ARC 331: Modernisms

week of

March 29 – April 4

introduction

Introductory comment or great big question

introduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution inintroduction introdution in

learning objectives

At the conclusion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Identify main modern monuments in the period by name, date, designer/client and location (KNOWLEDGE)
  • Define terminology specific to technique, style and structure (KNOWLEDGE)
  • Describe integration of technology (material and non-material) in individual monuments (KNOWLEDGE)
  • Explain stylistic/technical changes in design as they relate to cultural context (COMPREHENSION)
  • Summarize the main concepts in important works of theory by key writers (COMPREHENSION)
  • Explain the development of the vocation/profession of building designers from (comprehension)
  • Visually analyze buildings from this period to suggest date, place, and designer (ANALYSIS)
  • Recognize change in architectural styles by comparing their formal and technical characteristic (ANALYSIS)
  • Critique the agency of people and technology w/in the process of design (EVALUATE)
  • Evaluate different theoretical and design approaches and defend personal preference for one or more (EVALUATE)

part 1

Coming Home

One of the most crying needs after the cessation of the war was housing stock: to replace what was lost in bombing raids and to address changing population needs in growing urban centers. Housing immediately became a primary concern of architects, both in the world of theory and real building, across Europe. One of the most interesting stories unfolds in the Netherlands, which had a particularly well-organized approach, both through government policy and private agency, to build residential units at great scale. Also interesting is that the Netherlands was home to two very different schools of thought regarding architectural design, and which represent competing theoretical/aesthetic views right after the war.

  • Read: Gelernter, chap. 8
  • Read: Colquhoun: chap. 7 & 8

part 2

Expressionism and the Amsterdam School

The ideals of Expressionism were embraced by the Amsterdam School, a collection of architects who embraced vernacular massing and qualities of Dutch detail along with the prevalent use of such traditional materials as brick and tile, while complicating all of it with undulating and imaginative forms, ornament, art glass, ironwork, integrated sculpture, and anything else that was somewhat recognizable, still fairly modern, and overall highly engaging and humane in scale.

The first woman to become a professional architect in the Netherlands, Margaret Staal-Kropholler designed apartment blocks and artist cottages, as captured in this video (note: it's in Dutch, but you can still enjoy the images):

The most famous of housing projects are the three that J. Michel de Klerk completed on the  Spaarndammerplantsoen in Amsterdam (1913, 1914, and, the most famous part, 1919). Here's another Dutch video; this one, with subtitles:

part 3

De Stijl

Just as the third and final part of the Spaarndammerplantsoen project was underway, a competing school was gaining popularity through a new publication and related artworks that would eventually inform a great swath of modernist thinking and architecture. De Stijl takes its name from its mouthpiece, a journal first published in 1917. The concept of De Stjil was as starkly opposed to Expressionism/the Amsterdam School as possible, based on values of impersonal, universal design of pure abstraction comprising forms reduced to the essentials of flat geometries and pure colors.

The primary monument is Truss Schroder's House in Utrecht:

Hard to really achieve in three dimensions (unlike paintings, architecture has a requirement to seal its corners), De Stijl principles were adopted by architects far outside of the Netherlands. Consider the disposition of planes to only vaguely define space in the German Pavilion in Barcelona; in particular, compare its plan with a Mondrian drawing and you'll see the comparison easily.

While De Stjil imposed certain limits of realistic building, it also offered many ideals for abstraction of form and the application of industrial materials to architecture in a way that was more compelling and useful than the only other significant theory that seemed to embrace the new industrial world head-on, Russian Constructivism, and to embrace the universal approach to design that rejected the kind of personal, willful and individualist qualities that some saw as a problem with Expressionism.

 

part 4

The Neues Bauen

The ideals of abstraction and industry swept Europe's avant-garde, and are particularly evident in two major projects tied to a small group of highly influential designers.

The Bauhaus

The formation of the Bauhaus from two pre-existing institutions--a fine arts academy, and a craft school--was accompanied by Walter Gropius' manifesto of 1919.

The frontispiece of the manifesto was illustrated as you see to the left, with a woodcut called "Cathedral" by Lyonel Feininger, head of the printmaking workshop at the Bauhaus.

 

In 1922, a new logo was adopted, this one by painter, designer, choreographer and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer.

In 1922, a new logo was adopted, this one by painter, designer, choreographer and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer.

In 1922, a new logo was adopted, this one by painter, designer, choreographer and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer.

In 1922, a new logo was adopted, this one by painter, designer, choreographer and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer.

In 1922, a new logo was adopted, this one by painter, designer, choreographer and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer.

The Weissenhofsiedlung

The 1927 exhibition of the Deutscher Werkbund was held in Stuttgart.

additional resources

Additional Resources

The German Pavilion in Barcelona

 
The Bauhaus

css.php