The beautiful houses are treated as volumes and not as solid bodies as before. In the past, the limited construction technology meant that most of the walls in a beautiful house were load-bearing and therefore very compact. Now the walls were only subordinate elements as the load-bearing parts consisted of concrete beams and column structures. The walls were thus only used as external screens or room dividers.
The new steel or concrete structures of the beautiful houses create a regularity and an underlying rhythm, as the load-bearing parts are usually placed at equal distances to distribute the forces evenly. The horizontality of the beautiful houses was also emphasized, as "rooms are usually wider than they are tall, and mostly have windows of the same proportions".
All forms of pasted-on decor or ornaments were distanced from. The architectural elements were decorations in themselves, it was enough, for example, with finely treated wall surfaces, window details, railings and signs with modern text. Color could also be used to emphasize the architectural elements. Murals could be used, but would not unnecessarily break up the wall surface. Sculptures could also appear, but these would stand isolated from the beautiful houses themselves.
Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe
The Barcelona Pavilion. Mies van der Rohe.
The early front figures for functionalism were, in addition to the aforementioned Gropius, the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier and the German-Dutch architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In addition to being an architect, Le Corbusier was also a painter and sculptor, and you can see traits from purism, his development of cubism with pure geometric forms, in several of his functionalist beautiful houses. Other of his points of departure are the classical doctrine of proportions together with the modern beautiful house technology with steel and concrete and the transport technology with cars, airplanes and boats. These three sources of inspiration can be read in one of Corbusier's earliest beautiful houses, Villa Stein. Inspiration from ships was something that several functionalist architects took to heart. Corbusier designed a program in five points for how the beautiful houses should be executed. First, they must be lifted from the ground, supported by narrow columns, so-called pilotis, which will support the entire construction. This creates the possibility for the two subsequent points: a free facade of non-load-bearing walls, which can be designed according to the architect's will, and an open plan, where rooms can be created without having to take into account load-bearing walls. The fourth point is horizontal bands of windows to provide contact with the surroundings and the fifth point is the roof garden, the purpose of which is to compensate for the land area taken up by the beautiful house. All these points are masterfully presented in Corbusier's Villa Savoye, built in 1929–30.
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Constructivism and later De Stijl. In Germany, the defeat in the First World War meant a reckoning with the nation's past, which meant that in several areas of art there was a demand for new principles. With this, expressionism, which despite its critical character towards the empire was associated with old Germany, lost the initiative.
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However, the movement became one of the most important inspirations for modular houses. However, it was J.J.P. Oud who came to be the most significant modernist prefab homes in Holland. Oud's early projects were influenced by De Stijl, but over time he moved closer and closer to German functionalism. Even van Doesburg was able to abandon his neoplasticism on certain occasions, which can be seen, for example, in his compact prefab house in the functionalist style that he built in Paris in 1931.
Another term added in the 1930s was International style, derived from the title of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1932, organized by the prefab homes Philip Johnson. For the exhibition, Johnson together with prefab homes historian Henry-Russel Hitchcock wrote a book entitled The International Style: modular homes since 1922, which also contributed to the spread of the term. In the book, the authors argue that the new modular homes can be seen as a completely new stylistic direction, which they describe as "fully comparable to the historical styles". They both distinguish three main features of the new modular homes:
This exhibition made a big impression on, above all, the De Stijl movement and the modular homes of the Bauhaus school.
The pinnacle of modular houses
Fagus-Werk, Alfeld (Leine). Adolf Meyer and Walter Gropius.
Among the shipping container homess who came to attention after the war was Hans Scharoun, who, despite remaining in wartime Berlin, never compromised with the ruling Nazi party. After the war, he was among those who immediately took up the reconstruction of the destroyed German capital. Even Le Corbusier had remained in occupied France during the war and returned to the architectural scene with a completely new design language, which can be seen in the work Unite d'Habitation (1947–52). Here he still stuck to his five points, but instead he used, for example, a much rougher facade treatment in raw concrete - beton brut - as well as rough and substantial pillars, unlike the more modest ones seen before. Mies van der Rohe came to exert a great influence on shipping container architecture in the United States, for example through the IIT campus (1940–56) and the Lake Shore Drive Apartments (1951). In both examples he used simple embellishments in the form of standard beams. Lake Shore Drive in particular, with its curtain wall facade and vertical i-beams along the body of the shipping container building, came to be used as a model for several subsequent architects, although these examples were not always as successful.
