Comparision between Modernist &
Modernist Architecture Postmodernist Architecture
Duration: late 19th- early 20th century Late 20th -21st century
Predecessor: Nordic Classicism Modernist Architecture
Modernism is efforts to reconcile the
principles underlying architectural
design with rapid technological
advancement and the modernization of
Postmodernism refers to
the functional and formalized shapes
and spaces of the modernist style are
replaced by diverse aesthetics.
Major concept: Form follows function pluralism, double coding, flying
buttresses and high
ceilings, irony and paradox,
Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends and
changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western
society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The term is often applied to modernist movements at the turn of the 20th
century, with efforts to reconcile the principles underlying architectural design
with rapid technological advancement and the modernization of society.
Notable architects important to the history and development of the
modernist movement include:
• Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
• Le Corbusier
• Walter Gropius
• Erich Mendelsohn
• Frank Lloyd Wright
• Louis Sullivan
• Gerrit Rietveld
• Bruno Taut
• Arne Jacobsen
• Oscar Niemeyer
• Alvar Aalto
• There are multiple lenses through which the evolution of modern
architecture may be viewed. Some historians see it as a social matter,
closely tied to the project of Modernity and thus the Enlightenment.
• Modern architecture developed, as a result of social and political
revolutions. Others see Modern architecture as primarily driven by
technological and engineering developments. Still other historians regard
Modernism as a matter of taste, a reaction against eclecticism and the
lavish stylistic excesses of Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
• With the Industrial Revolution, the availability of newly-available building
materials such as iron, steel, and sheet glass drove the invention of new
• Common themes of modern architecture include:
• the notion that "Form follows function", a dictum originally expressed
by Frank Lloyd Wright's early mentor Louis Sullivan, meaning that the
result of design should derive directly from its purpose
• simplicity and clarity of forms and elimination of "unnecessary detail"
• materials at 90 degrees to each other
• visual expression of structure (as opposed to the hiding of structural
• the related concept of "Truth to materials", meaning that the true nature
or natural appearance of a material ought to be seen rather than
concealed or altered to represent something else
• use of industrially-produced materials; adoption of the machine aesthetic
• particularly in International Style modernism, a visual emphasis on
horizontal and vertical lines
The Guggenheim Museum
• Situated in Manhattan, New York City, it is the permanent home of a
renowned and continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-
Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art.
• Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the cylindrical building, wider at the top
than the bottom, was conceived as a "temple of the spirit".
• Its design was inspired by a "Ziggurat" Babylonian temple pyramid,
• The Museum Guggenhein exhibits a great difference to the buildings in
the vicinity because of its spiral shape, marked by the mergeing of
triangles, ovals, arcs, circles and squares, which correspond to the concept
of organic architecture
• Its unique ramp gallery extends up from ground level in a long,
continuous spiral along the outer edges of the building to end just under
the ceiling skylight.
• The materials used in its construction were basically precast concrete
blocks. The white paint used on the internal walls makes the works of art
stand out. The skylight is supported by steel joints.
• Known as the Wainwright State Office Building, it is a 10-story
red brick office building at St. Louis, Missouri.
• The Wainwright Building is among the first skyscrapers in the world. It was
designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan (father of modern
architecture) in the Palazzo style and built between 1890 and 1891.
• It exemplifies Sullivan's theories about the tall building, which included a
tripartite (three-part) composition (base-shaft-attic) based on the structure
of the classical column.
• The base contained retail stores that required wide glazed openings. Above
it the semi-public nature of offices up a single flight of stairs are expressed
as broad windows in the curtain wall. A cornice separates the second floor
from the grid of identical windows of the screen wall, where each window is
"a cell in a honeycomb, nothing more". The building's windows and
horizontals were inset slightly behind columns and piers, as part of a
• The ornamentation for the building includes a wide frieze below the
deep cornice, which expresses the formalized yet naturalistic celery-leaf
• It has rich decorative patterns in low relief, varying in design and scale
with each story. The frieze is pierced by unobtrusive bull's-eye
windows that light the top-story floor, originally containing water tanks
and elevator machinery, the building includes embellishments of terra
bull's-eye windows that light the
top-story floor, originally containing
water tanks and elevator machinery
Details of ornamentation done
Postmodernity in architecture is said to be heralded by the return of "wit,
ornament and reference" to architecture in response to the formalism of
the International Style of modernism.
The functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist style are
replaced by diverse aesthetics: styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake,
and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound. Perhaps most
obviously, architects rediscovered the expressive and symbolic value of
architectural elements and forms that had evolved through centuries of
building which had been abandoned by the modern style.
The characteristics of postmodernism allow its aim to be expressed in diverse
• These characteristics include the use of sculptural forms,
ornaments, anthropomorphism and materials which perform trompe
l'oeil. These physical characteristics are combined with conceptual
characteristics of meaning, including pluralism, double coding, flying
buttresses and high ceilings, irony and paradox, and contextualism.
• The sculptural forms, not necessarily organic, were created with much
ardor. Each building’s forms are nothing like the conforming rigid ones
of Modernism. These forms are sculptural and are somewhat playful.
These forms are not reduced to an absolute minimum; they are built and
shaped for their own sake.
• Postmodernism, with its sensitivity to the building’s context, did not
exclude the needs of humans from the building. The characteristics of
Postmodernism were rather unified given their diverse appearances. The
most notable among their characteristics is their playfully extravagant
forms and the humour of the meanings the buildings conveyed.
• Some of the best-known and influential architects in the Postmodern style
• Aldo Rossi
• Barbara Bielecka
• Ricardo Bofill
• John Burgee
• Terry Farrell
• Michael Graves
• Helmut Jahn
• Jon Jerde
• Edward Jones
• Philip Johnson
• Hans Kollhoff
• Ricardo Legorreta
• Frank Gehry
Petronas Twin Tower
• Twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
• Designed by: Argentine American architect César Pelli.
• Constrction period:3 years i.e. march 1993-march 1996
• Floor area: 395,000 m2 (4,252,000 sq ft).
• The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a
steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a
reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion.
• The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500
square metres (899,000 sq ft) of stainless steel extrusions. In addition, a
33,000-panel curtain wall cladding system resides within the towers.
• the stainless steel element of the towers entices the illustrious sun,
highlighting the magnificent towers, they are composed of 55,000 square
metres (590,000 sq ft) of 20.38-millimetre (0.802 in) laminated glass to
reduce heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.
• The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers
on the 41st and 42nd floors.
• The bridge is 170 m (558 ft) above the ground and 58 m (190 ft) long,
weighing 750 tons.
• The main bank of Otis Lifts is located in the centre of each tower. All main
lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to
even-numbered floors and upper deck to odd-numbered floors. To reach
an odd-numbered floor from ground level, passengers must take
an escalator to the upper deck of the lift.
• On the top of each tower is a pinnacle standing 73.5 metres (241 ft)
tall. Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main
components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh
• The interiors of the towers highlight the Malaysian cultural inspiration to
the design through traditional aspects such as fabric and carvings typical
of the culture, specifically evident in the foyer of the entrance halls in the
Sky bridge at height of 170m above G.L.
Comparitive height of varios sky skrapper
One of the Petronas Towers
the Petronas Twin Towers floor plan
design adopted a simple Islamic
geometric forms of two interlocking
squares creating a shape of eight-points
stars with the semi-circles
softening in the inner angles.
Plan of 17th floor
Harold Washington Library
• The Harold Washington Library Center is the central library for the Chicago
Public Library System.
• The building contains approximately 756,000 square feet (70,200 m2) of
• Architects: Hammond, Beeby and Babka.
The exterior evokes the design of the Rookery, Auditorium and
the Monadnock buildings. The bottom portion is made of large granite blocks.
Red brick makes up the majority of the exterior. These two portions draw on
the Beaux-Art style.
On the north, east and south sides of the build are five story tall arched
windows. Between the windows are rope friezes.
