullivan
published an essay titled “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered” this is the essay where he coined the phrase “form follows function” which would go on to influence
generations of architects and designers. In 1919, Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus
School in Weimar, Germany. Bauhaus teachings asserted that architectural
form should be simplified to the bare essentials of function, and that a building should not
bear any ornamentation that does not follow the structure or purpose of the building. In 1920, Swiss architect Le Corbusier co-founded
a journal called L’Esprit Nouveau which advocated the idea that architectural design
should be divorced from historical references and associations. He also introduced urban planning theories
arguing that residential and commercial amenities should be zoned entirely separate from one
another. As you’ve probably noticed, these concepts
were pretty radical and while there were significant groups of architects and designers championing
these ideas around the world as early as the 1920s and 30s, most of the world was not ready
to get on board. Thus, there are some who argue that Modern
Architecture didn’t really begin until the 1950s. In the aftermath of WWII, massive reconstruction
projects took place all over the world, and due to the unprecedented scale of devastation
that occurred, there was a demand for economic construction processes and efficient urban
planning methods like never before. Thus, many public housing projects across
the world implemented modernist construction and planning strategies, but Modern concepts
of sleek minimalism and purity of form were also embraced by Capitalists and wealthy elites,
especially in America. Shiny, glass towers would pop up left, right
and centre across cities’ skylines throughout most of the 1950s and 60s. Thus, from the perspective of the masses,
the 1950s was really when Modern Architecture began to shape the lives of everyday people. Of course, the theories proposed by Modernist
would go on to be heavily criticized and in some cases entirely rejected by other architectural
designers, as well as the masses. Many sub-movements and diverging architectural
styles would later emerge as a response. But, those are topics for another time. So when did Modern Architecture actually begin? Well, what do you think? Do you think it starts with the departure
from classical conventions? The first published paper theorizing modern
practice? The founding of a school? Or the spread of its ideas to the masses? Let me know in the comments. Hey friends, thanks so much for watching. This video is obviously a very brief overview
of modern architecture so I’ve put lots of links to sources and further reading in
the description below. If you’re interested in watching more videos
like this, then here are a couple of my suggestions. Ok, bye for now! This video is obviously a very brief overview
of modern architecture so I’ve put – *cough cough* -oh f**k

100 Comments

  • B l a c k P a n d a says:

    <3 awesome video

  • aldodeleeuw says:

    Great episode. Just commenting to let you know I don't think the outtake did much for the vid, coughing isn't really outtake-material. Sorry. 🙁

  • ARTiculations says:

    To learn more about the Crystal Palace, please check out my friend Amor Sciendi's awesome video about it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNUrMS4N_cM

  • Willem van de Beek says:

    Bless you! ^_^

  • Yuiz says:

    id think that the widespread use of a style would be the only way to say something has truly begun, but thats hard to pin down with any specificty, so id think for any offical definition the paper or school should be cited. just my 2 cents on a really cool vid

  • Jarrod Baniqued says:

    Very good video! I love the touches on urban planning. I foresee an epic collab with City Beautiful sometime in the future!

  • Max says:

    ever thought of a video on art deco or "mayan revival" architecture?

  • Lys says:

    I really love your videos, they give such a great overview over various topics and make me think about the world around me differently. Thank you for the work you put it. You always manage to make the videos interesting, so even though I never was particularly interested in modernism I know I will be after watching the video! // Update: I am now!

  • Carlos Romaní Kaoss says:

    Nice video, and very interesting.

    Just one comment: iron and steel structures are actually less fire resistant than timber, paradoxically. Iron is not combustible, but looses strenght with temperature and is a very good thermal conductor. Which means that in a fire, iron structures will colapse quickly.

    Timber structures burn from outside to inside, the outside layer carbonizes and carbonization progreses towards the core, but it takes longer to colapse than bare iron. Construction codes allow timber structures to be "naked" while metal structures us be painted with fire-resistant paint or encased in concrete .

    The Crystal Palace, for example, was destroyed in a fire.

  • Habib says:

    Great video Betty! Thank you!! FYI "L'Esprit" in "L'Esprit Nouveau" is pronounced without the "t" as in "lespree" 😉

  • pollie says:

    Intresting video 🙂
    But there's a lot of debate about the use of the word "modern" and if it's the same as "modernism"

    For example: the spanish word "modernismo" is used for the art-nouveaus-like architecture of Gaudi, something we don't really associate with modernism.

