Modern House designs fall under the Modernist School of Architecture. The modern era started around the 1850s after the Industrial Revolution. Architects of the time rebelled against previous architectural styles like the Neoclassical and Victorian style. They felt that these styles were excessive and impractical. The main architects known for creating the modern house design movement are Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe
Factors Leading To Modern House Design
Other than the rebellious sentiments of the modernist architects there are other factors that led to the growth of modernist architecture. Firstly, the austerity that came after the first world war contributed to many architects embracing house designs that were completely functional and lacking useless decorations.
Additionally, the industrial revolution brought about advances in technology that led to the creation of materials like steel and glass. Finally, new construction methods allowed architects to come up with ground-breaking designs such as skyscrapers.
Main Features Of Modern House Designs
One of the philosophes underpinning modern architecture is form over function, which means that houses have to be designed according to the needs of the homeowners. You can imagine that there would, therefore, be as many house designs as there are owners. However, there are some features that a house must have in order to be classified as modern.
First of all, modern houses have very straight or angled lines and a distinctive minimalist appearance with little ornamentation. The houses also have flat horizontal lines; they are low with overhanging roofs or flat roofs.
Secondly, they have lots of natural light. This effect is created by having large windows and sometimes entire walls are formed entirely of glass as with Phillip Johnsons Glass House. In addition to lots of glass modern houses emphasize the usage of modern building materials like steel and reinforced concrete. When traditional materials like wood are used, they must be utilized in an innovative way that displays their natural beauty.
Modern houses also have natural colors on their walls and roofs. The main paints used are black, white and brow. Functionality is another important feature of modern houses. Each design feature fulfills a certain need that the owner has. The furniture also has to have a purpose as there is no room for clutter in modern designs.
Another element of modern houses is that they tend to blend in with the environment where they are built. The houses are not eyesores, rather they become part of the landscape. The interiors of modern houses also have open floor plans with minimal interior walls.
Modern Houses Versus Contemporary Houses
While many people interchange the words modern and contemporary, they have completely different meanings in architecture. As discussed earlier, modernism is a school of thought that evolved after the industrial revolution and lasted to the 1950s. Contemporary house design, on the other hand, refers to a style that came about in the 21st Century. While Contemporary designs borrow a lot from Modern designs they have additional features, in particular a great focus on sustainability.