The pediments and most of the west side facing Plymouth Court are glass, steel
and aluminum with ornamentation hearkening to the Mannerist style.
the roof was ornamented with seven large, painted
aluminum acroteria designed by Kent Bloomer with owl figures by Raymond
• All public doors lead to the lobby. The corridor goes east then south then west
and opens south to the lobby.
• The lower level houses the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Multi-Purpose Room
and Exhibit Hall.
• The central lobby is two stories tall. On the east side, the Popular Library is
• The second floor houses the Thomas Hughes Children’s library.
Plan of Harold
• The Neue Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, Germany, was designed by the British
firm James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates, although largely
accredited solely to partner James Stirling.
• The building has been claimed as the epitome of Post-modernism.
• It was constructed in the 1970s and opened to the public in 1984.
• The building incorporates warm, natural elements of travertine and
sandstone in classical forms, to contrast with the industrial pieces of green
steel framing system and the bright pink and blue steel handrails.
• The building's most prominent feature is a central open-top rotunda. This
outdoor, enclosed space houses the sculpture garden. It is circumvented
by a public footpath and ramp that leads pedestrians through the site. This
feature allows the public to reach the higher elevation behind the
museum from the lower front of the building's main face.
• Utopia is derived form two Greek terms
• ‘ou’ – meaning ‘not’ or ‘no’
• ‘topos’ – meaning ‘place’
• no – place
• THE WORD WAS FIRST COINED BY SIR THOMAS MORE IN HIS BOOK
‘UTOPIA’ IN 1516
• The built environment that we live in today was largely shaped by Modernism.
The buildings we inhabit, the chairs we sit on, the graphic design that surrounds
us have all been created by the aesthetics and the ideology of Modernist
• Modernism was not conceived as a style but a loose collection of ideas.
• It was a term which covered a range of movements and styles that largely
rejected history and applie`d ornament, and which embraced abstraction.
• Modernists had a utopian desire to create a better world. They believed in
technology as the key means to achieve social improvement and in the machine
as a symbol of that aspiration.
• All of these principles were frequently combined with social and political beliefs
(largely left-leaning) which held that design and art could, and should,
Searching for utopia
• The carnage of the First World War led to widespread utopian fervour, a
belief that the human condition could be healed by new approaches to art
and design – more spiritual, more sensual, or more rational.
• The desire to connect art and life led to a spirit of collaboration between
artists and designers, with architects playing a leading role.
• Focusing on the most basic elements of daily life – housing and furniture,
domestic goods and clothes – they reinvented these forms for a new
• The Russian Revolution of 1917 set out to build utopia.
• Art was to become part of everyday life, and technology was to be
extended to its limits and beyond.
• Avant-garde architects and artists threw themselves into the collective
effort. They evolved new theories and institutions, developed new types
of buildings and produced all kinds of innovative propaganda.
• Designers and artists working from a socialist perspective believed that
utopia could be achieved within existing social and economic structures.
• With new materials like glass, iron, and steel made available by the
Industrial Revolution, modernist architects took to their drafting tables to
imagine entirely new cities that supported utopian ideals and were devoid
of the corrupted bourgeois sentiments often blamed for many of society's
• Some utopian visions focused on new technology, others on open,
untouched landscapes, and still others were based on new social orders,
but all were united under radically avant-garde and cutting-edge
Core garden city principles:
o Strong community
o Ordered development
o Environmental quality
These were to be achieved by :
• Unified ownership of land toprevent individual land.
• Speculation and maximizecommuntiy benefits.
• Careful planning to providegenerous living and workingspace while
• Social mix and good communityfacilities.
• Limit to growth of each gardencity.
• Local participation in decisionabout development.
• The original
• Garden city
• Conceptby ebenezer howard, 1902
• It is an ideal city industry isbalanced with agriculture,housing carefully
distributed,and transport rationalised
• Along with brickfields, factories and markets are children’s cottage
homes,industrial schools, convalescent homes, asylums for the blind and
deaf, and even afarm for epileptics. This is a city for the strong and weak,
and where the weak growin strength.