    There's a lot to be said about this subject 😉 I would love to hear you talk more about it.

  • 10 Hawell says:

    I hate modernist architecture. Architecture builds a human being – if it looks bad, people will be bad too. Now all the modernist districts in my country have turned gray and have become slums. Warsaw looks disgusting, but fortunately modernist architecture is stripped down, and in its place not much better but at least classically urbanized, buildings are put up.

  • qwaqwa1960 says:

    Seeing images of the crystal palace invariably brings me to tears. I just want to be there! Amazing.

  • Marión Aros says:

    i'm so glad i found this channel

  • Joseph Groves says:

    Saying "the masses" like that just conjures the association of "oh the plebians getting all the wrong ideas". 🙂
    I doubt that's how you meant it but

  • christian devey says:

    Describing an era or style as “modern” is (in my opinion) a bad idea because in the far future when things have changed you would be referring to the far past as “modern”

  • Joao Vitor says:

    Amazing video! Congratulations from Brazil.

  • Punya Juneja says:

    We're only seeing the architectural styles from the perspective of the first world countries. Modern architecture actually began at different times for different countries.
    Also, the nomenclature might be misleading in the future so we need to rename it.

  • M. Alan Thomas II says:

    I would say that architectural movements are a bit like genres in fiction and the like; they exist once people begin deliberately making examples of them. E.g., for fantasy literature, there's a point near the end of the 19th century when people started realizing that there was a distinct genre forming that was separate from (if directly linked to) stories that merely had elements of "the fantastic" in them. Once people set out to start writing in that nascent genre, those new writings were fantasy.

    This does produce a sort of chicken-and-egg problem, but transition periods are a thing and we shouldn't expect clear and unambiguous lines. In the architectural case, I'd say that the work prior to the essay you referenced was proto-Modern, driven by reasons other than imitating a discrete movement, but the essay allowed those that came after it to work deliberately in that new mode.

  • quince yammir says:

    you should start a patreon!

  • Greg Sherman says:

    Huh, I've only seen a few of these in Cities: Skylines.

  • Officer_Baitlyn says:

    this channel is filled with stuff i didnt know much about before
    glad i found it, appreciate the uploads

  • Luu says:

    this is such a nice and niche channel, I love every single one of your videos and i hope it'll grow bigger in the future!!

  • Tim Schulz says:

    Bauhaus was the start of modern architecture.

  • King Zero says:

    i think industrial revolution started a new era of architecture (modern architecture).
    your channel is sooooo good. love it <3

  • kochenlover says:

    Thank you for the video.
    One note: Maybe you should alternate you emphasis when starting a new paragraph. You always start to emphasize the first 3 words in a paragraph and the next sentences are much more balanced and follow a natural emphasize flow.
    I hope you understand what I mean.
    Keep up the interesting videos 🙂

  • antipyrene says:

    Modern architecture is not the same thing as Modernism
    Modernism is defined style that started w/ the Bauhaus
    Modern architecture can mean whatever you define it as

  • britshell says:

    It started the day good taste died.

  • czarnaowca81 says:

    Enjoyed it, as always. I'd pinpoint the beginning to the very moment Andrzej place an idea of a new style became a publicly used space, i.e. showroom, offices or housing.

  • Ram says:

    Would you make hundreds and hundreds of videos for us? Oh thanks.

  • seahawk124 says:

    Q) When did the change start?
    A) Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and Frank Lloyd Wright.

    The architecture of the Western world at the turn of the century – 1895 to 1905 – was at best a collection of eclectic styles, with hardly one relating in any way or sense to the ideal of the nation in which it was built. This was an era which regarded architecture as an application of fashions and styles, unrelated to structural or construction techniques. Yet it was also a time going revolutionary change. New materials were emerging, and new methods of handling older ones were being developed at the same time. But the architecture being designed reflected little if anything of those new methods and materials.

    The Chicago Fair of 1893, was a supreme case in point. On the one hand, Louis Sullivan claimed that the Exposition "put American architecture behind for at least 50 years", while on the other hand Daniel Burnham, lauded the fair as an example of what the Americans would want to build. He told Wright, when urging him to go to the Beaux-Arts in Paris, "The Fair, Frank, is going to have a great influence in our country. The American people have seen the Classics on a grand scale for the first time". The young architect, just starting his own practice with the William Winslow house, replied, "No, there is Louis Sullivan… And if John Root were alive I don't believe he would feel that way about it. Richardson I am sure never would."

