Talk:Modern architecture

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Why the capital M and capital A, instead of modern architecture? Michael Hardy 00:56, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Modernism template[edit]

The expression "less is more" is not by Mies Van der Rohe but by Dieter Rams one of the most important designers of the modern movement I've a template feel free to add new articles to it. Stirling Newberry 00:34, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Article Improvement Drive[edit]

Architecture of Africa is currently nominated on Wikipedia:Article Improvement Drive. Come to this page and support it with your vote. Help us improve this article to featured status.--Fenice 08:46, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Alex Witkes[edit]

Has anyone else heard of this guy? I'm inclined to revert these edits - can anyone cite anything about him?--Mcginnly 14:45, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I removed it. DVD+ R/W 19:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Modernism re-emergence?[edit]

"however, postmodern aesthetics lacked traction and by the mid-1990s, a neo-modern (or hypermodern) architecture had once again established international pre-eminence. As part of this revival, much of the criticism of the modernists has been revisited, refuted, and re-evaluated; and a modernistic idiom once again dominates contemporary practice."

There are no citations for this rather bold statement. Whether the criticisms of modernism have been "refuted" seems particularly a subjective observation. My own subjective observation is that eclectic post-modernism has hardly been overtaken by a return to pure modernism; in fact, I'd say eclectic post-modernism is "the" dominant architectural style. But either way, legitimate sources are necessary before we start saying the criticisms are "refuted." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:59, 4 March 2007 (UTC).

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BetacommandBot (talk) 14:35, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Timeline and relationship among styles[edit]

I am trying to understand the history of modern architecture but I feel like I don't have a vocabulary to discuss it coherently. I see a few styles as related and am trying to understand the timeline and relationship among them. I see the Prairie School as introducing structures defined by strong lines, particularly vertical lines as in this picture: Woodbury-county-courthouse.jpg. Art deco seems to have taken those lines and ran with them, at least for the classic tan cement skyscrapers like this: Providence-first impression.jpg. But then there are other aspects of art deco that I always find dark and dehumanizing, like this: Buffalo City Hall - 001.jpg, or to have socialist undertones (in a creepy way) like this: Revista Vida por Santiago Martinez Delgado.jpg. (That impression is influenced by culture; perhaps it didn't have those overtones at the time. For example, Rand's books have this sort of art on the covers and they aren't exactly socialist manifestos). Then there is Streamline Moderne, which peaked in the '30s, which also emphasizes strong lines along with circular arcs, like so: SFMaritimeMuseum.jpg. Finally, there is Googie and Futurism, which I find playful and fun. Many of those examples seem like they could have evolved directly from the Prairie School, like these: UCILibrary.jpg, Learning Resource Center - Graduate Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University.jpg. Then there are some that seem to have evolved from streamline moderne, Then there is a side of Googie that I find more self-expressive like Cadillac1001.jpg. There is also the futuristic side that replaces some of the boring big flat surfaces found in streamline moderne with intricate geometric embellishments, as in SpaceNeedleTopClose.jpg.

Could someone explain how these styles relate to one another? Also, are there underlying explanations why I would find some of these styles dark and dehumanizing while I find others fun and playful? What socioeconomic trends drove those trends? (I can't imagine a company today saying "let's build a big ominous big-brotherish building—that'll make customers happy!)

Thanks. —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 20:00, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Regarding a the "creepy, dark" feel, maybe I just was too influenced by Tim Burtan's Batman movie? Regarding socialist undertones, I guess that's coming from Stalinist architecture which has strong art deco influences. For example, the Seven Sisters, which all look about like this: 50px, and various "working man" sculptures such as Worker and Kolkhoz Woman: 30px. Still, it seems like some modern architecture just lends itself to a noir sensibility. —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 16:13, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

RE: Art Decco and placing it in a modernist timeline I would argue that although Art Decco fits in about the same time as other modern buildings, it is not modern. It has no sense of honesty and truthfulness. It does not celebrate modern materials to the extent the Seagram building does. It is decorative- art "decco". Modernist architecture adheres to principles that are both aesthetic and moral. So not only did modern buildings incorporate steel and cement and I-beams and glass-curtains, a sense of lightness, close attention to the expression of form, but they also were conceptualized as a way for society to deal with the stresses and complexities of transitioning into a modern world. They might confront or embrace modernity (Van der Rohe) or provide retreat and bring one closer to the land (Wright). But Decco, as beautiful and merit-worthy as I believe it is, does not belong in the category of modern architecture. To agree with above comments- it does seem to borrow from a Stalinist aesthetic. But without the message. Thus I advise you to consider other buildings, other sources and other architects when constructing a timeline that you plan to call 'Modern Architecture'.

