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Beginnings: 1920s Modernism

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.

Return to the Modernism through the Decades landing page.

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

RIBA5158
Stam, Mart (1899-1986)
NOTES: Weissenhof, located on a hillside overlooking Stuttgart, was an experimental housing settlement designed by sixteen leading architects of the Modern Movement for the 1927 exhibition 'Die Wohnung' (The Home).

House, Am Rupenhorn 24, Berlin

RIBA10504
Anker, Alfons (1872-1958)

Apartment block, Werkbundsiedlung (WuWa), Wroclaw

RIBA11067
Rading, Adolf (1888-1957)
NOTES: Wroclaw was formally Breslau, Germany.

House for Dr Kriebel, Wroclaw

RIBA11225
Rading, Adolf (1888-1957)
NOTES: Wroclaw was formally Breslau, Germany.

Design for Skikda Palace Hotel, Philippeville

RIBA13307
Goldfinger, Erno (1902-1987)

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

RIBA41215
Freud, Ernst Ludwig (1892-1970)
NOTES: Haus Scherk was built for the perfume manufacture and patron of young, avant-garde architects, Ludwig Scherk.

Apartment block, 74 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Brussels

RIBA74281
Bourgeois, Victor (1897-1962)

Bauhaus building, Dessau

RIBA114268
Gropius, Walter (1883-1969)

City Library, Stockholm

RIBA3498-61
Asplund, Erik Gunnar (1885-1940)

Cafe de Unie, Rotterdam

RIBA3530-63
Oud, J. J. P. (Jacobus Johannes Pieter) (1890-1963)

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

RIBA4832
Kolbe, Georg (1877-1947)
NOTES: The German Pavilion was originally built for the International Exhibition 1929. It was rebuilt in 1986.

Church of Notre Dame, Le Raincy, Paris

RIBA17973
Perret, Auguste (1874-1954)
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