Architecture Facts



  • In the 1920s many architects rejected old styles to experiment with simple shapes in materials like glass, steel and concrete.
  • The International Style was pioneered by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier who built houses in smooth geometric shapes like boxes.
  • The Bauhaus school in Germany believed buildings should look like the job they were meant to do.
  • Walter Gropius and Mies van de Rohe took Bauhaus ideas to the USA and developed sleek, glass-walled, steel-framed skyscrapers like New York’s Seagram Building.
  • Old and new in Hong Kong: the modern Hong Kong–Shanghai Bank dwarfs a 19th-century classical building.
  • American Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959) was famous both for his low, prairie-style bungalows ‘growing’ from their site and his airy and elegant geometric buildings.
  • In the 1950s architects like Kenzo Tange of Japan reacted against the ‘blandness’ of the International Style, introducing a rough concrete look called Brutalism.
  • In the 1960s many critics reacted against the damage done by modern architecture to historic cities.
  • Post-modernists were united in rejecting modern architecture, often reviving historical styles. American Robert Venturi added traditional decoration.
  • Richard Rogers’ Pompidou centre in Paris (1977) was a humorous joke on I IR. Bauhaus idea, exposing the ‘bones’ of the building.
  • With shiny metal and varied shapes the Guggenheim Gallery in Bilbao in Spain is a new masterpiece. It was designed by American architect Frank Gehry.