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What is the Difference Between Modern and Contemporary Architecture Design?

The terms modern architecture design and contemporary architecture design are often used interchangeably. However, the two terms do have different meanings. Below we discuss the difference between modern architecture design and contemporary architecture design.

What is Modern Architecture Design?

Modern Architecture Design is the architecture of the 20th century. This style was a major departure from the 19th-century styles. Modernism rejected the historicism of previous eras, and instead embraced technology and industrialization, as well as an international style.

Modern architecture was born out of a desire for change after World War I and II. The war had decimated European cities, making them look like “cities of rubble” (according to Adolf Behne), where people lived in bombed-out apartment blocks with little access to fresh air or sunlight. In response to this situation, architects began designing new kinds of buildings that would provide more light and air than traditional structures could provide.

Modernist architects believed that buildings should be designed using simple geometric shapes, such as rectangles and squares, rather than

modern architecture design | glass entrance | Dean Larkin Design

ornate constructions using columns or curved lines. They also believed that these shapes should be arranged in simple patterns without unnecessary decorations like moldings or decorative trim around windows or doors.

Features of Modern Architecture Design

Modern architecture is often associated with minimalism, industrial design, and function. Some of its best-known practitioners include Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Some of Modern Architecture’s most notable features include:

  • Vertical structures with strong horizontal lines
  • Use of glass and steel
  • Flat or low pitched roofs
  • Use of concrete and steel-frame construction
  • Open floor plans
  • Lack of non-functional adornment

What is Contemporary Architecture Design

Contemporary architecture design refers to the style and approach of architects from the 1940s to the present. The term is used to describe the work of today’s leading architects and the design elements they introduce into their structures. Contemporary architecture has its own distinct style, which takes into account modern technology and construction methods.

Contemporary architecture includes a range of styles since the style is not limited to any particular period, such as Modernism and Postmodernism. The style can include Deconstructivism, Brutalism and others. Contemporary architecture may be classified within traditional categories like vernacular architecture or progressive design, and may include these design elements alongside more recent innovations.

View of rear of home with glass wall, outdoor patio and pool | Contemporary Architecture Design | Dean Larkin Design

The term “contemporary” refers to the present time or period, which means that an architect who works in this style may be using many of the same materials as his Modernist counterparts but placing them in a different context. Some architects focus on the use of new materials and technologies, while others are interested in environmental issues or social justice.

Features of Contemporary Architecture Design

Contemporary architecture strives to make buildings more efficient, comfortable and sustainable by applying new technologies and materials to traditional design principles. The style can be characterized by new materials and technologies that are used in building construction projects such as glass-and-steel frames. The goal is thoughtful evolution over time rather than necessarily revolutionary change.

Contemporary architecture design is often characterized by:

  • Free form composition
  • Use of glass, steel and concrete for construction materials
  • Use of an open floor plan with few walls dividing rooms
  • Large expanses of windows allowing natural light into the structure
  • Glass walls
  • Sustainable design
  • Both angles and curves

Contact Dean Larkin Design For Modern and Contemporary Architecture Design

In essence, “modern architecture” refers to a period of time that saw monumental changes in society and technology, which then influenced the design of buildings. “Contemporary” architecture, on the other hand, denotes a style that is concerned with pursuing new ideas and sustainability, and makes use of a variety of mixed materials.

Dean Larkin Design was established in Los Angeles in 1999 and this architecture firm maximizes the intrinsic potential of a location, including its available natural light sources and views. Dean Larkin is very familiar with historical, modern, and contemporary design in the entire Los Angeles area, and the firm endeavors to achieve a complexity that is multi-layered with an effortless elegance. For a design that is innovative, unlocks your location’s innate potential by making specific use of light, views and more, and uniquely designed for the way you live, contact Dean Larkin for a consultation.