During the twentieth century, there was a significant shift in architecture from traditional designs to more original forms and aesthetics. While the majority of Modernist movements are now seen as experimental, Mid-Century Modern design has managed to transcend the history and remain popular even today. Mid-Century Modern style denotes the wave in design that became popular between the 1930s and the 1960s (Arnason and Mansfield 527). It is characterized by contemporary, and, at first glance, futuristic aesthetic. However, the key focus of the style is the combination of function and a unique design that is appealing to the eye.
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In Chapter 32, Mid-Century Modern design is explored with the help of multiple examples of architecture, from skyscrapers to personal houses. The style of architecture is shown to combine functionalism and social relevance, which means that practicality goes hand-in-hand with aesthetic value. Frank Lloyd Wright immensely contributed to the development of the architectural style through working on the creation of a self-sufficient community of schools, parks, detached houses, and farms, all of which were intended to have utilitarian value while also being pleasant to the eye. Le Corbusier is considered one of the most prominent representatives of Mid-Century Modern architecture, with Villa Savoye being the marking the pinnacle of his work (Arnason and Mansfield 531).
Le Corbusier embedded several architectural characteristics into Mid-Century Modern design, including a free interior plan, the roof garden, the free façade, horizontal windows, as well as narrow pillars that support the house. Free plans in interiors are essential for the design because they allow architects to experiment with shapes and placement. Thus, the exterior of the buildings is characterized by the sharpness and cleanliness of forms, while the interiors play a functional role in making spaces warm and appealing.
Arnason, H.H., and Elizabeth Mansfield. History of Modern Art. 7th ed., Pearson, 2012.