Architectural style - Ontario Heritage Trust

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Architectural style


  • 1 Modern – International style

    The term “International style” originated with the title of a book by Phillip Johnson and Henry Russell-Hitchcock on the 1932 International Exhibition of Modern Architecture held in New York City, which identified and expanded upon characteristics common to modernism all over the world. The International style was practised by three of the most prominent European modern architects: Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe. It was intended to be a complete break with history and the use of applied style, and was intended to herald the new machine esthetic to evoke the industrial age. Shared characteristics include: strip windows, flat roofs, grids of supports, cantilevered horizontal planes, metal railings and curved partitions. Abstract features include: the use of simple rectangular volumes articulated by crisp openings; an emphasis on interconnected spaces; and minimal detailing. Very few International Style places of worship exist in Ontario, perhaps because at the time of its arrival, its minimalism and lack of ornamentation appeared to be at odds with the traditional religious form and imagery of many of Ontario’s more established religions.

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