Post-war Modern architecture

Modern architecture or modernist architecture is a term applied to a group of styles of architecture which emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II. It was based upon new technologies of construction, particularly the use of glass, steel and reinforced concrete; and upon a rejection of the traditional neoclassical architecture and Beaux-Arts styles that were popular in the 19th century.

Modern architecture continued to be the dominant architectural style for institutional and corporate buildings into 1980s, when it was largely deposed by postmodernism.

Notable architects important to the history and development of the modernist movement include Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Konstantin Melnikov, Erich Mendelsohn, Richard Neutra, Louis Sullivan, Gerrit Rietveld, Bruno Taut, Gunnar Asplund, Arne Jacobsen, Oscar Niemeyer and Alvar Aalto.

Generally speaking, modern architecture up to the 1960s consisted of rectangular buildings with straight lines. After the 1960s free flowing curves manifested. One of the first persons to originate such designs was the Iranian architect, Dariush Borbor.

World War II: wartime innovation and postwar reconstruction (1939–1945)
World War II (1939–1945) and its aftermath was a major factor in driving innovation in building technology, and in turn, architectural possibilities. The wartime industrial demands resulted in shortages of steel and other building materials, leading to the adoption of new materials, such as aluminum, The war and postwar period brought greatly expanded use of prefabricated building; largely for the military and government. prefabricated building; the semi-circular metal Nissen hut of World War I revived as the Quonset hut. The years immediately after the war saw the development of radical experimental houses, including the enameled-steel Lustron house (1947–1950), and Buckminster Fuller’s experimental aluminum Dymaxion House.

The unprecedented destruction caused by the war was another factor in the rise of modern architecture. Large parts of major cities, from Berlin, Tokyo and Dresden to Rotterdam and east London; all the port cities of France, particularly Le Havre, Brest, Marseille, Cherbourg had been destroyed by bombing. In the United States, little civilian construction had been done since the 1920s; housing was needed for millions of American soldiers returning from the war. The postwar housing shortages in Europe and the United States led to the design and construction of enormous government-financed housing projects, usually in run-down center of American cities, and in the suburbs of Paris and other European cities, where land was available,

One of the largest reconstruction projects was that of the city center of Le Havre, destroyed by the Germans and by Allied bombing in 1944; 133 hectares of buildings in the center were flattened, destroying 12,500 buildings and leaving 40,000 persons homeless. The architect Auguste Perret, a pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete and prefabricated materials, designed and built an entirely new center to the city, with apartment blocks, cultural, commercial and government buildings. He restored historic monuments when possible, and built a new church, St. Joseph, with a lighthouse-like tower in the center to inspire hope. His rebuilt city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005.

Le Corbusier and the Cité Radieuse (1947–1952)
Shortly after the War, the French architect Le Corbusier, who was nearly sixty years old and had not constructed a building in ten years, was commissioned by the French government to construct a new apartment block in Marseille. He called it Unité d’Habitation in Marseille, but it more popularly took the name of the Cité Radieuse, after his book about futuristic urban planning. Following his doctrines of design, the building had a concrete frame raised up above the street on pylons. it contained 337 duplex apartment units, fit into the framework like pieces of a puzzle. Each unit had two levels and a small terrace. Interior “streets” had shops, a nursery school and other serves, and the flat terrace roof had a running track, ventilation ducts, and a small theater. Le Corbusier designed furniture, carpets and lamps to go with the building, all purely functional; the only decoration was a choice of interior colors that Le Corbusier gave to residents. Unité d’Habitation became a prototype for similar buildings in other cities, both in France and Germany. Combined with his equally radical organic design for the Chapel of Notre-Dame du-Haut at Ronchamp, this work propelled Corbusier in the first rank of postwar modern architects.

Postwar modernism in the United States (1945–1985)
The international Style of architecture had appeared in Europe in the late 1920s and in 1932 it was recognized and given a name In 1932 at an Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City organized by architect Philip Johnson and architectural critic Henry-Russell Hitchcock, but it was overshadowed by Art Deco and neoclassical styles. However, due to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany, between 1937 and 1941 most of the leaders of the German Bauhaus and New Objectivity movements found a new home in the United States. Each in its own way, the architects fleeing Germany redefined modern architecture and made it the dominant style in the United States.

