De Stijl architecture was formed by a group of young artists who created the new movement in 1917; calling both the movement and the magazine they published De Stijl. The group promoted utopian ideals and group members believed in the birth of new age in the wake of WWI. They felt it was a time of balance between individual and universal values. The work was completely abstract as well. The goal was total integration of art and life.
GERRIT THOMAS RIETVELD, Schroder House, the Netherlands, 1924. Rietveld came to the De Stijl group as a cabinet maker and created spectacular furniture throughout his life. He used this as an inspiration for the plans and designs of his architecture. He expresses his spirits and definition into the whole piece. This structure is an anti-cube and does not contain much functional space, nor did it intend to. It instead throws all of this space out of the center therefore making the height, width, and depth an open space. The main areas such as the living room are on the second floor where as the private rooms are confined to the bottom. The second floor also uses sliding objects in order to be able to have definite shape or be open when needed. The movable panels illustrate three-dimensional ideas but have proportional planes. This contemporary style portrays nature through its open plan.
Walter Gropius developed a particular vision of “total architecture”. He made this concept the key to his work and the work of others who studied under him at a school called, The Bauhaus. It taught that all art forms, from simple to complex should be designed as a unit.
WALTER GROPIUS, Shop Block, the Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany, 1925-1926. In 1924 a new government was elected who forced the Bauhaus to move north to Dessau. When the Bauhaus program had matured, Gropius set guidelines for the schools universal goals. These included maintaining a positive attitude to living in a contemporary world (technology was embraced), avoid all romantic embellishment and whimsy, restriction to basic forms and colors to what is typical and universally intelligible, and simplicity within complexity. All these goals are used in Gropius’ Work Shop Block. The building consisted of workshop, class areas, dining rooms, a theatre, and gym. Standing 3 stories tall, it housed many activities and programs however in a simplistic form. They constructed the Skelton of reinforced concrete but supported it back farther in order to sheath the entire building with glass creating a streamlined and light effect also revealing the classrooms beyond. The building is lifted off the ground slightly, seemingly floating. The white horizontal stringcourses also embrace the building. He wanted the “economy in the use of space” which was one of the schools ultimate goals. It is organized and simplistic, free from embellishments or architectural motifs, a masterpiece he always dreamed to create during his career.
This style from the 1920s to 1950s was greatly influenced by the Bauhaus. Its qualities and styles focus on simple geometric aesthetics. Le Corbusier, an influential architect and theorist on modern architecture applied himself to designing a functional living space which he referred to as a “machine for living” using these ideas.
LE CORBUSIER, Villa Savoye, 1929, Poissy-sur-Seine, France
Le Corbusier made an elegant country house which dominates its site and has a broad view of the landscape that surrounds it. It is essentially a cube that is composed with the idea of space where free open-rooms let light flow freely throughout the house as well as utilizing the space it has, including using the roof as a patio. It contains a three-bedroom villa with servant’s quarters and the main part of the house is lifted off the ground by narrow columns and thin freestanding posts. It does not have a definite entrance and the building has no traditional façade so...