International Style

5 Sep

International Style:

broadly refers to a modern architectural style that appears in Europe (1920’s)

also found in the United States then soon the rest of the world (1930’s)

characteristics of the International Style in architecture are- geometric forms, regularity, volume instead of mass, smooth white or glass walls, minimal color, and no applied ornament

this style dominates commercial architecture, factories, and public housing

interiors along with furniture exhibit similar aesthetics

converging ideas of early 20th century architects in Germany, France, and Holland

reinforced concrete and steel

challenge traditional ways of designing and construction methods

look for ways to improve life through modern architecture

rejection of past and decorative ornament and adoption of functionalism, machine precision, standardization


emerges from theories, forms, technology, and construction methods developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by individuals, movements, and design schools

Bauhaus ideas and methods come together


no motifs because buildings are generally unadorned

some architects include unique architectural details part of the building structure


architects who emphasize function, flexibility, efficiency, and practicality, create interiors

form and proportion are more important than ornament and decoration

characteristics- geometric forms, asymmetry, free-flowing and open spaces and no ornament

volume is important so rooms have high ceilings

spaciousness is important so furnishings are minimal

little texture, pattern, color, and few decorative objects


follow concepts and language of design established earlier by Bauhaus designers and others

many pieces by architects

simple and functional designs with no applied ornament or references to historical styles

anonymity, geometry, and hygienic industrial materials are key


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