Media Center

Oct ‘17

Modernism in Architecture

To create good modern architecture, one needs to first understand classic architecture. Modernism pulls from the essence of traditional architecture, while adjusting proportions and scales. Within the “art” of architecture, modernism celebrates the sculptural aspect of architecture – details or lack of details – everything is intentional.

Modern architecture lends itself to a lifestyle – large pieces of glass, indoor/outdoor spaces, sculptural elements and artistic expressions used to articulate a building. “I find that designing the floor plan to meet lifestyle needs first, then designing the elevation afterward is more of a modern concept that I use,” Kean explains.

rear modern home

Taking advantage of views and creating its own views is another value of modern architecture. From panoramic walls of glass to infinity edge pools, to creating sight lines through a home and designing focal points within the home, modern architecture integrates the beauty of the surrounding environment while creating thoughtful artistic details within.

By using large overhangs and lots of glass, many modern architects design to take advantage of natural daylighting. Using natural daylighting reduces the need for artificial light fixtures, supporting both energy-efficiency and streamlined design. With the use of natural lighting and an appropriate lighting plan, a modern home can have a completely different day to evening look and feel.

Technology is always an important aspect of modern architecture. As technology changes, we can do things differently today than the modernist architects of the past. One of the benefits of newer streamlined technology allows home comforts and “green” technologies to be cleanly incorporated into homes without being visually noticeable. “One of my favorite design features is to include retractable screens into a home’s lanai to create a larger indoor/outdoor living space for buggy days,” says Kean.

While many people think of modern residential architecture as a flat roof, modern homes can also be designed with sloped roofs. Though one might think of a simple “white box” when discussing modern design, that is only one example of what can be considered modern architecture. Much of today’s modernism is warmer using wood, stone and texture to add warmth to the typical concrete, metal and glass materials. “I like the warmth of the mid-century modern architecture, so I make a conscious effort to lean warm,” says Kean.

“I am inspired by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Neutra, Rudolph, Schindler, Le Corbusier and Meier. You can’t deny the significance of the iconic houses designed by these famous modernist architects/artists,” Kean concludes.