The Ideology Of Modernism In Architecture: Modernism Dressed In Glass

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The Industrial Revolution radically changed human’s everyday life and society in general, by bringing low-quality mass-created products in homes, more individuals, industry in urban areas, and progressively social, political, and financial issues. It would appear that ‘more’ is the word that best portrays this certain state. Henceforth, architects of the time acknowledged the failure of the designs in addressing social needs and proposed new ideas that led to a movement called “Modernism”.The ideology of Modernism in architecture is to seek after “order” and “universals”, to enhance the aesthetics and the function of the design with the use of new materials and advanced technology.

As it is, from one perspective, a developing movement compared to technological progress and rationalization, modern architecture introduced us to a new wave of building construction,” Glass Towers”.They are the most dominant images of advancement that splendidly embodies the 20th and 21st centuries. From the construction of Chicago’s tall office buildings(the 1880s) to the UN Building (1952), Lever House (1954) and the Seagram Tower (1958) of New York, numerous imitators were generated around the world. With cities like Hong Kong and Dubai, proceeding with the pattern, it appears as though glass still predominates.

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However, a number of prestigious architects have been taking a stand in opposition to the material’s and the buildings themselves. Master architect Michael Grave made his detestation for glass tower quite obvious as he would try to block his eyes while walking past them. Furthermore, Petter Pennoyer considers them as cold, shallow and character-less, especially because architecture ought to mirror the character of a place. The reason behind the disapproval of glass structures by various experts in the field is the effect they have on public spaces and the way people live.

In order to evaluate the consequences of this “transformation “of the cities, we need to understand why glass was chosen in the first place. The material has turned out to cost less; it can be coated and fabricated in factories, then it is brought to site for the establishment, whereas traditional structures, for example, bricks, require work by hand. While it should be noted that glass towers aren’t really less expensive to develop than customary block structures, the expense to deliver glass has turned out to be significantly less costly after some time, which thusly drives down the whole expense of a project. Moreover,all-glass structures create more space, since their frames are steel. Therefore, there is no requirement for walls and sections all through floor plates. Additionally, in contrast to concrete structures, glass dividers are flat so there is more space on the border of each floor, which signifies increasingly usable square feet in the structures.

On the other hand, the expanding cost, both financial ad ecological, of the glass constructions, is changing our view on the material, according to architect Ken Shuttleworth. At the London headquarters of “Make Architects,” he voiced his opinion on saving resources by moving to a much more energy-conscious environment.

As indicated by the United Nations, 40% of the world’s energy consumption(and roughly 33% of ozone harming substance outflows) can be ascribed to structures. Strain to build and run them all the more reason is being felt by designers and developers, Shuttleworth stated, as well as by planners themselves. While the glass panels permit increasingly natural light, which can supplant electric bulbs, warming up rooms amid the mid-year, more energy is required for cooling. Furthermore, the window dividers are inadequately protected; amid the winter they cause swelled heating bills. This all prompts further energy consumption, claims a report by the Urban Green Council, in New York. Even though technology has taken action in helping to reduce heat the heat loses(and sun warmth gains), the enhancements are, alone, insufficient.

Another problem that needs to be considered is how people are affected by the way these structures impact public spaces. In a literal sense, the 20 Fenchurch Street building ( the ‘Walkie Talkie’) must be fitted with extra shading after the light reflected off its surface and partially melted a vehicle. Besides, architecture critic, Justin Davidson, stated in a TED talk that glass structures have turned urban areas into cold and uninviting places. Gatherings of glass towers … propose an abhor for the city and the community. They are expectedà to enrich their owners and tenants, however not really the lives of those of us who explore the spaces between the structures.

Flat glass boards, which are effectively supplanted and apparently ever-enduring, are ostensibly less expressive than elective materials. Yet, glass structures, when executed effectively, can exhibit intriguing plays of shadow and light, as per engineer Alan Ritchie. He also worries about the manner in which glass is regularly utilized because current structures end up looking especially indistinguishable, there is no explanation for the planes. Almost every other material can give us a glimpse of history and memory, and venture into the present. While glass, once it ages, can easily be supplanted, and the building looks essentially a similar way it did before until in the end it’s demolished.

Despite the criticism, the material of glass is not anticipated to fall totally out of support at any point in the near future. However, an increasingly controlled methodology sees glass used in conjunction with different materials, for example, metal or rock. The concern with glass structures is that there aren’t enough factors that give the building character. When a city defaults to glass as it grows, it turns into a corridor of mirrors, disquieting and cold, says Davidson. Otherwise, architects can use glass in a more sensible and imaginative way in order to have more diversity in buildings that honours the full range of the urban experience.


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