International Style (1922-1970)

The term “International Style” described a kind of design that spreaded mainly in Germany, Holland and France.

Cover of The International Style by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson
Cover of The International Style by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson.

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International Style Characteristics

The typical features of International Style structures include linear forms, plane surfaces that are completely without ornamentation and open, even fluid, inner spaces. This form of minimalism had a singular “modern look”, improved by its employement of modern materials, including glass for the facade, steel for exterior support, and concrete for interior supports and floors.


S. R. Crown Hall.
S. R. Crown Hall.

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._R._Crown_Hall

Moma Exhibition

Model of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye from Modern Architecture: International Exhibition
Model of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye from Modern Architecture: International Exhibition.

The “Modern Architecture: International Exhibition” is the name of an exhibition that opened in 1932 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Curated by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock, the exhibition presented a new architectural style featured with simplified geometries and a lack of ornamentation, the so-called International Style.

Image source: https://www.archdaily.com/page/2414?ATTACHMENT_ID=280100

International Style Architects

Important figures of the International Style were brilliant and innovative architects:

1. Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, was an architect belonging to the first generation of the International school. Hismost famous work of International style was Villa Savoye. It was designed addressing  emblematic “Five Points” of Le Corbusier, the basic tenets in new architectural aesthetic:

  1. Support of ground-level pilotis, to elevate the structure;
  2. Functional roof, to stay in contact with nature;
  3. Free floor plan;
  4. Long horizontal windows;
  5. Freely-designed facades;
Villa Savoye in Poissy,Paris, France.
Villa Savoye in Poissy,Paris, France.

Image source: http://homez.design/DetailsExplorer/IdeaPhotoDetails/3503

2. Richard Neutra was born in Vienna in 1892 and studied at the Technische Hochschule  from 1911 to 1917. He can be defined as one of the most important architects of the time. His project for the Lovell (Health) House, with balconies sustained by steel cables from the roof structure. The open-web skeleton was taken to the steep hillside by truck. Neutra’s way of creating designs was geometric and simple, and was always aware of the site and its potentiality.

Lovell (Health) House (1929), Los Angeles
Lovell (Health) House (1929), Los Angeles.

Image source: https://www.archdaily.com/104713/ad-classics-lovell-house-richard-neutra/5037fa6128ba0d599b000754-ad-classics-lovell-house-richard-neutra-photo

Info source: https://www.britannica.com/art/International-Style-architecture

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