Architectural Studies

The International Style

In 1932 the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City held its first exhibition dedicated to architecture, “Modern Architecture: International Exhibition.” This exhibit and more especially its accompanying publication, The International Style: Architecture Since 1922, written Philip Johnson and Henry Russell-Hitchcock, popularized the term “International Style” to describe what they saw as the predominant design tendencies within modern architecture around 1930. This project proved enormously successful in establishing both a credo and a canon of Modernist architecture, in particular singling out four northern European architects as the leaders of an emerging movement: Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and J.J.P. Oud.

GROPIUS & The Bauhaus

An avant-garde German school for the arts, design and architecture, the Bauhaus proved enormously influential despite its brief existence. Launched in Wiemar in 1919, the school relocated to Dessau in 1925, where its founding director, Walter Gropius, designed its famous school building as an exemplar of modern, functionalist design. The school moved again in 1930 to Berlin, where it faced mounting opposition from the Nazi Party, which viewed the school’s untraditional practices as dangerous, misguided and unpatriotic. In 1933 its third and final director, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, in agreement with his staff, reluctantly opted to close the school before being forced to do so by the authorities. In the ensuing years former faculty members of the Bauhaus scattered internationally, especially to the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union, bringing aspects of the Bauhaus curriculum into popular practice.

“Bauhaus: Design in a Nutshell” (Open University, 2013, 2 mins.):

The Dessau Bauhaus (Architectures, ARTE France, 27 mins.):



“The German Pavilion in Barcelona” (Architectures, ARTE France, 26 mins.):


International Style Architecture Quiz

Next Post

Previous Post

Leave a Reply

© 2024 Architectural Studies

Theme by Anders Norén