A midcentury modern home in Rockville, Maryland
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What Makes Midcentury Modern Architecture Stand
Out Most
Origin Of The Name
Author and historian Cara Greenburg first used the term "midcentury modern" in her 1995 book to define the design movement characterized by clean lines and geometric shapes.
The name comes from the design's emergence during the mid-20th century and its reputation for being exceptionally modern during that period.
During the postwar period in the USA, a booming economy led to a rise in the middle class and a demand for affordable homes for returning soldiers and
their families.
Midcentury modern architecture emerged in response, as its focus on simplicity and the use of modern materials made it easy for builders to create a lot of sturdy houses quickly.
Key Features
Midcentury modern buildings often have flat or low-pitched roofs, open floor plans, minimal decoration, and large windows and sliding doors to connect indoor
and outdoor spaces.
The style emphasizes function and communication through design, often incorporating bold colors like turquoise, mustard yellow, and deep red to add excitement to neutral spaces.
Popular Materials
Midcentury modern architects liked to combine new materials such as steel and concrete with traditional materials like wood and stone.
They used concrete for its versatility and strength, wood to create more warmth and livability, and glass to provide access to sunlight and outside views to the
home’s occupants.
No To Decoration
Influenced by the International Style, midcentury modern architecture prioritized functional design, the use of modern materials, and a rejection of ornamentation.
This style was the opposite of Art Deco, another popular style of the time, which focused on intricate patterns, elaborate ornamentation, and the use of exotic materials.