• La ville contemporaine
(Concentric city) 1922
• Central city
• Protected green belt
• Factories & satellite towns
• Central city
Rectangle containing two cross axial highways
At its heart was a six-level transport interchange – centre for motor,
rail lines (underground and main-line railways) and roof of which is air-field
24 cruciform skyscrapers – 60 storeyed office building with
density 1200 ppa and covers 5% of the ground
Surrounding skyscrapers was apartment district – 8 storey buildings
arranged in zigzag rows with broad openspaces with density of 120
La ville radiuse
• Le corbusier rearranged the key features of the Ville Contemporaine.
• The basic ideas of free circulation and greenery were still present, but the
just position of different land-uses had changed.
• For example, the central area was now residential instead of a skyscraper
• The skyscrapers (business area) of the Ville
Contemporaine were rearranged away from the city center
at the ‘head’…The ‘body’ was made up of acres of
housing strips laid out in a stepping plan to generate
semi-courts and harbours of greenery containing tennis
courts, playing fields and paths.
• Traffic pattern – an orthogonal system with super
imposed diagonals & the civic center is on the main axis
• Light manufacturing, freight yards and heavy industries
at the bottom
• Through the 1920s and 1930s, modern “master” Le Corbusier experimented
with a series of highly utopian urban planning concepts, stemming from his
visions of an ideal city that hoped to reunite citizens with a highly ordered
and open environment, elevating culture on a universal basis.
• In 1925, he proposed the "Plan Voisin," an idealistic mega-project that
called for the bulldozing of central Paris and replacing it with monolithic 60-
story towers set within an organized street grid and ample green space.
• Corbusier believed the efficient plan could transform society by raising the
standard of living for all socioeconomic levels, thus sparing the country
• The plan was outright rejected.
frank lloyd wright
A NEW FREEDOM FOR LIVING IN AMERICA
1. An acre of ground minimum for the individual
2. Boadacre City makes no changes in existing system of land surveys
3. Has a single seat of government for each county
4. Administration by radio and flight
5. Architectural features determined by the character and topography of region
6. No major and minor axis
Plot - 2 miles square units of division
One acre – 165 x 264 feet
Four sector plan
Sector a – sector b – sector c – sector d
No private ownership of public needs
No land lord and tenant
No ‘housing’. No subsistance homesteads
No traffic problem. No back and forth haul
No railroads. No street cars
No grade crossings
No poles. No wires in sight
No ditches alongside roads
No headlights. No light fixtures
No glaring cement roads or walks
No tall buildings except as isolated in parks
No slums. No scum
No public ownership of private needs
MESA CITY Organic Architecture
A QUEST FOR AN ENVIRONMENT IN HARMONY WITH MAN
1. Fragmented attempts to introduce corposity into the urban morphology, a
phenomenon of the arcological concept
2. A preoccupation of the ecological aspect of every phenomenon on this planet,
including the human phenomenon
3. The unequivocally stated conviction that the city is ultimately the most relevant
aesthetic phenomenon on this earth and, consequently, that the characteristic
genesis of the city is an act of creation, through the paths of discovery and invention
PROJECT MESA CITY – regional development in west America
The land is internationalized under a world government authority
Thus the sheltering of man is based on his worth, not on his clan
1. A City for about 2000,000
2. Towns and villages of rural character, producing and processing foodstuffs and
3. Industrial complexes downstream of water reservoirs
4. Special structures intended as multipurpose social facilities, living and working.
Their morphology is such as to capture and make use of cosmic energy – radiation,
Winds, water, tides
5. A linear city developing along a man-made waterway
6. A connective network of roads, railroads and bridges
7. An ecological organization of nature within the new balance demanded by large
Area – 10km x 35km
Man made park – 150m to 200m wide and 15km long with dikes and lakes
Main elements – man-made park, theological complex, a library-museum
34 villages of about 3000 people each
Cluster of 5 villages around civic and shopping
Each village – on a ground 1000m in dia with 200m-400m dia garden in center
Farming ground outside – 200m – 400m for orchards and vegetables
High density housing on both sides of the central man-made park
3 towers 1000m high at the south end – one for transit population, one for people
Connected with learning complex and one is residence of the govt and its employees
• Experimental town – 25 acres(0.1 sqkm)
• Concept – ARCOLOGY which combines architecture and ecology
• City of future contained within single megastructure, and aiming to maximize social
Benefits and minimum costs of land, energy and raw materials.
