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Modern Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

The Return of the Tub: Traditional Bathtub Typologies into Contemporary Bathroom Design

Although they are an integral and necessary space in residential architecture, the wide variety of design opportunities for bathrooms has often remained overlooked in favor of practicality. Historically programmed for privacy, the contemporary bathroom has been re-imagined for a greater sense of openness and comfort - finding a delicate balance between privacy and exposure is facilitated by design objects such as the tub.

The Evolution of the House Plan in the United States: Post-war Era

Following the Second World War, United States veterans and citizens were seeking a fresh start, a rightful place to live out their modern American dream. With a significant housing shortage looming around and fast-growing families, solutions had to be found to provide equitable living means for all. The development of new construction techniques and propagation of easy building materials promised an age of prosperity.

Local Can Be Universal

In the 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote “Familiarity breeds contempt”. By definition “local” is “familiar”. Why are humans so thrilled to go beyond the familiar, the local, and reach for what is new, universal, and salvational? The word “local” has the weight of true value, like “density” or “sustainable” But the lure of connection between all humans is powerfully seductive, and that desire to connect almost always falls short of our hopes.  

Courtesy of Duo Dickinson Cephas Housing, Yonkers, New York© Henry-Fussell Hitchcock, Jr and Philip JohnsonCourtesy of Weißenhof­sied­lung StuttgartCourtesy of Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany+ 7

Charles and Ray Eames: The Designers Who Shaped the Course of Modernism

Charles (June 17, 1907 – August 21, 1978) and Ray Eames (December 15, 1912 – August 21, 1988) are best known for their personal and artistic collaboration and their innovative designs that shaped the course of modernism. Their firm worked on a diverse array of projects, with designs for exhibitions, furniture, houses, monuments, and toys. Together they developed manufacturing processes to take advantage of new materials and technology, aiming to produce high-quality everyday objects at a reasonable cost. Many of their furniture designs are considered contemporary classics, particularly the Eames Lounge & Shell Chairs, while the Eames House is a seminal work of architectural modernism.

Carl Pruscha, an Architect Investigating Overlooked Territories

Carl Pruscha, an Austrian architect who mainly dedicated his professional career to investigate and work closely in the field of regional architecture in the eastern world, a territory that was being overlooked at a time when the modern movement in architecture and in the rest of the world was booming. Through an overview of his life, we will highlight some of his most relevant works in Nepal and Sri Lanka and understand how Pruscha managed to stamp his unique visions of architecture and cities into his built projects.

CEDA Building . Image Courtesy of Carl PruschaCEDA Building . Image Courtesy of Carl PruschaTaragaon Museum. Image © Nipun Prabhakar"One World Foundation" Sri Lanka Bungalows. Image © Eva Schlegel+ 13

What Neuroscience Says About Modern Architecture Approach

This article was originally published on Common Edge as "The Mental Disorders that Gave Us Modern Architecture".

How did modern architecture happen? How did we evolve so quickly from architecture that had ornament and detail, to buildings that were often blank and devoid of detail? Why did the look and feel of buildings shift so dramatically in the early 20th century? History holds that modernism was the idealistic impulse that emerged out of the physical, moral and spiritual wreckage of the First World War. While there were other factors at work as well, this explanation, though undoubtedly true, tells an incomplete picture.

Spotlight: Walter Gropius

Bauhaus, 1925. Image ©  Thomas Lewandovski
Bauhaus, 1925. Image © Thomas Lewandovski

One of the most highly regarded architects of the 20th century, Walter Gropius (18 May 1883 – 5 July 1969) was one of the founding fathers of Modernism, and the founder of the Bauhaus, the German "School of Building" that embraced elements of art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography in its design, development and production.

Spotlight: Peter Behrens

If asked to name buildings by German architect and designer Peter Behrens (14 April 1868 – 27 February 1940), few people would be able to answer with anything other than his AEG Turbine Factory in Berlin. His style was not one that lends itself easily to canonization; indeed, even the Turbine Factory itself is difficult to appreciate without an understanding of its historical context. Despite this, Behrens' achievements are not to be underestimated, and his importance to the development of architecture might best be understood by looking at three young architects who worked in his studio around 1910: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius.

Spotlight: Richard Neutra

Though Modernism is sometimes criticized for imposing universal rules on different people and areas, it was Richard J. Neutra's (April 8, 1892 – April 16, 1970) intense client focus that won him acclaim. His personalized and flexible version of modernism created a series of private homes that were—and still are—highly sought after, making him one of the United States' most significant mid-century modernists. His architecture of simple geometry and airy steel and glass became the subject of the iconic photographs of Julius Schulman, and came to stand for an entire era of American design.

