Modernism vs Neo-Traditionalism: A debate on the merits and failures of two major competing paradigms in architecture and urban planning.
Beyond the term modernism underlies one of the greatest ideas in architectural development. Modernism was meant to provide more green areas, cheaper housing and more efficient use of space. This was to be accomplished by creating vertically dense spaces with the use of the new inventions of the nineteenth century, such as steel, glass, electricity and elevators. By decreasing costs of building, modernists hoped to provide cheaper housing, affordable to almost anybody. The modernist movement was also promising to meet the growing demand for office spaces, hence the motto…show more content… “Form follows function”, said Sullivan, one of the founding fathers of modernism. As a response to mechanization and industrialization, modernism was extremely beneficial to companies that needed office space. To have a skyscraper built was a great investment on the company’s side, not only did it provide the necessary office space, it also allowed to lease the remaining offices to other companies, thus making a profit. Modernism also appealed to the general population since the rise in birth rates provided a greater demand for housing. Many argued that same modular spaces would promote equality among its inhabitants. Modernism also promised to create more public spaces with green areas and waterworks by the virtue of vertical density. Supposedly, there would be more space.
Not to forget, the building and maintenance costs of a modernist building were significantly less than that of a traditional one.
However, nor Federal Plaza, a textbook modernist landscape, nor housing projects seem to have public spaces around them. Modernism was applied selectively, leaving out perhaps one of its most important functions. And although Mies van der Rohe did say the less is more in terms of ornamentation, there do not seem to be any sources that argue that modernist buildings have to be so redundant. There’s no reason that modernist architecture and can not have some