Planned community for 5000 people in a single-structure solar-powered
• The pursuit of new urbanism in Japan in the postwar
period often took the form of utopian speculations that
reflected currents of socio-ideological changes and
diverse local conditions.
• This dissertation examines the issue of utopianism in
contemporary urbanism through an investigation of
the Japanese Metabolist movement, and in particular,
Tange Kenzo's works of urban design in the 1960s.
• The utopian nature of Metabolism was manifested in
Tange's seminal works during the 1960s: the Plan for
Tokyo, Yamanashi Communications Center, the
Redevelopment Plan for Skopje, and the Osaka Expo.
• Serving as a polemical alternative to the official plans
of Tokyo, this project posed itself to fundamentally
transform its urban structure for the imminent arrival
of a post-industrial age, and heralded the architect's
• The design was a radical plan for the reorganization and expansion
of the capital in order to cater for a population beyond 10 million
• The design was for a linear city that used a series of nine kilometre
modules that stretched 80 km across Tōkyō Bay from Ikebukuro in
the north west to Kisarazu in the south east.
• The perimeter of each of the modules was organised into three
levels of looping highways, as Tange was adamant that an efficient
communication system would be the key to modern living.
• The modules themselves were organised into building zones and
transport hubs and included office, government administration and
retail districts as well as a new Tōkyō train station and highway links
to other parts of Tōkyō.
• Residential areas were to be accommodated on parallel streets
that ran perpendicular to the main linear axis and like the Boston
Bay project, people would build their own houses within giant A-frame
• plan incorporated three elements both on the land and the sea and
included a looped highway that connected all
the prefectures around the bay.
• Expo '70 was a world's fair held
in Suita,Osaka, Japan between March 15 and
September 13, 1970.
• The theme of the Expo was "Progress and
Harmony for Mankind." In Japanese Expo '70
is often referred to asŌsaka Banpaku.
• This was the first world's fair held in Japan.
• The master plan for the Expo was designed
by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange
YONA FRIEDMAN-spatial city
• The Spatial City is the most significant application of "mobile
architecture". It is a spatial, three-dimensional structure raised up on piles
which contains inhabited volumes, fitted inside some of the "voids",
alternating with other unused volumes. It is designed on the basis of
trihedral elements which operate as "neighbourhoods" where dwellings
are freely distributed.
• This structure introduces a kind of merger between countryside and city
and may span:
- certain unavailable sites,
- areas where building is not possible or permitted (expanses of
- areas that have already been built upon (an existing city),
• Raised plans increase the original area of the city becoming three-dimensional.
The tiering of the spatial city on several independent levels,
one on top of the other, determines "spatial town-planning" both from the
functional and from the aesthetic viewpoint.
• The tiering of the spatial city on several independent levels, one on top of
the other, determines "spatial town-planning" both from the functional
and from the aesthetic viewpoint.
• The lower level may be earmarked for public life and for premises
designed for community services as well as pedestrian areas. The
piles contain the vertical means of transport (lifts, staircases).
• The superposition of levels should make it possible to build a whole
industrial city, or a residential or commercial city, on the same site.
• In this way, the Spatial City forms what Yona Friedman would call an
• This grid suspended in space outlines a new cartography of the
terrain with the help of a continuous and indeterminate
homogeneous network with a major positive outcome: this modular
grid would authorize the limitless growth of the city.
• The spaces in this grid are rectangular and habitable modular "voids",
with an average area of 25-35 square meters.
• Only one half of the spatial city would be occupied. The "fillings"
which correspond to the dwellings only actually take up 50% of the
three-dimensional lattice, permitting the light to spread freely in the
• This introduction of elements on a three-dimensional grid with
several levels on piles permits a changeable occupancy of the space
by means of the convertibility of the forms and their adaptation to