    Burnham further argued, "Frank, the Fair should have shown you that Sullivan and Richardson are well enough in their way, but their way won't prevail – architecture is going the other way. And it was at the time. It is ironical to realise that the date of that architectural disaster of 1893 coincides with the date at which Frank Lloyd Wright opened his private architectural practice, after nearly seven years spent in the office of Adler and Sullivan, in Chicago.

  • Nathan Ventura says:

    The thumbnail of the Guaranty building in Buffalo caught my attention.

  • Amor Sciendi says:

    Love this. Linking architecture to other developments in the 20th century is so interesting. I love the brief analysis of the Bauhaus as well. If you ever want to get together for a collaboration to expand on it, I feel like I need an excuse to immerse myself more in that philosopher.

    To answer the question at the end of the video: I'll go with "the spread of its ideas" or at least the spread of a recognized visual aesthetic, even if it there are diverse pieces of that aesthetic that don't necessarily fit with each other.

  • Sylvain Ménard says:

    Great video as always. To answer your question I would say yes because it's convenient to date stuff. But, as almost anything, if you want to be more precise, it has to be contextualize with the before and the after like you just did!

  • Amin Biglary says:

    fantastic content quality. great job thank you!

  • Simonkram says:

    Wait. Hold on. So you start the video by basically insinuating that what you have been taught that modern architecture started in the 1920's is false, then in the ending you ask the audience who tune in to get som answers when it began instead of concluding when it began.
    I know this a youtube tactic most you tubers use, but please. Just make a nice quality video without throwing your teachers under the bus and you pretending you want to know what people think.

  • Harvey Read says:

    1922 – Schindler House

  • flymyhighg says:

    good video. Pls fix the voice though, its really annoying that at each beginning of a sentence the voice is so pitched up 😡

  • Ayesha H says:

    Would love to see a video on post modern architecture

  • puppetgutTV says:

    Fascinating video; Thank you for sharing!
    One point of contention, however (somewhat tangential): Modern engineered wood is catching up with steel in terms of structural possibilities and fire resistance, AND it is a much greener material because it actually sequesters carbon from the atmosphere.

  • Marcio Moerbeck says:

    The birth of the International style as coined by Philip Johnson really defined and amalgamated the concept of architecture as utilitarian. The construction of brasilia cemented its most vanguardist ideas and post modernism and brutalism diverged from the purity of ideas and philosophy from people like mies, le corbusier, and gropius. What preceded it was not modern architecture. It was the early adoption of modern building methods and and experimenting with how they would of the would. Loved the video

  • Leptospirosi says:

    Modern architecture started with the beginning from XX century: Sullivan and Loos foresaw the need for something new, but it wasn't until Berlage, Beherens, Perret and, to a minor extent Wright, founded the basis for what was formalized by Gropius and Le Corbusier. It's consequential to the fact the these later architects all worked as young apprentices at for the former architects. Gropius and Van De Rohe for Beherens and Le Corbusier for Perret. What in Architecture defines the begin of Modernism is the advent of armored concrete. As for what we define as "modern movement", the new architecture is defined by the duopole Gropius-LeCorbusier, because of the influence they had on every other with the writings and teachings: they were often conflicting with each other and yet they formalized what "Modernism" is

  • Christian Eduardo says:

    This channel is everything! (And a bag of cookies)

  • Vladimir Pavlović says:

    I'm so happy I subbed to your channel. Love this vid, and your content in general. xoxo

  • Oliver Bollmann says:

    Thought to self "Crystal Palace?" And lo! There it is. 🙂 Also was thinking about Adolf Loos and the publication of Ornament and Crime. Also Louis Sullivan is interesting, as even though it was high-rises his work often incorporated the classical tripartite idea of base, shaft, and entablature. It is always hard to pin down, of course, since it's a continuum of philosophical thought (which to me is more the oomph behind a "movement" than a particular aesthetic), but it does seem to have gelled and gained a tipping point around the early part of the 20th century. As an imaginary line in the sand, it's as good a time as any. 🙂

  • dynaco says:

    No Frank Lloyd Wright? He is the essential link between the Chicago School and the early 20th century European modernists..

