Modern Forerunners

1900-1920’s

At the beginning of the 20th century, certain architects advance the search for a modern architecture to express the spirit of a new age. Industrialization continues unabated in Europe during the early 20th century. This is particularly evident in expanded businesses, more factories, mass production, and the growth of cities. Also, the period marks the widespread adoption of electricity as well as an increase in the number of automobiles, telephones, and cinemas.

Architects and engineers, sometimes working together, develop a new visual language, without reference to previous historical styles, except perhaps through classical ordering or attributes such as symmetry. Form and its manipulation is all important to communicate construction demands, function, new relationships, and a machine aesthetic.

Remember these points:
1. 5 types of innovators arise in the Modern Forerunners style: Form, Construction, Expressionist, Nationalist, and American Innovators.
2. Types: commercial buildings, offices, railway stations, factories, theaters, and garages.
3. prominent city streets, in parks, near large numbers of people
4. Floor plans: designers pay much attention to building function in shaping forms and volumes of space to develop plans.
5. new materials: reinforced concrete (a concrete that has internal metal rods to strengthen it) or brick covering a steel frame and glass walls
6. Natural light enters spaces through large windows, light wells, or skylights.








Furniture and Interiors:
During this period, these innovative architects and designers often pay little attention to furniture and decorative arts. When they do, however, furniture reflective of the Arts and Crafts Movement is often the choice, with designs that are simple, plain, and unadorned.

1. Peter Behrens: architect from Germany, provides furniture for particular projects with selected examples published internationally.
2. Frank Lloyd Wright: North America, is another exception because he creates furnishings and decorative arts for his buildings as a part of the whole concept.
3. Wright’s office chairs, desks, and tables often convey an architectonic quality, simplicity, concern for human scale, and inventiveness.
4. Compositions are sever, angular, and often uncomfortable.
5. Furniture designs usually appear as parts of a whole integrated unit like his interiors.





Symbols and Motifs: There is no vocabulary for motifs because buildings are generally unadorned. Some architects include unique architectural details that are a part of the building structure.


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