Modern Architecture: Know its Importance & Characteristics!

Architect / Content Writer

As the 20th century began, Architects felt necessary to find an architecture that expressed the spirit of the new age. This new modern architecture style had emerged from many Western countries in the decade after World War I.

Modern architecture started around the beginning of the 20th century based on the rational use of modern building materials and technology, the principles of functionalist planning, and the rejection of historical precedent and ornamentation. It was basically made of simple form without any ornamentation. All floor plans were functional and logical. Modern architecture is based on idea, which is created by lines, basic shapes, & forms. Thus, simple, plain, rectangular shapes, geometric forms & linear elements make the main characteristics of the modern architecture. This modern style became most evident in the design of Skyscrapers.

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The availability of new modern building materials led to the invention of new building techniques after the industrial revolution (1830–40). The most commonly used modern building materials were:

Modern architecture is an modern style of architecture that refers to a large group of similar buildings that emerged in many countries by the practice of many famous modern architects between the 1920s & 1950s.

The famous modern architects around the world who began developing new architectural solutions to integrate traditional architecture with new technological inventions were Le Corbusier in France, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe and Walter Gropius in Germany. Besides, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Oscar Niemeyer, Alvar Alto, etc among others are usually recognized for this movement.

Modern architecture first took off in Europe, & then made its way into the American style. Modern architecture continued to be the dominant modern style of architecture for institutional & corporate buildings in 1980s.

Characteristics of Modern Architecture:

01. Lack of Ornament:

Simple molding were being used to give way to clean aesthetic where materials meet in simple, well – executed joints.

02. Emphasis of Rectangular Forms and Horizontal and Vertical Lines:

Shapes of buildings are based on boxes. Materials are often used in good defined planes and vertical forms were used to juxtapose against the horizontal elements for give a dramatic effect.

03. Low, Horizontal Massing, Flat Roofs, Emphasis on Horizontal Planes and Broad Roof Overhangs: 

Flat roofs were used to give a more emphasis on horizontal mass. Many buildings of modern periods hug the ground and appear of ground, not in contrast to it.

04. Use of Modern Building Materials & Systems: 

Concrete blocks were used as a finished material. Steel columns are used in exposed applications, concrete floors were stained and exposed, and long span steel trusses permit open column free spaces.

Must Read: Basic Information of Truss less Roofing System

05. Use of Traditional Materials in New Ways: 

Bricks & stone work were simple and used in rectilinear masses and planes. Modern building materials like wood, brick & stone were used in simplified ways to reflecting modern aesthetic.

06. Emphasis on Honesty of Materials: 

In many cases, stained wood is used to express the texture and character of it. Stained wood is good to express natural character rather than the painted one.

07. Relationship between Interior Spaces and Sites: 

Large glass spaces are being used to bring the site of building into the building and take advantage of dramatic views and natural landscaping.

Also Read: Uses & Benefits of Glass

08. Emphasis on Open, Flowing Interior Spaces: 

Living, dining and kitchen spaces are designed together as a part of contiguous interior space. Living spaces are not defined by walls or hallways in most of cases.

09. Generous Use of Glass and Natural Light: 

Large glass windows from ceiling to floor is being used to introduced natural light deep into the interior and also provide dramatic views.

10. Use of Sun and Shading to Enhance Human Comfort:

Long overhangs and recessed openings provide shading to the home to keep it cool in summer. They are oriented to take advantage of nature’s forces and provide solar heating in winter.

This is how the modern architecture differs from other styles of architecture. The above given characteristics, in all the modern buildings constitute modern era of architecture.

Also Read:

3 Ways to Classify Hierarchy of Building in Architecture
Top 6 Famous Historical Buildings in India!

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