Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Architectural modernism in simplest terms is the banishment of ornament and the elimination of architectural history. Architecture based on historical precedent was pronounced as derivative, inauthentic, and, ultimately, dishonest, primarily because—in the view of the new orthodoxy—it failed to acknowledge advances in materials (primarily glass and steel) and construction technology. Henceforth, architecture was to embrace the social and structural realities of the twentieth century. In the eyes of the new generation, that meant buildings were to adhere to a “machine” aesthetic that expressed itself primarily in planar geometry, flat roofs, strip windows, and a total absence of decoration into the traditional sense.