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Guggenheim Museum
Frank Lloyd Wright was eighty years old in 1947; he had been present at the beginning of American modernism, and though he refused to accept that he belonged to any movement, continued to play a leading role almost to its end. One of his most original late projects was the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, begun in 1941 and completed in 1943. He designed nine new buildings in a style that he described as “The Child of the Sun”. He wrote that he wanted the campus to “grow out of the ground and into the light, a child of the sun.”

He completed several notable projects in the 1940s, including the Johnson Wax Headquarters and the Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma (1956). The building is unusual that it is supported by its central core of four elevator shafts; the rest of the building is cantilevered to this core, like the branches of a tree. Wright originally planned the structure for an apartment building in New York City. That project was cancelled because of the Great Depression, and he adapted the design for an oil pipeline and equipment company in Oklahoma. He wrote that in New York City his building would have been lost in a forest of tall buildings, but that in Oklahoma it stood alone. The design is asymmetrical; each side is different.

In 1943 he was commissioned by the art collector Solomon R. Guggenheim to design a museum for his collection of modern art. His design was entirely original; a bowl-shaped building with a spiral ramp inside that led museum visitors on an upward tour of the art of the 20th century. Work began in 1946 but it was not completed until 1959, the year that he died.

Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer
Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus, moved to England in 1934 and spent three years there before being invited to the United States by Walter Hudnut of the Harvard Graduate School of Design; Gropius became the head of the architecture faculty. Marcel Breuer, who had worked with him at the Bauhaus, joined him and opened an office in Cambridge. The fame of Gropius and Breuer attracted many students, who themselves became famous architects, including Ieoh Ming Pei and Philip Johnson. They did not receive an important commission until 1941, when they designed housing for workers in Kensington, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh., In 1945 Gropius and Breuer associated with a group of younger architects under the name TAC (The Architects Collaborative). Their notable works included the building of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the U.S. Embassy in Athens (1956–57), and the headquarters of Pan American Airways in New York (1958–63).

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe described his architecture with the famous saying, “Less is more”. As the director of the school of architecture of what is now called the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1939 to 1956, Mies (as he was commonly known) made Chicago the leading city for American modernism in the postwar years. He constructed new buildings for the Institute in modernist style, two high-rise apartment buildings on Lakeshore Drive (1948–51), which became models for high-rises across the country. Other major works included Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois (1945–1951), a simple horizontal glass box that had an enormous influence on American residential architecture. The Chicago Convention Center (1952–54) and Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1950–56), and The Seagram Building in New York City (1954–58) also set a new standard for purity and elegance. Based on granite pillars, the smooth glass and steel walls were given a touch of color by the use of bronze-toned I-beams in the structure. He returned to Germany in 1962-68 to build the new Nationalgallerie in Berlin. His students and followers included Philip Johnson, and Eero Saarinen, whose work was substantially influenced by his ideas.

Richard Neutra and Charles Eames
Influential residential architects in the new style in the United States included Richard Neutra and Charles and Ray Eames. The most celebrated work of the Eames was Eames House in Pacific Palisades, California, (1949) Charles Eames in collaboration with Eero Saarinen It is composed of two structures, an architects residence and his studio, joined in the form of an L. The house, influenced by Japanese architecture, is made of translucent and transparent panels organized in simple volumes, often using natural materials, supported on a steel framework. The frame of the house was assembled in sixteen hours by five workmen. He brightened up his buildings with panels of pure colors.

Richard Neutra continued to build influential houses in Los Angeles, using the theme of the simple box. Many of these houses erased the line distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces with walls of plate glass. Neutra’s Constance Perkins House in Pasadena, California (1962) was re-examination of the modest single-family dwelling. It was built of inexpensive material–wood, plaster, and glass–and completed at a cost of just under $18,000. Neutra scaled the house to the physical dimensions of its owner, a small woman. It features a reflecting pool which meanders under of the glass walls of the house. One of Neutra’s most unusual buildings was Shepherd’s Grove in Garden Grove, California, which featured an adjoining parking lot where worshippers could follow the service without leaving their cars.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and Wallace K. Harrison
Many of the notable modern buildings in the postwar years were produced by two architectural mega-agencies, which brought together large teams of designers for very complex projects. The firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was founded in Chicago in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings, and joined in 1939 by engineer John Merrill, It soon went under the name of SOM. Its first big project was Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the gigantic government installation that produced plutonium for the first nuclear weapons. In 1964 the firm had eighteen “partner-owners”, 54 “associate participants,”and 750 architects, technicians, designers, decorators, and landscape architects. Their style was largely inspired by the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and their buildings soon had a large place in the New York skyline, including the Lever House (1951-52) and the Manufacturers Trust Company Building (1954). Later buildings by the firm include Beinecke Library at Yale University (1963), the Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower in Chicago (1973) and One World Trade Center in New York City (2013), which replaced the building destroyed in the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.

