The world has changed quite a bit over the last 120 years. Even many buildings constructed only a century ago look vastly different than when they were first unveiled. But if you’re a 20th-century architecture enthusiast, today is your lucky day because below; we’ve gathered some of our favorite pics from the Old Architecture Facebook page.
From massive Brutalist buildings to stunning ski resorts, these photos will give you a blast from the past and some insight into the minds of the architects of the time. Enjoy this gorgeous eye candy, and be sure to upvote the buildings you’d like to see in person! (H/T)
01. Louis Kahn – Library, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, USA, 1965-71
02. Johnson Wax HQ, Frank Lloyd Wright
03. Terminal 5, Eero Saarinen, 1962 | New York
The Old Architecture Facebook page is dedicated to all the most stunning buildings created in the 20th century. And if you’re not an avid architecture enthusiast, have no fear; the pics are beautiful enough for anyone to appreciate them. This page has amassed an impressive 67k followers since its creation in 2012, and it has found gorgeous photos of the world’s most beautiful buildings. But if you’re interested in more than just photos, we’ll discuss 20th-century architecture to understand better how these buildings came to be.
Now, the architecture of any given time can vary significantly based on location and the architect in question. Still, one thought held by Italian architect Bruno Zevi (1918-2000) was that “Architecture does not derive from a sum of lengths, widths, and heights of the constructive elements that envelop the space but emanates from the void itself, from the enveloped space, from the interior space, in which men die and live.” The 20th century gave birth to many architectural styles and trends that were “largely characterized by the search for functionality and the importance of interior space, to the detriment of the ornamental work of the facade,” STACBOND explains on their site.
04. Félix Candela – Capilla De La Medalla De La Virgen Milagrosa, Mexico City, 1953
05. La Baule – “L’immeuble En Vague” (The Wave Building), Resort Of La Baule, Brittany, France Built In The 1970-S By Pierre Doucet. (C) Etienne Gérard
06. The Track Featured Is A Real Race Track, Built On The Roof Of A Fiat Factory That Opened In Turin’s Ligotto District In 1923
In contrast to the Cast-iron architecture of the previous century, modernist architecture emerged in the 1900s, presenting intensely decorative trends with many rounded shapes. “This type of architecture seeks to break the monotony of the lines of the facade through the asymmetry and the curved and free forms,” STACBOND explains. “The most commonly used materials are steel, wrought iron, and glass, typical elements of industrial-type architecture, but used in combination with the forms of nature and a revaluation of craftsmanship.”
Particularly in Spain, the modernist school gained much traction in Catalonia, with Antoni Gaudí popularizing it. Some of his most famous works include Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, Colonia Güell Church, and Sagrada Família, whose creative designs feature curved lines, a variety of mosaics, polychrome, and stucco.
“The complex geometries of a Gaudí building so coincide with its architectural structure that the whole, including its surface, gives the appearance of being a natural object in complete conformity with nature’s laws,” Britannica explains. “Such a sense of total unity also informed the life of Gaudí; his personal and professional lives were one, and his collected comments about the art of building are essentially aphorisms about the art of living. He was dedicated to architecture, a totality of many arts.”
07. Paulo Mendes Da Rocha | Casa No Butantã, The Architect’s Own Home. Brasil, São Paulo, 1966
08. Buckminster Fuller’s Former United States Pavilion At Expo 67, Montréal, Québec. Photo: Robert Duchesnay
09. Les Choux De Créteil, Creitel, France, built Between 1969-74, architect Gérard Grandval. (C) B.a.c.u./ 2015 Dumitru Rusu
Following the decline of Art Nouveau during the inter-war period of the 1900s, the Art Deco or Hollywood style became increasingly popular. Contrary to Soviet constructivism, which was simultaneously gaining popularity, Art Deco is a “decorative and eclectic style,” STACBOND writes. “The use of geometry is not dedicated to the straight line, but also to the regular use of curves, circles, polygons, etc. Aztec, Egyptian or Mesopotamian motifs and zigzag lines also appear. Perhaps its greatest representative is the Chrysler building in New York, despite numerous examples worldwide, and the style has transcended popular culture in the form of settings for video games, animation, or films.”
10. Oklahoma State Capitol Bank – 1962
11. The Boomerang, Office Building For Johnson Wax, 1960, Mijdrecht, Netherlands. Architecture: Huig Aart Maaskant (H.a. Maaskant). Photo: Jan Versnel
12. Terrace House (1965) In Oslo, Norway, By Anne-Tinne & Mogens Friis
Rationalism is considered the primary architectural style of the 20th century, which is featured many times on this list. It focused on constructing large housing blocks of simple, symmetrical geometric shapes, often concrete. Rationalism includes five main points: pilotis, free design of the ground plan, a free facade, light through large horizontal windows, and terrace and roof gardens. The pilotis support the building and allow space for cars, without allowing commercial ground floors and basements, and having a free design of the ground plan “opens the possibility of modifying the uses and interior spaces, making them independent of the structure,” STACBOND explains.
13. Marin County Civic Center, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1960
14. Pavilion Of Australia On Expo 1970 In Osaka, Japan, By James MacCormick
15. Gas Station, Ogre, Latvia, 1965 – 20th-Century Architecture
A free facade means the building’s skin is mainly used for protection rather than bearing any structural load. Large horizontal windows are also possible thanks to the loss of supporting walls utilizing pillars and slabs. Ideally, light enters the whole room equally through these windows. And the terrace and roof gardens contrast traditional, sloping roofs that buildings before had seen. “In this way, the terraces of the buildings become another element of the development that can be used for different purposes by the tenants,” STACBOND writes.
