How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

published On Nov 06 2017

How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

With the various styles of architecture that has come up over the years, the confusion between the terms modern and contemporary have prevailed. Most of the times, one doesn't know when and where to use the correct term. They are often used interchangeably. So do they mean the same? Absolutely not. Although these terms often overlap one another in the expression of their characteristics, the two are very different genres of design. 

How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

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What’s The Time?

Modern architecture refers to the style of design post World War 2. It originated around the end of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. It marked its impact with a revolution in technology and materials. Breaking away from the regular norms of design, it introduced new concepts. That being said, it turned into a major movement, CIAM, which spread internationally giving a surge to modernism.

How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

Contrary to that, Contemporary Architecture is the architecture of the present. It is an ever-changing concept. Dynamic in nature, it is not era specific. Rather it is an expression of the ongoing time period.

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Modern design is characterized by simplified forms. It breaks away from ornamentation of the past and presents clean lines and minimalistic design. It focusses more on function over form in comparison to an element of surprise in contemporary design.

How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

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Characteristically, there is no specific feature in the contemporary design. It is open to experimenting. There is no dominance of any style or material or concept. It does not follow any norms but is rather designed to stand out. It is the uniqueness of its visual presence that marks the identity of contemporary design.

Do take a read to know more about  Why People Love Modern Architecture??

How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

Image Credit: Pexels

What’s Beneath the Glamour?

With modern architecture, the world saw the use of materials like glass, steel and concrete which in turn led to the birth of skyscrapers. The modern structures were all true to their materials in the sense that the use of the specific materials reflected in their visual form.

How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

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The same materials are used extensively in contemporary design with the addition of new materials such as timber, aluminum, titanium, natural stones, polymers, etc. These new materials render more characteristic to the contemporary structures.

The Conceptual Play

Modern architecture manifested the concept of "Less is More”. It rejected the traditional concepts of neoclassic designs and focussed more on functionality. Open floor plans, clean facades are symbolic of the modernistic approach. Whereas modern architecture is simplistic, contemporary architecture is parametric. With more and more complexity in design, the aid of computers has taken designing to another level. The interesting shapes, difficult angles and composite facades that we see today are all contemporaries. It also uses sustainable and natural approaches to cater to human comfort.

Also, read  Characteristics Of Modern Architecture, People Love

How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

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What We Conclude

Contemporary design is just the evolution of all previous styles which includes modern architecture as well. It is an expression rather than a style of design. Whatever is contemporary today may not be tomorrow. On the other hand, the modern style will remain constant. What has been referred to as modern architecture shall be the same forever. In a nutshell, we can say that all modern designs are contemporary but all contemporary designs are not modern.

How different is Modern and Contemporary Architecture?

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Lastly, take a read to the  Different Styles Of Architecture...

and,  How different is Ancient and Modern Architecture

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