components of modern architechture

What Are The Defining Characteristics of Modern Architecture?

Whether you are working with an architect, like BLDG.Collective, or you just want to design your own home, you might have heard of modern architecture but you are not completely sure what it is or how you can follow its designs to ensure your home looks modern and chic.

This guide will cover what modern architecture is and how you can design your home to have all the characteristics of this amazing design.

The Origins of Modern Architecture

Modern architecture first became a building style in America and Europe around the first half of the 20th century. It first became a movement against such design such as Gothic and Victorian. The whole point of modern architecture from the beginning has been to build spaces that are functional rather than just purely decorative.

Some people also say that modern architecture was what lead to the ideas of skyscrapers and other large functional buildings that are still being used today.

Even though modern architecture begin more than 100 years ago, it’s still used very often today in both homes and commercial spaces for people who want their home to be simple, elegant, and functional.


There are many people that helped create modern architecture including names you might already know like Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe.

By the 1930s, many people were jumping on the modern architecture bandwagon and the movement became known as International Style or International Modernism.

Main Characteristics of Modern Architecture

There are many different styles of modern architecture so it can be difficult to tell the style from one another. The styles are different, but they all have some main characteristics in common which is how people know its modern architecture.

Asymmetrical Designs

Unlike buildings and designs from the movements before modern architecture, there are not the same amount of windows or columns on both sides of the buildings in modern architectural designs.

The shapes are also larger and smoother. The designs are often asymmetrical and there are not many extra decorations around the buildings. Remember it’s all about function and not unnecessary decoration.

Open Floorplans

The floorplans in these buildings are open and inviting. The dining areas and kitchen often connect to one another without there being a doorway or closure in the middle. In some homes, the dining room, living room, and kitchen might all connect to one another.

These homes are highly functional rather than being closed off to the people living in them.

Large Windows

In modern architecture homes, you’ll see large windows in the main rooms of the home. Some homes might also have large windows in the bedrooms depending on which direction they face. Some homes might even have complete walls of glass rather than windows.

This allows a lot of natural light to come into the home and also makes the home look cheery and more inviting compared to having a dark interior.

Roof Overhangs

Many modern homes have low roof overhangs that are very large. This is common in most homes today even ones that do not quite follow all the rules of modern architecture.

Variety of Buildings Materials

Modern homes use many modern materials like concrete, iron, steel, and glass. However, they still incorporate a number of different traditional building materials including wood, stones, and brick.

This is because another main component of modern architecture is that the designers are always looking for ways to show off the natural beauty of the home without overdesigning or doing too much decoration.

Clean Lines

Modern architecture builds in a way that is smooth and consistent. The lines are clean and simple rather than having different shapes in the design.

Uses the Outside Environment

Modern architecture is incorporated into the natural landscape rather than changing or ruining a property to build the home or space. This means designs and building sites are often changed so that the property can continue to include the trees, flowers, and other natural things that might be around the home.

components of modern architechture

Things to Remember About Modern Architecture

The above are all the different characteristics of modern architecture but there are some main things that are important to remember when it comes to designing or living in a modern home.

Modern Architecture is not the same as Contemporary Architecture

Many people confuse these things as the same, but they are very different from one another. The movements of the different architecture also happened at different times which means they cannot be considered as starting at the same time.

Modern architecture all begin because of art movements that started in the early 1900s and lasted until about the 1960s.

Contemporary architecture actually began later and continued well past the 1960s. It also includes current designs that are always changing.

Some say Modern Homes are too Cold

Today, homes use a mix of modern and contemporary architecture because just the modern designs were said to be too cold. Sometimes the design is mainly modern but the home will use more color and more decoration to make it a more inviting and welcoming place to live.

Many people still use the open floor plans that belong to modern architecture because they like the idea of free-flowing spaces. The only areas with doors and more privacy are the bedrooms and washrooms.

Modern Architecture has a Common Theme of No Ornamentation

Since function is the strictest part of modern homes, ornamentation is viewed as unnecessary. The buildings and homes are not meant to be showy. Some designers even added art glass windows so that the home does not need any extra decoration or artwork.

Final Thoughts

Modern architecture is very different from other designs and architectural movements because it’s all about doing the bare minimum rather than having meaningful designs and decorations.

Although most people do not live in purely modern homes anymore because they are often seen as cold, elements of modern architecture like big windows and open floorplans are seen in homes all over the world.

Salman Zafar

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