  • retak says:

    What architectural style/wave uses bricks and concrete? without paint or anything on

  • William Woody says:

    First building with an electric elevator.Sullivan bldng.,St.Louis.
    .

  • Lukas Novotny says:

    Well done, comprehensive and yet short!

  • Sebastian Atkinstall says:

    But, is any of it beautiful?

  • Sem Koops says:

    I'm just here for the cute girl at the end

  • Benjamin Shekelsteingoldberg says:

    Ban modern architecture

  • Maria says:

    Interesting video. I couldn't help notice how your voice quite often starts at a high pitch at the beginning of a sentence gradually lowering the tone and speed as you speak. You do it so often that it was a little distracting and made me laugh.

  • Maria says:

    I watched the film, Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect recently. It's definitely worth adding on your list of films to watch.

  • Yuri Radavchuk says:

    There was this cultural shift parallel to the Industrial Revolution called Modernism.

    By saying Modern, the scholars generally mean related to modernism not contemporary or non-outdated.

  • kenkeep69 says:

    Even though it was a fantasy design, I like to think of Etienne Louis Boulee's Cenotaph for Newton as one of the precursors to modernist design.

  • mansoor tanweer says:

    Thought you might like this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlDBgOkxgS8

  • Matthew Hemmings says:

    Maybe it doesn't begin, it is a process that can only be analysed with hindsight.

  • Devin du Plessis says:

    Love your vids 😁. In my opinion Modernism and modernity are separate terms. Modernity holds the prefabricated era, the Art Deco, Modernism, International Style etc.

    But I think Corb defined modernism with the founding of the CIAM and defining the 5 points. There were some overlaps but van der Rohe is of the International Style which Corb rejected.

    Modernism does not mean modernity though. As an example Sullivan’s credo doesn’t really apply to modernism. A flat roof is not form following function- some of Corbs rooves leaked. But it looks modern, making it an aesthetic choice. Corb also rejected steel in favour of concrete even though steel does some jobs better than concrete. All this adds up to Modernism being an architectural style more than a functionalist philosophy which it pretended to be to some degree.

    However modernity should probably start with the Crystal palace to architects and perhaps only in the 50’s, as you highlighted, for the masses. I’ve never thought of those last 2 points to be honest.

  • SECONDQUEST says:

    Wow amazingly informative video! I've never seen your channel before now! Subbed and bell'd!

  • pedro lopes says:

    Modernism is an umbrella concept, in some ways is actually contradictory. instead you should divided into categories, such as brutalism (which is an architecture style that I hate), minimalism-Bauhaus, glass-cubism architecture.

  • Pflunze says:

    Nice video, thanky you 🙂
    One small mistake i noticed: At 1:00 it should really say the industrial revolution took place from the mid 18th to the mid 19th century.

  • Sean Smylie says:

    Also, check out Jonathan Meades superb documentary Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodymindedness. It can be found on Vimeo and sometimes BBC iPlayer.

  • Sam'sWorld says:

    It started with the awfull boxy orwellian monstrosities that destroyed the beauty of our cities.
    Form follows funktion and no dekoration?That is absolutely hidious! Take a walk in the modernist quater of your city and then in the traditional one.In wich one you will feel better?

  • Cody Marshall says:

    6:00 Right in my hometown New Orleans

  • Khalil Khawer says:

    Amazing clip.
    I am an artist and am really inspired by this clip. I normally make pencil sketches if city architecturre

  • Shriranga Wirth says:

    I was missing a mention of the British Arts and Crafts movement and subsequent international reactions like Art Nouveau, Jugendstil and Wiener Werkstätte etc., as well as Gottfried Semper's highly influential theoretical work.

  • latest music143 says:

    https://youtu.be/ure2Aa3r0Sk
    Please watch this video

  • Jayden Washer says:

    ur awesome, ur one of the first channels that I've seen cite sources

  • Lindon Lamont says:

    I don't know when modern architecture began. I just know that it's ugly.

  • Jarrod Baniqued says:

    I’d say the time when the Chicago School began to turn to facades dominated by glass curtain walls would be when Modernism truly began. Halfway between the first skyscraper in 1885 and the Sullivan essay in 1896. The Gage Group buildings, in my opinion, were the culmination of the School.

  • Jossie Marie Lustre says:

    Modern architecture from china.