Wallace Harrison played a major part in the modern architectural history of New York; as the architectural advisor of the Rockefeller Family, he helped design Rockefeller Center, the major Art Deco architectural project of the 1930s. He was supervising architect for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and, with his partner Max Abramowitz, was the builder and chief architect of the United Nations Building; Harrison headed a committee of international architects, which included Oscar Niemeyer (who produced the original plan approved by the committee) and Le Corbusier, Other landmark New York buildings designed by Harrison and his firm included Metropolitan Opera House, the master plan for Lincoln Center, and John F. Kennedy Airport.

Philip Johnson
Philip Johnson (1906-2005) was one of the youngest and last major figures in American modern architecture. He trained at Harvard with Walter Gropius, then was director of the department of architecture and modern design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1946 to 1954. In 1947, he published a book about Mies van der Rohe, and in 1953 designed his own residence, the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut in a style modeled after Mies’s Farnsworth House. Beginning in 1955 he began to go in his own direction, moving gradually toward expressionism with designs that increasingly departed from the orthodoxies of modern architecture. His final and decisive break with modern architecture was the AT&T Building (later known as the Sony Tower, and now the 550 Madison Avenue in New York City, (1979) an essentially modernist skyscraper completely altered by the addition of curved cap at the top of a piece of chippendale furniture. This building is generally considered to mark the beginning of Postmodern architecture in the United States.

Eero Saarinen
Eero Saarinen (1910–1961) was the son of Eliel Saarinen, the most famous Finnish architect of the Art Nouveau period, who emigrated to the United States in 1923, when Eero was thirteen. He studied art and sculpture at the academy where his father taught, and then at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière Academy in Paris before studying architecture at Yale University. His architectural designs were more like enormous pieces of sculpture than traditional modern buildings; he broke away from the elegant boxes inspired by Mies van der Rohe and used instead sweeping curves and parabolas, like the wings of birds. In 1948 he conceived the idea of a monument in St. Louis, Missouri in the form of a parabolic arch 192 meters high, made of stainless steel (1948). He then designed the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan (1949–55), a glass modernist box in the style of Mies van der Rohe, followed by the IBM Research Center in Yorktown, Virginia (1957–61). His next works were a major departure in style; he produced a particularly striking sculptural design for the Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Connecticut (1956–59, an ice skiing rink with a parabolic roof suspended from cables, which served as a preliminary model for next and most famous work, the TWA Terminal at JFK airport in New York (1956–1962). His declared intention was to design a building that was distinctive and memorable, and also one that would capture the particular excitement of passengers before a journey. The structure is separated into four white concrete parabolic vaults, which together resemble a bird on the ground perched for flight. Each of the four curving roof vaults has two sides attached to columns in a Y form just outside the structure. One of the angles of each shell is lightly raised, and the other is attached to the center of the structure. The roof is connected with the ground by curtain walls of glass. All of the details inside the building, including the benches, counters, escalators and clocks, were designed in the same style.

Louis Kahn
Louis Kahn (1901–74) was another American architect who moved away from the Mies van der Rohe model of the glass box, and other dogmas of the prevailing international style. He borrowed from a wide variety of styles, and idioms, including neoclassicism. He was professor of architecture at Yale University from 1947–57, where his students included Eero Saarinen. From 1957 until his death he was professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. His work and ideas influenced Philip Johnson, Minoru Yamasaki, and Edward Durell Stone as they moved toward a more neoclassical style. Unlike Mies, he did not try to make his buildings look light; he constructed mainly with concrete and brick, and made his buildings look monumental and solid. He drew from a wide variety of different sources; the towers of Richards Medical Research Laboratories were inspired by the architecture of the Renaissance towns he had seen in Italy as a resident architect at the American Academy in Rome in 1950. Notable buildings by Kahn in the United States include the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York (1962); and the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (1966–72). Following the example of Le Corbusier and his design of the government buildings in Chandigarh, the capital city of the Haryana & Punjab State of India, Kahn designed the Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban (National Assembly Building) in Dhaka, Bangladesh (1962–74), when that country won independence from Pakistan. It was Kahn’s last work.

