Modern European architecture is a continuation of the European Architecture article. here we will review modern architecture in Europe.
Expressionist architecture is an architectural movement that developed in Europe during the first decades of the twentieth century alongside expressionist visual and performing arts. The term Expressionist architecture describes for the first time the activities of the German, Dutch, Austrian, Czech and Danish avant-gardes from 1910 to 1930.
Subsequent redefinitions extended the term until 1905 and extended it to the rest of Europe. Today, the meaning has expanded to refer to the architecture of a date or place with some of the qualities of the original movement, such as distortion, fragmentation, or the communication of violent or overexploited emotions. .
The style was characterized by the early adoption of new materials, formal innovations and very unusual masses, sometimes inspired by natural biomorphic forms and sometimes the new technological possibilities offered by the mass production of bricks, steel and glass. .
Many expressionist architects fought in the First World War and their experiences, combined with the political upheavals and social upheavals that followed the German Revolution of 1919, led to a utopian attitude and a romantic socialist agenda. As a result, the ephemeral exhibition buildings were numerous and of great importance during this period.
Theater and film scenography also stimulated Expressionist imagery and provided additional income for designers attempting to challenge conventions in a difficult economic environment.
Characteristics of expressionist architecture
Expressionist architecture was individualistic and in many ways avoided aesthetic dogma. Although the movement has been very broad, certain points can be found in works of Expressionist architecture and are found to a certain extent in each of their works.
# A deformation of form for an emotional effect.
# The subordination of realism to a symbolic or stylistic expression of the inner experience.
# A fundamental effort to reach the new, original and visionary.
# A profusion of works on paper and models where the discovery and presentation of concepts are more important than the pragmatic finished products.
# Often, hybrid solutions that can not be reduced to a single concept.
# Natural and romantic phenomena such as caves, mountains, lightning, crystals and rock formations.
# Use the creative potential of crafting.
# An inclination for Gothic as for the classic.
# Refers to Moorish, Islamic, Egyptian and Indian art and architecture, as well as Romanesque and Greek art.
# Understands architecture as a work of art
The form also played a crucial role in the demarcation of the expressionist architecture of its immediate predecessor, Art Nouveau or Art Nouveau. While Art Nouveau with its ornaments had an organic freedom, Expressionist architecture sought to release the shape of the whole building instead of just its parts.
Erich Mendelsohn’s Einstein Tower is an example of an expressionist project built and formally resourceful. This sculpted building shows a relativistic and changing vision of geometry: without applied ornamentation, form and space are formed in a fluid concrete that expresses the concepts of the architect and the eponymous building.
Image of the tower from the outside. It’s a white tower with an observatory at the top.
In Mendelsohn’s design, the form and space are made of flowing concrete and have no ornamentation.
Expressionist architecture uses curved geometries and a repetitive form in the movement is the dome. Another expressionist motif was the emphasis on horizontality or verticality for dramatic effects influenced by new technologies such as cruise liners and skyscrapers.
A sketch of the skyscraper in steel and glass.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s skyscraper project Friedrichstrasse, Berlin-Mitte, 1921.