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Europe - U.S.A. 1920s - 1930s

 

 

 

International Style

Modern Design

 

Le Corbusier

Walter Gropius

Mies Van der Rohe

Richard Neutra

Philip Johnson

 

 

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International Style (Modernism)  

villa savoy international style pic from www.britannica.com

image source: www.britannica.com

barcelona mies van der rohe

image source: tk.files.storage.msn.com

barcelona interior pic from www.steelform.com

image source: www.steelform.com

 

Architectural style that developed in Europe and the United States in the 1920s and ’30s and became the dominant tendency in Western architecture during the middle decades of the 20th century.

The term International Style was first used in 1932 by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson in their essay entitled The International Style: Architecture Since 1922, which served as a catalog for an architectural exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art.

The most common characteristics of International Style buildings are rectilinear forms; light, taut plane surfaces that have been completely stripped of applied ornamentation and decoration; open interior spaces; and a visually weightless quality engendered by the use of cantilever construction. Glass and steel, in combination with usually less visible reinforced concrete, are the characteristic materials of construction.

The International Style was thus formed under the dictates that modern buildings’ form and appearance should naturally grow out of and express the potentialities of their materials and structural engineering. A harmony between artistic expression, function, and technology would thus be established in an austere and disciplined new architecture. Info source: www.britannica.com

       
Modern Design  

 

johnson glasshouse pic from www.treehugger.com

image source: www.treehugger.com

international style neutra kaufmann pic from www.apartmentetherapy.com

international stye interior

image source: www.apartmenttherapy.com

 

“Modern” designs of the 20th century are already starting to be considered classics. The recent beginning of a new millennium has contributed to a nostalgic re-assessment of the furniture styles we grew up with. Modernism and Retro, two overlapping but distinctive looks, are hugely popular categories in today’s home furnishings and interior design.

Modernism refers to highly refined, minimalist furniture that’s part and parcel of 20th century modern art and architecture.

Art Deco came to be known as “Moderne,” and it was this look that gradually led into what today we call Modern design. Modernism’s other great influence grew out of the minimalist design aesthetic known as International Style, which was taking root in Europe, most famously at Germany’s Bauhaus School of Art and Design. Like their Mission predecessors, the modernists were committed to integrity and utter simplicity in design: “less is more,” in the words of architect and designer Mies van der Rohe. But both Art Deco and Modern evolved via technologies and materials that fostered creative and innovative design ideas.Info source: www.furniture.com

       
Le Corbusier  

le corbusier pic from http://kostasvoyatzis.wordpress.com/2007/08/01/le-corbusier-at-nai/

image source: kostasvoyatzis.wordpress.com

le corbusier interior pic from http://www.retropolis.net/exposition/newspirit.html

image source: www.retropolis.net

le corbusier 5 points structure modern villa

image source: http://www.borxu.com/corbu/html/five_points.html

villa savoy lecorbusier

image source: www.ultimatehouse.tv

le corbusier rochamp church pic from www.bbc.co.uk

image source: www.bbc.co.uk

 

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (1887-1965) studied under Auguste Perret and absorbed the cultural and artistic life of the city.

Le Corbusier's early work was related to nature, but as his ideas matured, he developed the Maison-Domino, a basic building prototype for mass production with free-standing pillars and rigid floors. In 1917 he settled in Paris where he issued his book Vers une architecture [Towards a New Architecture], based on his earlier articles in L'Esprit Nouveau.

From 1922 Le Corbusier worked with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. During this time, Le Corbusier's ideas began to take physical form, mainly as houses which he created as "a machine for living in" and which incorporated his trademark five points of architecture.

Les 5 Points d' une architecture nouvelle, which Le Corbusier finally formulated in 1926 included (1) the pilotis elevating the mass off the ground, (2) the free plan, achieved through the separation of the load-bearing columns from the walls subdividing the space, (3) the free facade, the corollary of the free plan in the vertical plane, (4) the long horizontal sliding window and finally (5) the roof garden, restoring, supposedly, the area of ground covered by the house. Info source: www.geocities.com

During World War II, Le Corbusier produced little beyond some theories on his utopian ideals and on his modular building scale. In 1947, he started his Unite d'habitation. Although relieved with sculptural roof-lines and highly colored walls, these massive post-war dwelling blocks received justifiable criticism.

Le Corbusier's post-war buildings rejected his earlier industrial forms and utilized vernacular materials, brute concrete and articulated structure. Near the end of his career he worked on several projects in India, which utilized brutal materials and sculptural forms. In these buildings he readopted the recessed structural column, the expressive staircase, and the flat undecorated plane of his celebrated five points of architecture. Info source: architects.greatbuildings.com

       
Walter Gropius  

gropius international style pic from http://www.solarflarestudios.com/demosites/architecture/international.htm

image source: www.bc.edu

walter gropius house pic from dreamhome.blogs.nytimes.com

image source: dreamhome.blogs.nytimes.com

 

Walter Gropius (1883-1969). Studied at the Colleges of Technology of Berlin and Munich. Worked under the german architect Peter Behrens from 1907-10. He was influenced by the writings of Frank Lloyd Wright. Founded the Bauhaus (House of Building), one of the most influential architecture and design schools of the 20th century. The rise of National Socialsim and Adolf Hitler drove Gropius out of Germany. He first went to London, but eventually settled in Boston, where he taught at Harvard and MIT. Info source: www.bc.edu

The Bauhaus School in Germany played a role in creating and propagating the International Style of architecture. The primary driver behind the Bauhaus School was Walter Gropius, the founder of the school and the primary influence for the distinct style that the Bauhaus produced. He believed that the creation of a building was the highest of all forms of art because a building required the blending of the skills of the architect, artist, and craftsman into one. Info source: www.solarflarestudios.com

       
L.M. Van der Rohe  

mies pic from http://www.iit.edu/arch/about/history/images/mies.jpg

image source: dreamhome.blogs.nytimes.com

fansworth house by van der rohe pic from http://www.e-architect.co.uk/chicago/jpgs/farnsworth_house_gmad06_3.jpg

image source: www.e-architect.co.uk

mies farnsworth house interior

image source: www.floornature.com

 

Mies Van der Rohe, Ludwig (1886-1969), German-American architect, who was the leading and most influential exponent of the glass and steel architecture of the 20th-century International style.

