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Theory and Philosophy of Modern Architecture


Title: Theory and Philosophy of Modern Architecture Author: Apichoke Last modified by: apichoke Created Date: 10/31/2003 3:04:02 AM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Theory and Philosophy of Modern Architecture

Theory and Philosophy of Modern Architecture
  • The Roots of Modern Architecture

The Roots of Modern Architecture
  • Defining Modern Architecture
  • The Beginning of Modern Architecture
  • Transformations of 3 contexts
  • Cultural Transformations Neo Classical
    Architecture (1750-1900)
  • Territorial Transformations Urban Development
  • Technical Transformations Structural Engineering

Defining Modern Architecture
  • modern architecture
  • General meaning new, non-traditional, current,
  • Modern Architecture
  • Specific meaning a particular period, ideology
    or styles (formalism, functionalism,
    international style, etc.)
  • Modern Architecture was the expression of a
    variety of new social visions challenging the
    status quo and suggesting alternative
    possibilities for a way of life (Curtis,

The Beginning of Modern Architecture
  • The historical process which led to the creation
    of the modern movement in architecture had no
    clear beginning which can be pinpointed with
    precision. (Curtis, 1987)
  • Described differently by different historians
    (themes, styles, years, periods)
  • Started with the beliefs and ideas long before
    the forms and styles
  • Started as early as late 17th- century (the
    challenge to the Vitruvian proportion and the
    split between engineering and architecture)
    (Frampton, 1987)

The Roots of Modern Architecture
  • The Changing Social Contexts
  • Ideology and Philosophy
  • Technology
  • Markets
  • Clients

Cultural Transformations Neo Classical
Architecture (1750-1900)
  • The loss of confidence in Renaissance tradition
    and the supporting theories
  • Development of history and archeology disciplines
    leading to the view of equal value among epochs,
    traditions and styles
  • The new belief architecture should express
    their times

New Ideology
  • Suppose that an architect of the twelfth or
    thirteenth century were to return among us, and
    that he were to be initiated into our modern
    ideas if one put at his disposal the perfections
    of modern industry, he would not build an edifice
    of the time of Philip Augustus or St. Louis,
    because this would be to falsify the first law of
    art, which is to conform the needs and customs of
    the times. (Violet-le-Duc, 1863)

The New Paradigm Primitive Hut
All the splendors of architectural process ever
conceived have been modeled on the little rustic
hut It is by approaching the simplicity of this
first model that fundamental mistakes are avoided
and true perfection is achieved. Laugier,
  • A shift of taste from the Rococo
  • A Return to basic and natural rationale

The New Ideology Newtons Cenotaph (Boullee,
Pure geometry with emotions (space with light)
Cultural Transformations Neo Classical
Architecture (1750-1900)
  • The increase in mans capacity to exercise
    control over nature
  • Fundamental shift in the nature of human
    consciousness (reason over belief)
  • The search for the new true form
  • Some Revival of the past styles (Greek, Roman,

Cultural Transformations Neo Classical
Architecture (1750-1900)
  • Disrupted the world of craft
  • Collapsed vernacular traditions
  • Created new economic structures and center of
  • New clients (the middle class)
  • Belief in a just and rational society
  • Utopian concept

Utopian Concept The Architects Dream (Cole,
Territorial Transformations Urban Development
  • Advanced industry
  • Population increase (longer life expectancy)
  • Mass production/ higher efficiency
  • Concentration of production in the city core
  • High density residential close to production (no
    public transportation need to stay close)
  • Slum and the substandard neighborhood (higher
    density on the old infrastructure)

Territorial Transformations Urban Development
  • Upgraded working-class housing
  • New housing scheme (stacking apartments in pairs
    around a common staircase)
  • Improved infrastructure and living conditions
    (legal acts)
  • New industrial prototypes
  • The open spaces and parks
  • English picturesque landscape and neo-classical
    country houses

City Living Condition Over London by Rail (1872)
Territorial Transformations Urban Development
  • Mass transportation (railway, underground,
  • Metropolitan region
  • New town concept
  • Linear city concept (dependent on mass transit)
  • English garden city concept (complete functions
    and avoid transportation)

Riverside, Chicago (Olmsted, 1869)
Early suburbanization
Riverside, Chicago (Olmsted, 1869)
Natural neighborhood outside the city
New Town Concept The Garden City (Howard,1898)
An economically self sufficient community
Technical Transformations Structural Engineering
  • Industrial revolution
  • Changed production based, modes and locations
  • The production of new materials (cast iron,
    reinforced concrete, glass)
  • Iron construction in railways, bridge and
    industrial buildings
  • The split of architecture and engineering
  • The importance of the role of engineer
  • New and unprecedented buildings (exhibition
    halls, offices, factories)

Crystal Palace Under Construction, London
(Paxton, 1851)
Brooklyn Bridge Under Construction (1877)
Tin Mine Winding Engine at East Pool Mine,
England (1887)
  • Three major transformations led to new contexts ?
    new world
  • Enlightenment new view toward history and styles
  • The search for new form
  • Rationalism
  • Industrial revolution
  • Technology Engineering
  • New materials
  • New clients

  • Curtis, W. (1987). Modern Architecture Since
    1900. 2nd Ed. New Jersey Prentice-Hall.
  • Frampton, K. (1987). Modern Architecture A
    Critical History. London Thames and Hudson.
  • Kruft, H. W. (1994). A History of Architectural
    Theory from Vitruvious to the Present. New York
    Princeton Architectural Press.