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The term “Modern” is used to refer to something that is up to the minute and fashionable. From the 1920s the term “Modern” was sought by a group of architects to develop something entirely new and different for their own time. Modernist architecture saw historical styles as irrelevant and potentially decadent, particularly after WWI. They rejected ornamentation i.e., decorative moldings thus seeking new materials and structural approaches such as reinforced concrete and steel frames.


The development of steel and other metal frames became one of the crucial aspects of Modern Architecture. Most of the buildings in the 1880s depended on their walls to hold them up. The taller the building the thicker the base of the wall, sometimes leading up to 6 feet in width. But with the development of steel frames, the walls were no longer required to bear any weight instead the building was held up by the interior frame, while walls kept the weather extremities out.

Initially, the steel structure buildings were added in bricks, stones and continued to appear as massive as their ancestors. But as time went on, the windows became larger and the cladding became thinner. The non-load-bearing walls came to know as “curtain walls” because they hung on the frames.

Steel frames provided flexibility in plans due to steel beams and girders allowing the creation of wide interior spaces.


The notion that “Form follows function

  • Elimination of unnecessary detail: Decorative moldings are eliminated or greatly simplified, giving way to a clean aesthetic where materials meet in simple, well-executed joints.
  • Visual Expression of Structure: Materials are often used in well-defined planes and vertical forms juxtaposed against horizontal elements for dramatic effect.
  • Flat roofs, Fiberglass roofs, emphasis on horizontal planes, and broad roof overhangs
    is quite common these days?
  • Use of modern materials and systems: The use of steel or stainless steel is quite common these days in modern architecture or simply modern houses. Steel columns are used in exposed applications and concrete block is used as a finished material.
  • Truth to materials: Materials such as wood, brick, and stone are used in simplified ways reflecting a modern aesthetic. Brick and stonework are simple, unornamented, and used in rectilinear masses and planes.
  • Emphasis on the honesty of materials: Wood is often stained rather than painted to express its natural character. In many cases, exterior wood is also stained so that the texture and character of the wood can be expressed.
  • Relationship between interior spaces and sites: The use of large expanses of glass in effect brings the building’s site into the building, taking advantage of dramatic views and natural landscaping.
  • Emphasis on open, flowing interior spaces: Living spaces are no longer defined by walls, doors, and hallways. Living, dining, and kitchen spaces tend to flow together as part of one continuous interior space, reflecting a more casual and relaxed way of life.
  • Generous use of glass and natural light: Windows is no longer portholes to the outside, but large expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass providing dramatic views and introducing natural light deep into the interior of homes.
  • Use of sun and shading to enhance human comfort: The best modern homes are efficient. They are oriented to take advantage of nature’s forces to provide passive solar heating in the winter, while long overhangs and recessed openings provide shading to keep homes cool in the summers. In short, it is quite evident that modern houses particularly modern architecture and construction trends uses a hybrid approach toward i.e., using different materials at the same time for better aesthetics and durability with the evolving nature architecture.

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