Mies's style was characterized by its severe simplicity and the refinement of its exposed structural elements. Although not the first architect to work in this mode, he carried rationalism and functionalism to their ultimate stage of development. His famous dictum "less is more" crystallized the basic philosophy of mid-20th-century architecture. Rigidly geometrical and devoid of ornamentation, his buildings depended for their effect on subtlety of proportion, elegance of material (including marble, onyx, chrome, and travertine), and precision of details. Mies was director of the Bauhaus School of Design, the major center of 20th-century architectural modernism, from 1930 until its disbandment in 1933. Info source:www.germanheritage.com

The minimalism of all aspects of Mies's design can be inferred from this description. Similarly, the treatment of structure and space reflected his changed attitudes toward both in his American years. What remained of Europe was chiefly the asymmetry, most noticeable in the sliding terrace and the placement of the core, and Mies's use of materials.

He employed Roman travertine for all deck and floor areas. The primavera core was specially constructed by a German immigrant craftsman, Karl Freund. The steel frame, once completed, was sand-blasted to guarantee the smoothest of surfaces, then painted white. Mies personally supervised the selection of the travertine slabs and demanded uncommonly fine tolerances in the joining of all parts. Info source:www.columbia.edu

       
Richard Neutra  

neutra international styel pic from http://franingram.wordpress.com/

image source: franingram.wordpress.com

kauffmann desert house by neutra pic from http://www.desertutopia.com/g1.html

image source: www.desertutopia.com

 

 
Born and educated in Europe, Richard Neutra introduced the International Style to America, and also introduced Los Angeles design to Europe. His firm designed many office buildings, churches, and cultural centers, but Richard Neutra is best known for his residential architecture.

Homes designed by Richard Neutra combined Bauhaus modernism with Southern California building traditions. They were were dramatic, flat-surfaced industrialized-looking buildings placed into a carefully arranged landscape. Constructed with steel, glass, and reinforced concrete, they were typically finished in stucco.

Later in his career, Richard Neutra designed a series of elegant pavilion-style homes composed of layered horizontal planes. With extensive porches and patios, the homes appeared to merge with the surrounding landscape. The Kaufmann Desert House (1946-1947) and the Tremaine House (1947-48) are important examples of Neutra's pavilion houses. Info source: architecture.about.com

       
Philip Johnson  

glass house exterior

image source: patricklynch.net

johnson and glass house pic from http://www.nyc-architecture.com/ARCH/ARCH-PhilipJohnson.htm

philip johnson and mies van der rohe

image source: www.nyc-architecture.com

 

 

Philip Johnson (1906 - 2005) became the Director of the Department of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

In 1932 he co-directed the Modern Architecture exhibition at MOMA which introduced European modern architecture to a wide American audience. Building on the MOMA show, Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock codified the principles of modern architecture in the book The International Style: Architecture since 1922 . During the 1930s, Johnson used his personal wealth to champion the cause of many modern architects most notably Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

In 1940 Johnson returned to Harvard's Graduate School of Design where he trained under Marcel Breuer. He received a B.Arch in 1943 and practised architecture in Cambridge, Massachusetts until 1946, when he moved back to New York to serve as Director of Architecture at MOMA.

As an architect, Johnson is most widely respected for his work in the early 1950s while still under the influence of Mies Van Der Rohe. However, he altered his architectural principles from Modernist to Post-Modernist to anti-Post Modernist at will. This has led to the criticism that he showed more interest in style than in substance. Info source: www.archiplanet.org

       

Pictures

 

modern style interior pic from www.flickr.com

image source: farm4.static.flickr.com

 

 

 

 

international interior pic from http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsapp/BT/GATEWAY/FARNSWTH/blake.htmlimage source:www.columbia.edu

international style pic from 2modern.blogs.comimage source: 2modern.blogs.com

barcellona pavillion mies pic from http://www.krembo99.com/barcelona-pavillion-3d-by-mien-van-der-rohe/image source:www.krembo99.com

barcelona chair and ottoman pic from image source: www.chairblog.eu

 

 

 

 

   
       
Links  

more Modern Design: iDesign / authors / 50s industrial design

more about Le Corbusier: iDesign / authors / Le Corbusier

more about Walter Gropius: iDesign / Keystones / Bauhaus

more about Mies Van der Rohe: iDesign / authors / Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe

360° Barcelona Lounge Chair by Mies Van der Rohe: iDesign / design objects / Barcelona Chair

more about Rationalism: iDesign / styles / Rationalism

more about BauhausFunctionalism: iDesign / keystones / Bauhaus

more about International Style: www.britannica.com

more about Modern Design: www.furniture.com

more about Richard Neutra: architecture.about.com

more about Philip Johnson : www.archiplanet.org

 

more about Eero Saarinen: bertoiaharry.com

more about Charles Eames: bertoiaharry.com

more about Harry Bertoia: bertoiaharry.com , www.directclassics.de

 

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