• The movement known as Rationalism
gathered the most important personalities
of 20th century’s architecture.
• Their work and their theory are individual
but they have in common the simplicity of
the forms because each form belongs to a
• They use highly industrialised materials,
• Concrete advantages are:
– It is a cheap material, easy to adapt, incombustible,
non-corrosive and that offers the possibility of building
the skeleton, leaving the plan free.
– In addition to this, it permits the pre-manufacture in
– It can be combined with other materials such as still,
glass or brick.
• The wall is not a support any longer, and it is
reduced to a light skin for closing, with a huge
number of windows that allow light and air
entering inside the building.
• The supports are pillars with different sections,
made of still and concrete.
• The covers, in general, are lintels standing on
the support and forming with them the skeleton,
giving to the construction a light and non-weighty
aspect of great constructive audacity.
• The decorative elements disappear in favour of
the straight and nude form.
• There is a worry about proportion, simplicity and
• The internal space is based of the free plan with
interior walls that curve and move freely,
adapting to the different functions.
• In the exterior the projecting, the free low level
and the terrace in horizontal define the new
• There is a great interest about urbanism
because they aim at accommodating people to
the new leaving standards and organise their
groups, proposing new formulas as the garden-
city o the industrial city.
• The most representative buildings:
– social houses,
– industrial buildings,
– administrative constructions,
– concert halls and
Mies van der Rohe
• Mies van der Rohe, was linked to the Bauhaus
and is one of the best representatives of
• His work was revolutionary from the very
beginning, when he started designing an office
building in Berlin (1919).
• After that he designed houses and in 1929 he
built the German Pavilion for Barcelona’s
• In this building he demonstrated the right use of
modern materials, with clear volumes and the
wall as a curtain instead of the traditional wall.
Mies van der Rohe
• He emigrated to the US where he built
numerous skyscrapers that look to be
enormous glass boxes, in which it can be
seen the devotion of the architect for the
purity of the forms.
• The use of new materials is essential for
• The Seagram Building is one of his most
• Le Corbusier was born in Switzerland even if a
majority of his work was developed in France.
• He learnt the use of concrete and soon he
began with the series production.
• He also designed cities for a concrete number of
inhabitants (about three million).
• In 1926 he made one of his most representative
works Ville Savoye, that consists of a concrete
structure of Mediterranean inspiration.
• In Ville Savoye he put into practice his five
points of architecture:
– use of “pilotis”, a kind of pillar to sustain the structure
and separate it from the floor, not cutting the space;
– free façade;
– garden-terrace, thanks to the flat roofs;
– multiplication of windows: continuous windows with
– free plan because now it is not the support of the wall.
• He theorised but it was not an utopian
because his projects were realised
• One of his popular works was the Unité d
´Habitation at Marseille, where he built
houses for working class families.
• In these buildings he applied some of his
architectonical points too.
• At the end of his career he modified his
Rationalism and was closer to the
Organicism as in the case of one of his
master works: Notre Dame du Haut at
• Other works are:
– UN Headquarters in New York
– Chandigarh in India
– Bagdad Stadium
-Notre Dame du Haut,
eraikuntza, New York-en
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