I. M. Pei
I. M. Pei (born 1917) is a major figure in late modernism and the debut of Post-modern architecture. He was born in China and educated in the United States, studying architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While the architecture school there still trained in the Beaux-Arts architecture style, Pei discovered the writings of Le Corbusier, and a two-day visit by Le Corbusier to the campus in 1935 had a major impact on Pei’s ideas of architecture. In the late 1930s he moved to the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he studied with Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer and became deeply involved in Modernism. After the War he worked on large projects for the New York real estate developer William Zeckendorf, before breaking away and starting his own firm. One of the first buildings his own firm designed was the Green Building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While the clean modernist facade was admired, the building developed an unexpected problem; it created a wind-tunnel effect, and in strong winds the doors could not be opened. Pei was forced to construct a tunnel so visitors could enter the building during high winds.

Between 1963 and 1967 Pei designed the Mesa Laboratory for the National Center for Atmospheric Research outside Boulder, Colorado, in an open area at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The project differed from Pei’s earlier urban work; it would rest in an open area in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. His design was a striking departure from traditional modernism; it looked as if it were carved out of the side of the mountain.

Postwar modernism in Europe (1945–1975)
In France, Le Corbusier remained the most prominent architect, though he built few buildings there. His most prominent late work was the convent of Sainte Marie de La Tourette in Evreaux-sur-l’Arbresle. The Convent, built of raw concrete, was austere and without ornament, inspired by the medieval monasteries he had visited on his first trip to Italy.

In Britain, the major figures in modernism included James Stirling (1926–1992) and Denys Lasdun (1914–2001). Lasdun’s best-known work is the Royal National Theatre (1967–1976) on the south bank of the Thames. Its raw concrete and blockish form offended British traditionalists; Charles, Prince of Wales Prince Charles compared it with a nuclear power station.

In Belgium, a major figure was Charles Vandenhove (born 1927) who constructed an important series of buildings for the University Hospital Center in Liege. His later work ventured into colorful rethinking of historical styles, such as Palladian architecture.

In Finland, the most influential architect was Alvar Aalto, who adapted his version of modernism to the Nordic landscape, light, and materials, particularly the use of wood. After World War II, he taught architecture in the United States. In Sweden, Arne Jacobsen was the best-known of the modernists, who designed furniture as well as carefully-proportioned buildings.

In Italy, the most prominent modernist was Gio Ponti, who worked often with the structural engineer Pier Luigi Nervi, a specialist in reinforced concrete. Nervi created concrete beams of exceptional length, twenty-five meters, which allowed greater flexibility in forms and greater heights. Their best-known design was the Pirelli Building in Milan (1958–1960), which for decades was the tallest building in Italy.

The most famous Spanish modernist was the Catalan architect Josep Lluis Sert, who worked with great success in Spain, France and the United States. In his early career he worked for a time under Le Corbusier, and designed the Spanish pavilion for the 1937 Paris Exposition. His notable later work included the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Provence, France (1964), and the Harvard Science Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He served as Dean of Architecture at the Harvard School of Design.

Notable German modernists included Johannes Krahn, who played an important part in rebuilding German cities after World War II, and built several important museums and churches, notably St. Martin, Idstein, which artfully combined stone masonry, concrete and glass. Leading Austrian architects of the style included Gustav Peichl, whose later works included the Art and Exhibition Center of the German Federal Republic in Bonn, Germany (1989).

Latin America
Brazil became a showcase of modern architecture in the late 1930s through the work of Lucio Costa (1902–1998) and Oscar Niemeyer (1907–2012). Costa had the lead and Niemeyer collaborated on the Ministry of Education and Health in Rio de Janeiro (1936–43) and the Brazilian pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Following the war, Niemeyer, along with Le Corbusier, conceived the form of the United Nations Headquarters constructed by Walter Harrison.

Lucio Costa also had overall responsibility for the plan of the most audacious modernist project in Brazil; the creation of a new capital, Brasilia, constructed between 1956 and 1961. Costa made the general plan, laid out in the form of a cross, with the major government buildings in the center. Niemeyer was responsible for designing the government buildings, including the palace of the President;the National Assembly, composed of two towers for the two branches of the legislature and two meeting halls, one with a cupola and other with an inverted cupola. Niemeyer also built the cathedral, eighteen ministries, and giant blocks of housing, each designed for three thousand residents, each with its own school, shops, and chapel. Modernism was employed both as an architectural principle and as a guideline for organizing society, as explored in The Modernist City.