  • David J Gill says:

    When did modern architecture come to dominate new building construction? In the United States, this happened at the end of World Warr II and it was a top-down implementation supported by a consensus of influential individuals mostly from the academic world. Most notably, Walter Gropius came to Harvard and built the School of Environmental Design staffed entirely by committed modernists. Gropius enforced a requirement that all student work would be modernist in style and students who did not conform were purged. This sort of absolutist regime of modernism came to dominate every school of architecture in the nation as Gropius protegees filled teaching positions in American universities. The emergence of modernism as a dominant force in the post-war building boom can be seen by reviewing architectural journals from the period like Architectural Record, Architectural Forum, etc.

  • Matt Wolf says:

    I hate cheap looking apartment buildings like "The Projects" in New York for example and modern subdivisions with many literally identical houses are boring but I love modern "minimal" architecture that's currently used a lot. I also like historical architecture but honestly a lot of that can look pretty similar to other buildings built back then to. Trends just come and go. Frank Lloyd Wright designed a lot of stuff I like, I consider the 50's to be when modern architecture really took off.

  • J S says:

    London has so many ugly buildings. Don't understand it. Barbican is really interesting.

  • Dynamite Dan says:

    Did you know? The modern skyline that we see today were actually inspired by a Native Filipino housing style. William Le Baron Jenney, the pioneer of the modern skycraper, went to the Philippines and was impressed and fascinated by indigenous method of construction of Bahay Kubo. This filipino architecture influences Jenney to design a ten storey building which is the "Home Insurance Company Building" in Chicago and the very first skycraper in history. The inspiration for the steel skyscraper as coming from vernacular Philippine architecture, where wooden framed construction gave Jenney the idea. In addition Jenny was really intrigued how Bahay Kubo made for it could survive the smashing effect of tropical storms. When he finally gained the information with the help of few locals in the Philippines, he went back and designed HIC, built it, until many skycrapers established and we enjoyed even today!

  • Beth Greenwood says:

    I'm just waiting for architects to realise that people want beautiful, ornamented, human scale buildings. European holidays to Rome etc are popular for a reason!

  • Jimmie Gray says:

    my architecture theory book started with an excerpt of Gottfried Semper, but my fathers (1970's ish) placed the opening excerpt with Henry David Thoreau. not really a point here, i just thought it was cool.

  • Jimmie Gray says:

    how did you not mention Adolf loos or Gottfried Semper?

  • IronBat says:

    It's the tree that matters not the seed, the idea doesn't matter until its realised, until then it can be rejected or changed.

  • hugo kennedy says:

    All this name dropping and not a mention of Frank lloyd Wright, really?

  • Skylar LacyBookworm says:

    I think it started in the late 19th century, like many other aspects of modern society.

  • Brahadon ramirez says:

    The Masses?????

  • pigtailsboy says:

    Dear god is that the thing in New Orleans? That thing stands out so oddly where it is.

  • Zach P says:

    Modern architecture is a way to build affordable buildings.

  • La-Z-Bri says:

    When the Pyramids were still new, they were Modern.
    The Pyramids could be considered an example of Minimalism / Brutalism.

  • huajie666 liu says:

    Modern architecture in my eyes are departure from classical reference. Besides, materials are different? Glass, concrete steel, insulation material, living facilities, such as hot water, air conditioners, internet, natural gas. I like it very much, but i think what is more important is how people use it. Living in city like NY is not good because living downbelow feels like living in a prison. Walking in the streets can have pressure because everything is high. I think city planners can notice that people living quality is more important. Trees, humidity, how high the building, how dense the block, what color, what material, river element, noise control element, walkability, easy access, bike-friendly, etc…

  • Shadow Bringer says:

    I really dont enjoy modern architecture because how much it ruined my country's historical architecture. I live in Turkey btw. Ever since 1950s the beautiful landscape and architecture of anatolia was ruined by concrete, ugly buildings.

  • Grant Gauchier says:

    The emperor has no clothes.

  • GershwinDecoBeck says:

    A correction: Home Insurance used primarily iron, but did include steel. If I recall from Arch History–it was the top levels of the building that used steel. Good video, and a nice refresher coming out of school.

  • JP says:

    Modernism made every single big Brazilian city be ugly as f***

  • Samuli Glöersen says:

    Modern architecture began in antiquity. It is not break from the past. It is very much referencing it. Trying to find the essence of a classical building so much so that it scorns detail, ornamentation as well as any formal rules that obscure perception.

