Beginnings: 1920s Modern Movement Architecture

Modernism is in its infancy in the 1920s. Ideas about the role of architecture and the architect are being expressed by its pioneers, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. Their focus in the early years is on sleek lines, simple shapes and experiments with materials (i.e. reinforced concrete) and methods of construction (curtain walling).

Although such experiments were carried out before the First World War their impact is taken up more fully after 1918.  Both Le Corbusier and Gropius publish manifestos on architecture, encapsulating ideas of modern construction (i.e. standardisation and mass production) and socially orientated architecture which could apply to all. This was particularly relevant after the First World War, as there was a shortage of housing across Europe. In Germany and Holland new housing estates were built along Modernist lines.


See also: 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s or return to Modernism Through the Decades.

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RIBA3498-61City Library, Stockholm

RIBA3530-63Cafe de Unie, Rotterdam

RIBA4832German Pavilion, Barcelona: courtyard with sculpture 'Alba' by Georg Kolbe

RIBA5155Breubergstrasse, Bruchfeldstrasse Siedlung, Frankfurt am Main: the Zig-Zag housing ('Zickzackhausen')

RIBA5158Row houses 28, 29, 30, Am Weissenhof, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: oblique view of the street facade

RIBA8045Lindt department store, Prague: the facade on Wanceslas Square

RIBA10504House, Am Rupenhorn 24, Berlin

RIBA10512Block of flats at the corner of Nauheimer Strasse and Johannisberger Strasse, Berlin

RIBA11067Apartment block, Werkbundsiedlung (WuWa), Wroclaw

RIBA11225House for Dr Kriebel, Wroclaw

RIBA13307Design for Skikda Palace Hotel, Philippeville

RIBA17973Church of Notre Dame, Le Raincy, Paris

RIBA41215Haus Scherk, Mozartstrasse 10 / Kaulbachstrasse 25, Laubwitz, Berlin: view of the front door and the end of the house featuring a semi-circular bay

RIBA74281Apartment block, 74 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Brussels

RIBA114268Bauhaus building, Dessau