16. A Beautiful Polygonal Mix Of Brick And Exposed Concrete: Dieter Oesterlen: Christuskirche, Bochum, Germany, 1956–1959
17. Juan Haro Piñar’s Oliva Service Station, Valencia, 1960 – 20th-Century Architecture
18. Szépvölgyi Street 88.b, Budapest, Built-In 1933-1934, By Fischer József Photographer Unknown
One facet of Rationalism I’m sure we’re all familiar with is Brutalism. This Soviet-born style was prevalent during the 1970s in Eastern Europe and Anglo-Saxon countries. Concrete and steel were the primary materials utilized, and the buildings included “imposing geometric [shapes] of large volumes” to highlight the raw materials used. These buildings tend to be relatively simple, with harsh, straight lines, and according to STACBOND, they’ve recently had a revival, despite the deterioration many of these structures have suffered over the past few decades.
19. Palacio De Alvorada (1958) – 20th-Century Architecture
20. Aquila Service Station, Sesto San Giovanni (Mi), Italy, 1949. Architect: Aldo Favini
21. Tsujiki District, Tokyo – Kenzo Tange, 1963
Another trend that emerged in the 20th century was Deconstructivism, or controlled chaos, which “was born in the 1980s as a movement that seeks the fragmentation of buildings, the challenge to straight lines and classic geometric forms,” STACBOND explains. One famous example of this style is the Prague Dancing House, a fascinating building that makes me feel a little seasick just by looking at it. This style experiments with risky forms and presents chaotic-looking structures within an established order. They also often incorporate innovative materials that architects adapt for their purposes.
22. Arango House, John Lautner, Acapulko Mexico, 1973
23. Karl Hugo Schmölz – Hauptbahnhof Köln, 1957
24. Interior Of Maison Ozenfant By Le Corbusier
Are these photos making you wish to return and see these buildings when they were first unveiled? We hope you’re enjoying these stunning architecture and pics of 20th-century buildings, A&D followers, and please remember to keep upvoting all of your favorites. Let us know in the comments below if you have any favorite 20th-century architects or structures. If you want to check out another A&D article featuring captivating photos of brilliant and fascinating architecture, look no further than right here!
25. Bauhaus Movement, Germany, 1927
26. Louis Kahn | Indian Institute Of Management Ahmedabad | Ahmedabad, India
27. Czech Slovakian Embassy In London Made By Jan Bocan, Zdenek Rothbauer, Jan Sramek, And Karel Stepansky 1965-70
28. Augustín Hernández Navarro – Hernández House, Mexico City, 1973, Photographed By Julius Shulman
29. Concert Hall, Takasaki, Japan, 1960s (Antonin Raymond And L.l. Rado)
30. Sculptured House, Colorado, USA, Built: 1963 Architect: Charles Deaton
31. Angelo Mangiarotti, Office Building, Snaidero Industrial Complex, Majano Del Friuli, Udine, Italy, 1978
32. Albert Frey’s Canvas Weekend House, Long Island, 1934
33. Hiroshima Children’s Library, Kenzo Tange, 1951-53
34. Church “Santa Maria Immacolata” (1966) In Bergamo, Italy, By Pino Pizzigoni
35. Vladimir Efimovich Tsigal And Belopolskiy, Kananin, And Khavin – Malaya Zemlya Memorial, Novorossiysk, Russia, 1982
36. Carl Fingerhuth’s ‘Concrete Hedgehog’ Swiss Army Pavilion (1964)
37. Church “Heilig Geist” (1966) In Emmerich, Germany, By Dieter Georg Baumewerd
38. La Casa Del Portuale, Architect: Aldo Rossi, Location/Year: Naples, Italy / 1968-80
39. Le Corbusier, The Shodhan House Rear Facade, Ahmedabad, India 1956
40. Brazilian Embassy In Argentina (Buenos Aires), Built Between 1978-89 By Olavo Redig De Campos And Oswaldo Cintra De Carvalho
41. Lina Bo Bardi’s House Of Glass, Sao Paulo, 1951
42. Church Of San Antonio De Las Huertas (St. Anthony Of The Orchards), Tlaxpana, Mexico City 1956
43. Paul Maymont, Maison ‘Diamant’ (Polyhedral House), 1967
44. Virkkunen & Co Architects – Haukilahti Water Tower [Finland, 1968]
45. House, Francesco And Teresa Ginoulhiac, Bergamo, Italy
46. Technical College, Busto Arsizio, Italy, 1963-64
47. Slovak Architecture 1970 – 20th-Century Architecture
48. Vladimír Dedeček’s Agricultural University, Nitra, Slovakia
49. Michail Sinyavsky, Barsch Planetarium Entrance, Moscow, Russia,1929
50. Open-Air Diving Platform, Brazil, 1960’s Architect: João Batista Vilanova Artigas
51. Hôtel Du Lac, Tunis, Tunisia, Designed By The Italian Architect Raffaele Contigiani And Built Between 1970-1974
52. The American Embassy (The Embassy Of The United States Of America) In Ballsbridge, Dublin By America Architect John Johansen 1964
53. An All-Time Brutalism Classic, The Synagogue In The Negev Desert. Zvi Hecker / Alfred Neumann / Naomi Neumann: Synagogue, Negev Desert, Israel, 1967–1969
54. Pedro Ramirez Vázquez… Museo Nacional De Antropologia, Mexico City, 1964
55. Maison Guiette (1926) In Antwerp, Belgium, By Le Corbusier
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