  • Ajithvishwakumar meenakshisundaram says:

    SO MESMERISING NEWS ABOUT HEARING THE ARCHITECTURE. I THINK THE ARCHITECTURE IS SLIGHTLY IMPOWERING NOW A DAYS ONLY. IN ANCIENT IT IS CIVIL ENGINEERING ONLY PEOPLE EASILY CONVEY FROM ONE ANOTHER

  • Cayly Chia says:

    Thank you so much for putting the names and dates for the images in your video. It's so helpful!

  • james c says:

    I am not an architect.  But architecture has long been an interest of mine.  For the most part, modern architecture is ugly & empty.  It is soulless.  Although they were finished only a year apart, the arte deco Chrysler Building is certainly more beautiful than the more modern Empire State building.  There were housing project built in New York City in an arte deco style back in the 1930's.  They are communities.  Usually the first, & sometimes second floors, are retail or office space.  The upper floors (3rd, 4th, & 5th) are always residential.  The buildings are not set back,  They line the street.  And all of them share a common backyard of lawns, trees, playgrounds, & parking lots.  On the other hand, housing projects which were built in a strictly modern style in the 1960's & '70's are stark & almost prison like.  They may house more people, because they are taller, but nobody really wants to live there.  The crime rate is usually higher than in the surrounding neighborhoods.  And they tend to be covered in graffiti & strewn with litter.  Not so in the older, arte deco style buildings.

  • Anna Maria Hultquist says:

    It begins with the new steel construction and engineering of such as a new material produced by mankind and developed into new bearing or hanging , stretching construction principles.

  • Jim Lingerfelt says:

    Totally love your series. Absorbing all of them. I just wish you would slow down the slide show. I want to read the captions. I don’t need graphics of the Chicago Fire for example. SLOW DOWN. I want to digest all you have to offer.

  • Aubeen Lopez says:

    Modern Architecture like art comes from the Soviet Union, period. Specifically from the 15 year period after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.

    Sure there were schools and individual architects here and there, but it was the newly formed Soviet government that embraced wholeheartedly and elevated on a qualitative level the burgeoning modern form factors in art and architecture (which themselves were inspired by the revolutionary social movements throughout the globe and Russia in particular at the turn of the 20th century).

    It was only in the Soviet Union up until 1932 with the Stalinist regime's embrace of socialist realism in all things art that modern architects in Russia and the world over could really see the art form flourish and hold on a massive national level.

    Basically all modern architects at the time, saw in the Soviet Union the actualization on a mass nationwide scale of all that hitherto modern architects had only dreamed or written about and which existed in isolated examples deemed exotic and eccentric by the bourgeoisie as a whole in their respective countries.

  • Jonas Thomi says:

    as an architect i have to say: fking good summary 😀

  • Lucio Plorutti Dormal says:

    – The Rise of the Modernists –

    Personally, I believe modern architectural concepts exist since long before. A poor person built without consideration of aesthetics, therefor "form followed function" long ago. The artistic need to impose scale and order to a building is always a plus, yet in many cases it ended up being the norm.

    The Chicago School of Architecture is the result of "americana", which began with Thomas Jefferson´s Federal Style, followed into Richardson´s Neo Romanical, and concluded with Louis Sullivan´s American Style. Sullivan was a schollar and theoretically has to be awarded as the intitiator of what would later come to be Frank Lloyd Wright´s turn into the twentieth century, followed by Kant and other american architects. Gropius and Mies Van der Rohe both recognized Wright´s greatness, and it was Mies whom decided to anchor in Chicago for what I like to call "The Second School of Architecture", better coined as the "International Style".

    Jean Jeanerette-Perret, better know to us all as LeCorbusier; is mainly responsible for creating a modern form and expression that was based on sociological and artistic concepts, interwoven with urban and ecological projections that half spawned into the mid twentieth century without much analysis and further development. LeCorbusier became sacred to many, and was demonized by others. Mies, on the other hand, is the patron saint of the modern skyscraper, the modernistic building type by excellence since it created a new scale and city, the American Modern City.

    So, in my opinion, I have to conclude that Modern Architecture began in Chicago, and twas the 1871 Great Chicago Fire that demonstrated what my native and late colleague coined as the best phrase up to date, "Architecture is an Act of Optimism (César Pelli)".

    Thanx for Reading

    – Lucio Plorutti Dormal –

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