What is Modernism?
• Modernism in architecture is an architectural movement or an
architectural style based upon new innovative technologies of
construction, particularly the use of glass, steel, and reinforced
concrete; the idea that form should follow function (functionalism);
an embrace of minimalism; and rejection of ornament.
• It emerged at the end of the 19th century from revolutions in
technology, engineering, and building materials, and from a desire
to break away from historical architectural styles and to invent
something that was purely functional and new.
• The Berlin Philharmonic Hall (Hans Scharoun, 1956-63)
• The Sydney Opera House ( John Utzon, 1957-73)
has these features
• Little or no ornamentation
• Factory-made parts
• Man made materials such
as metal and concrete
• Emphasis on function
• Rebellion against
• Clean lines
So, What are the Pros About Modernism?
• Multi stylistic
inspiring, activating creativity and imagination of the designer and
also future designer.
• Well functional
Since form follows function, they give emphasis to function rather
… pros continued
• Use of building materials that are stronger, lighter and taller.
Glass ( Transparent, can be recycled, UV stable, easily molded, aesthetic)
Steel (elastic and ductile in factories, high tensile strength, durable)
Concrete (high compressive strength, easily molded, high availability)
• Asymmetrical designs
Modern architects played around with large, smooth shapes and
asymmetrical compositions that were cleanly planed and lacked any
How About the Cons of Modernism?
• Cultural influence
Geometrical abstraction is imposed on the natural and traditional
landscapes of countries and their societies, thus violently destroying the
urban and cultural fabrics of the past.
• Aesthetical Value
One of the major characteristics of modernism architecture is that they
have little or no ornaments. This in turn has an impact on its aesthetics.
• High Energy consumption
Buildings in modernism architecture utilize a huge amount of energy both
before & during their construction through their life span.
… cons continued
• Limitations due to building materials
Glass (Brittle, affected by alkali ions, traps heat, needs regular cleaning)
Steel (susceptible for corrosion, low compressive strength, reactive for
Concrete(low tensile strength, massive, not sustainable (5% of world total