Miller House, 1938. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/28238346@N00/338006894/'>Flickr user IK's World Trip</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Cyclorama, Gettsyburg. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gettysburg_Cyclorama_Neutra_PA3.jpg'>Wikimedia user Acroterion</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>Lovell House, 1929. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/aseles/6149131597'>Flickr user aseles</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>Kaufmann House, 1947. Image © Barbara Alfors 2000 <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kaufman_House_Palm_Springs.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a? licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>+ 7

AD Classics: Gallaratese Quarter / Aldo Rossi & Carlo Aymonino

As the dust settled following the Second World War much of Europe was left with a crippling shortage of housing. In Milan, a series of plans were drafted in response to the crisis, laying out satellite communities for the northern Italian city which would each house between 50,000 to 130,000 people. Construction the first of these communities began in 1946, one year after the end of the conflict; ten years later in 1956, the adoption of Il Piano Regolatore Generale—a new master plan—set the stage for the development of the second, known as 'Gallaratese'. The site of the new community was split into parts 1 and 2, the latter of which was owned by the Monte Amiata Società Mineraria per Azioni. When the plan allowed for private development of Gallaratese 2 in late 1967, the commission for the project was given to Studio Ayde and, in particular, its partner Carlo Aymonino. Two months later Aymonino would invite Aldo Rossi to design a building for the complex and the two Italians set about realizing their respective visions for the ideal microcosmic community.[1]

© Gili Merin© Gili Merin© Gili Merin© Gili Merin+ 22

Brutalist Beirut: Showcasing a Forgotten Modern Heritage

In recent years, people started to regain interest in a movement that dates back to the last century; a movement, first introduced during the 1940s and 1950s, through the works of Le Corbusier and Alison and Peter Smithson. With monolithic structures, modular shapes, and impressive massing, Brutalism highlights architectural integrity. This movement is highly characterized by rough, raw, and pure surfaces that underline the essence of the substances in question. Spread across the globe, architects have adopted and developed their own vision of this modern movement, creating contextual variations.

In the midst of all the chaos currently taking place in the city of Beirut, we look back on the Lebanese capital’s hidden Brutalist gems. To shed the light on a movement that's often neglected and forgotten, Architect Hadi Mroue created a series of images that highlight the Lebanese Brutalism movement as well as its evolution as an important part of the Lebanese modern heritage.

Lisbon City Guide: 24 Places to See in Portugal’s Capital

Selected the European Capital of Culture in 1994 and Ibero-American Capital of Culture 2017, Lisbon has been the destiny of tourists from many parts of the world over the past years. With thriving cultural programming, the city hosts important events related to art, music, movies and architecture. The Lisbon Architecture Trienniale and the Open House – event that coordinates free guided tours to remarkable buildings in cities around the world – are some of these relevant events in the architectural field, responsible to disseminate, discuss and reflect on issues of the area.

The Strange House that Niemeyer Designed for Himself

Oscar Niemeyer was a revolutionary of modernism, with an architectural language characterized by audacious curves and elaborated structures. The Brazilian architect established an architectural vision of a future utopian Brazil, one that ultimately has not come to pass. While public attention is often drawn to his masterpieces in Brasília, somewhat hidden from the architectural discourse is a house that Niemeyer designed for himself; a colonial-style scheme offering a radical departure from the expressive forms of his more noted works. 

Spotlight: Le Corbusier

Born in the small Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris—better known by his pseudonym Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965)—is widely regarded as the most important architect of the 20th century. As a gifted architect, provocative writer, divisive urban planner, talented painter, and unparalleled polemicist, Le Corbusier was able to influence some of the world’s most powerful figures, leaving an indelible mark on architecture that can be seen in almost any city worldwide.

Palace of the Assembly at Chandigarh. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/70608042@N00/1321525329'>Flickr user chiara_facchetti</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>Villa Savoye. Image © Flavio BragaiaChurch at Firminy. Image © Richard WeilSwiss Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig+ 25

Terrazzo is Back: Production, Installation, and Samples in Architecture

Focal Length / RENESA Architecture Design Interiors Studio. Image © Suryan//Dang
Focal Length / RENESA Architecture Design Interiors Studio. Image © Suryan//Dang

Terrazzo is made by combining a cement base (sand, water, and cement) with a mixture of ground minerals - like marble, granite, and quartz - and can be applied to almost any surface, vertical or horizontal. The technique, produced using a completely hand-crafted method, was used worldwide in the construction of modern buildings and is noted for its durability, resistance (to water and abrasion), and easy maintenance. This made it a go-to material in the creation of flooring for houses and the common areas of residential and office buildings.  

Today, terrazzo is experiencing a revival as one of the key trends in contemporary architecture. Here, we will discuss the whats and hows of terrazzo and illustrate some of its uses in current projects. 

Focal Length / RENESA Architecture Design Interiors Studio. Image © Suryan//DangCasa Salmen / Office S&M. Image © French + TyeApartamento Copan / Sabiá Arquitetos. Image © Pedro VannucchiParisienne / Miriam Barrio Estudio. Image © Maria Pujol+ 24