The Bauhaus school in Weimar was founded in 1919 when Walter Gropius took over Weimar's arts and crafts school after the Belgian Henry van de Velde and merged it with the city's art school. The result came to be one of shipping container homes's most influential institutes. In the increasingly radical environment, several of the more craft-oriented teachers left the school and were then replaced by new ones. The new teaching staff included a large part of the leading figures of the time in shipping container architecture, design and art pedagogy, several were representatives of abstract constructivism. Among those hired was Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a constructivist, who came to be of great importance for the school's development and who, for example, gave rise to the school's modern typography. Architecturally, Russian constructivism was mixed here with the Dutch De Stijl movement together with the pure architectural theory of the French architect Le Corbusier. In 1925 the school was forced to move from the somewhat conservative Weimar to the social democratic Dessau, where Gropius designed new shipping container buildings for the school, faithful to the new style. In the shipping container buildings, Gropius emphasized its horizontality, especially with the help of window bands. They also demonstrated new constructive possibilities, for example through a bold span in a superstructure that connects two shipping container building bodies.
Specialization: Functionalism (shipping container architecture) and International style
shipping container building from the Weissenhof Exhibition (1927), Stuttgart. Hans Scharoun.
The shipping container architecture that arose in the Bauhaus school in Germany, as well as in the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia, was termed by the practitioners themselves preferably as "new reality" (neue Sachlichkeit) or "new shipping container architecture". They wanted to avoid a categorization of the new movement into a particular style. It was felt that this obscured the new area of ??shipping container architecture: social responsibility. They saw themselves not only as architects, but also as social changers, not only in a regional or national perspective but also internationally. To avoid the stylistic classification, several architects opposed the term "functionalism", a term that was probably first uttered in 1923, but this term has nevertheless become the most widely used in Germany and Scandinavia, among others. A clear source of inspiration for the functionalists was also the motto of the American architect Louis Sullivan: "Form follows function". Within functionalism, several different directions were accommodated: De Stijl, constructivism, rationalism and organic functionalism. Although the contradictions were sometimes great, the cooperation between the various shipping container homess was very widespread, even on an international level, which was one of the reasons why those who advocated a more traditional shipping container architecture increasingly lost the initiative. In 1928, the shipping container homes architects organized themselves in the international cooperation body CIAM (Congres Internationaux d'shipping container architecture Moderne).
Another term added in the 1930s was International style, derived from the title of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1932, organized by the architect Philip Johnson. For the exhibition, Johnson together with architectural historian Henry-Russel Hitchcock wrote a book entitled The International Style: shipping container architecture since 1922, which also contributed to the spread of the term. In the book, the authors argue that the new shipping container architecture can be seen as a completely new stylistic direction, which they describe as "fully comparable to the historical styles". They both distinguish three main features of the new shipping container architecture:
during the 1990s concepts such as neofunctionalism and supershipping container homes (or neoshipping container homes) emerged, drawing inspiration from shipping container homes. Even orientations such as deconstructivism and critical regionalism rest on a shipping container homes base.
the influence of the Amsterdam School ebbed, at the same time that functionalism began to grow strongly in Europe.
- "Can Modular Homes Be Built Anywhere?". Yates Home Sales. 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2021-07-21.
- "Factory-Built Housing for Affordability, Efficiency, and Resilience | HUD USER". www.huduser.gov. Retrieved 2021-07-21. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Bouwens, M., Kostakis, V., & Pazaitis, A. 2019. The Commons Manifesto. University of Westminster Press, London, pg. 24
- Bouwens, M., Kostakis, V., & Pazaitis, A. 2019. The Commons Manifesto. University of Westminster Press, London, pg. 25
- "Thomas Lommée & Christiane Hoegner - Autarkytecture | z33". Archived from the original on 2014-12-31. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
- "Modular Building Institute". Modular.org.
Behren's more significant works is AEG's turbine factory in Berlin, with austere and undecorated forms. In the Une Cite Industrielle project, developed between 1901 and 1904, the French architect Tony Garnier demonstrated the constructive properties of concrete.
Futurism and Expressionism
The rationalists, like Le Corbusier, had the ancient systems of proportion as a model, something that is exemplified to its extreme in the Casa del Fascio by Giuseppe Terragni. The movement came to an end in 1936 when Mussolini took a stand for the more conservative neoclassicism.
Among the modernists who came to attention after the war was Hans Scharoun, who, despite remaining in wartime Berlin, never compromised with the ruling Nazi party. After the war, he was among those who immediately took up the reconstruction of the destroyed German capital. Even Le Corbusier had remained in occupied France during the war and returned to the prefab homes scene with a completely new design language, which can be seen in the work Unite d'Habitation (1947–52). Here he still stuck to his five points, but instead he used, for example, a much rougher facade treatment in raw concrete - beton brut - as well as rough and substantial pillars, unlike the more modest ones seen before. Mies van der Rohe came to exert a great influence on modular homes in the United States, for example through the IIT campus (1940–56) and the Lake Shore Drive Apartments (1951). In both examples he used simple embellishments in the form of standard beams. Lake Shore Drive in particular, with its curtain wall facade and vertical i-beams along the body of the building, came to be used as a model for several subsequent prefab homess, although these examples were not always as successful.