Summary: Can We Speak of Modernism

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Modernism has always had a major impact on the development of Architecture in all past, present and future periods. “Modernism” essentially emerged within architecture during the 1920s due to industrialisation and social changes after many drastic changes around the world. As a response to these changes new materials and technologies were developed in order to satisfy needs of a building to being functional, simple and rational. This new expression of architecture lead me to my curiosity to explore the way in which architecture has evolved from tradition to modernism. In order to complete this successfully I have used many reliable resources such as books, articles and the internet to obtain modernist architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright an American born architect was seen as a modernist architect that has influenced architecture through his unique form of “organic architecture” which I will be exploring to see how his views have influenced today’s architecture.

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Frank Lloyd wright, an American born modernist architect was well known for being the father of “organic architecture” which was a form of buildings growing naturally through the use and terrain while harmonising the environment or inhabitants. This form of modern architecture broke barriers through Victorian styled to a new American genre of open spaces and sleek lines. Throughout Wright’s architectural journey he kept a legacy of buildings playing with nature both inside and out forming connection within the importance of nature. This integration between the nature and the building was Wright’s key method of establishing distinct modernism in the American architectural society without any European influence. Low pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, open floor plans were also the hall marks of his plans all mimicked the landscape formed in the surrounding area. Unlike many architects during the 19th and 20th century Wright used natural materials (limestone and wood) throughout his breakthrough to modernism to establish the importance of using available materials without affecting the environment, forming a tight bond with human and nature. Wrights focus on private residencies lead to developing a Prairie style known to have bold horizontal lines with open circulations through public rooms, stripped clean from usual decoration and machine made components. This was mainly shown through his famous modernist building, “The Falling Water”.

Wrights most inspiring form of modernist architecture was known to be “The Falling Water” which was built for a couple in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. This was not an ordinary method (rather modern) of architecture due to it being constructed right by nature, above a 30 foot waterfall. Wrights thoughts of cantilevered balconies, terraces and using local resources for elements around the building were followed to blend in the building with nature as best as possible. As the beginning of sustainability, Wright also made sure that his building was environmentally friendly by using a locally collected source known to be sandstone. This was a key influence on today’s architecture as resources are becoming very limited due to the high usage of materials. Considering his idea of open spaces Wright has continued to keep open living plan in order for the occupants to feel free with space and to create an atmosphere through (artificial & natural) lighting.  

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