Furthermore, I find it helpful to compare structures by placing them into categories. What would you say about the Barcelona Pavilion versus Robie House? Why are they modern? What was each building's focus? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


dogs are art —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:06, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

European superiority complex[edit]

I take issue with this quote from the article: "Modernist architecture has been more widely accepted as an appropriate residential style in Europe, where the populace is generally more exposed to culture and art than much of the world. This level of education imparts a tendency to accept new ideas..." I am a college-educated American who majored in international studies, studied abroad twice, and am currently living in Japan. I have friends of many races and nationalities, and I'm a vegetarian. I can pick out any country, from Malawi to East Timor from a blank map, no problem. Strangely, I'm neither European nor a lover of modernist buildings. The above quote is nothing but insulting, not only to everyone who isn't European, but also to those educated people who just aren't into modernism.

Besides the offensive nature of the quote, it is also wrong. Modern architecture is just as big in other places as it is in Europe. From Israel to Japan, modernism is favored. And not only that, but despite the very few Stalinist architectural monuments, when people think of Soviet residential architecture, undifferentiated boxy flats spring to mind. The same goes for China under the Cultural Revolution and lots of poor slums all around the world.

So why not bring up the fact that modernism has been used just as much in poor countries as in rich countries, in authoritarian countries just as much as democratic countries. It is also forgotten that 'cultured' and 'educated' Europe includes Spain, which was an authoritarian dictatorship until 1975 (and it was modernism that was popular under Franco's regime), and much of Eastern Europe was under the Iron Curtain until the early 1990s. And it was not after liberalization that people in these countries started to live in modernist houses and flats, but well before, during authoritarianism.

I do not wish to say that modern architecture is bad, or tainted because of this. However, modernists often act like classical architecture is tainted, ostensibly because Hitler liked it. Somehow, its 2,500 year history is sullied by one person? And all that while Modernism was created in Weimar Germany - a failed state which first suffered through hyperinflation and then through the great depression, and notably was THE period in the history of Germany when the Nazis were democratically elected into power. Weimar Germany, of course, was the home of Bauhaus. While Le Corbusier, on the other hand, was invited by Benito Mussolini to give a lecture in Rome on architecture and happily did so, and then went on to work for the Nazi-backed Vichy Regime in France for a while. But all of this goes out the window because it is inconvenient for the modernists, and instead, 2,500 years of classical thought is distilled down into "what Hitler liked".

I do not like to insult others, but modernist insults have been raging rampant on Wikipedia and elsewhere, and they are somehow accepted (this instance I'm talking about has been up for at least months) without so much as a peep. Of course, I am not going to post all of this information on the main article page. I'll leave it here. But I will fight on the discussion page against any European-modernist superiority complexes that I come across. --Riction (talk) 16:43, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Good point. I removed that entire paragraph--even if one offline source states this theory, it is making far too much of a generalisation of European culture being superior to everything else. Phrases like "where the populace is generally more exposed to culture and art than much of the world" are making generalisations about the entire European populace, not strictly with regards to architecture, and in my opinion requires much more than one architectural source to verify. Furthermore, the Guggenheim bit is WP:SYNTHESIS: just because the museum is popular and critically acclaimed, we can't argue that "the numerous modern institutional and commercial buildings that permeate European countries have adjusted their denizens to this type of design"; a source would need to state this explicitly. -M.Nelson (talk) 19:13, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
I know that I showed a bit of emotion when writing previously, but you were able to echo my thoughts in a more rational way. I'd expect nothing less in Wikipedia, which I really do regard highly for its overall fairness. Thanks for looking over this issue. --Riction (talk) 15:31, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Significant expansion needed[edit]

I have noticed that a number of key areas of the history of Modern architecture are greatly lacking, and while I am going to endeavor to expand them myself, I am only basically familiar with the details of some of them (especially beyond what the Wikipedia entries tell me), and my specialties lay in other areas of modernism. I added the section on Brutalism (there was no mention at all), and hope to find time to expand it soon. I figure this article should, ultimately, serve as an outline of the history of various modern architectural styles and movements, such that one can read it on its own, or orient to the variety floating around (see, e.g., the NavBox). Areas that, in my opinion, should be included:

  • CIAM, and urban planning in relation to architecture ("macro-architecture")
  • A more thorough discussion of styles beyond International, such as the work of Saarinen, Aalto, etc. and broader movementsMorgan Riley (talk) 00:43, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
So, being frustrated with the lack of content, I've been pounding away at this for several days, expanding the content to cover the broader scope of modern architecture (beyond merely the International Style), with a number of the above issues addressed, and I hope it's workable and acceptable thusfar! I don't want this to be a one-man show, so feedback, contributions, or thoughts would be appreciated. : ) (p.s., don't mind the comments, many of them explain and suggest what should or will go where in the overall layout, and as reminders of what is still missing.) Morgan Riley (talk) 02:40, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
also, much of the inherited work was uncited or poorly cited, and since I don't feel right to add "citation needed" to half the lines, citations should be added when possible to verify claims. I'm still working on adding them where possible. Morgan Riley (talk) 03:46, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

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