Modern and Postmodern (1930–1980)
It is difficult to summarize the numerous facets of modern architecture. Starting with the modern movement – whose primary figure was Le Corbusier with his social agenda – it evolved into an international style that affected architecture globally. As a movement spanning over forty years, it was not a unified style, but one filled with variations and contradictions. The concrete post and beam structures of the early years, the functionalist curtain walls of the 1950s, the exposed structure of shells and long spans all demonstrate the variety of buildings that fit under the title ‘modern.’ Many of the architects of this era were idealist, utopian, intuitive, functionalist, and interested in urban theory, prefabrication of building components, new technologies, and regional approaches. Charles Jencks insightfully calls this period a collection of modern movements rather than the modern movement (1973). However vast and diverse the architecture, the drawings and sketches by these architects reflect their belief systems, the questions they asked, the building materials they used, and the formal appearance of their buildings.