Following a military coup d’état in Brazil in 1964, Niemeyer moved to France, where he designed the modernist headquarters of the French Communist Party in Paris (1965–1980), a miniature of his United Nations plan.

Mexico also had a prominent modernist movement. Important figures included Félix Candela, born in Spain, who emigrated to Mexico in 1939, and participated in the construction of the new University of Mexico City; he specialized in concrete structures in unusual parabolic forms. Another important figure was Mario Pani, who designed the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City (1949), and the Torre Insignia (1988). Augusto H. Alvarez designed the Torre Latinamericano, one of the early modernist skyscrapers in Mexico City (1956); it successfully withstood the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which destroyed many other buildings in the city center. 1964. Pedro Ramirez Vasquez and Rafael Mijares designed the Olympic Stadium for the 1968 Olympics, and Antoni Peyri and Candela designed the Palace of Sports. Luis Barragan was another influential figure in Mexican modernism; his raw concrete residence and studio in Mexico City looks like a blockhouse on the outside, while inside it features great simplicity in form, pure colors, abundant natural light, and, one of is signatures, a stairway without a railing. He won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1980, and the house was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

Asia and the Pacific
Japan, like Europe, had an enormous shortage of housing after the war, due to the bombing of many cities. 4.2 million housing units needed to be replaced. Japanese architects combined both traditional and styles and techniques. One of the foremost Japanese modernists was Kunio Maekawa (1905–1986), who had worked for Le Corbusier in Paris until 1930. His own house in Tokyo was an early landmark of Japanese modernism, combining traditional style with ideas he acquired working with Le Corbusier. His notable buildings include concert halls in Tokyo and Kyoto and the International House of Japan in Tokyo, all in the pure modernist style.

Kenzo Tange (1913–2005) worked in the studio of Kunio Maekawa from 1938 until 1945 before opening his own architectural firm. His first major commission was the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum . He designed many notable office buildings and cultural centers. office buildings, as well as the Yoyogi National Gymnasium for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The gymasim, built of concrete, features a roof suspended over the stadium on steel cables.

The Danish architect Jorn Utzon (1918-) worked briefly with Alvar Aalto, studied the work of Le Corbusier, and traveled to the United States to meet Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1957 he designed one of the most recognizable modernist buildings in the world; the Sydney Opera House.. He is known for the sculptural qualities of his buildings, and their relationship with the landscape. The five concrete shells of the structure resemble seashells by the beach. Begun in 1957, the project encountered considerable technical difficulties making the shells and getting the acoustics right. Utzon resigned in 1966, and the opera house was not finished until 1973, ten years after its scheduled completion.

From modernism to high-tech, postmodernism and structuralism (1960–2000)
Beginning in the late 1960s, the international style was increasingly challenged by critics and architects who wanted architecture to have more imaginative and expressive forms, not always strictly attached to function. There was no single new style; some new buildings were in a high-tech style, exploring new and original materials. Others were neoclassical, with elements of historic regional architectural styles; and others were astonishing gigantic works of glass, steel and concrete sculpture, pushing to the limits the possibilities of building technology. Very often, new museums and concert halls were the most dramatic examples of the new styles.

Among the most striking examples of high-tech architecture is the Centre Georges Pompidou, the museum of modern art in Paris (1971–1977), A jury of distinguished architects, including Philip Johnson and Oscar Niemeyer, reviewed 681 different proposals and chose one by two relatively-unknown architects, Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. The museum resembles an enormous machine. It in reality has two structures; a reinforced concrete interior structure, and on the exterior another structure of steel and glass, where all the functional working of the buildings, from air conditioning ducts to escalators, are clearly visible. Rogers followed the Pompidou Center with the Lloyds Building in Central London (1978–86), a twenty-story office building which steel structure which resembles an industrial building assembled from a kit of metal and glass parts.

The British architect Norman Foster was another important innovator in high-tech architecture. His HSBC Building in Hong Kong, a 78-meter tall office tower, was prefabricated in Britain in the form of five modules, made of 30,000 tons of steel and 4,500 tons of aluminium, which were assembled like pieces from a kit in Hong Kong. While it was high-tech on form, it also followed the traditional Chinese principles of Feng Shui.

The movement of postmodern architecture had the opposite goal from that of high-tech architecture; its intent was to bring back the traditions and decorative elements of past styles. The term was first used by American architectural historian Charles Jencks in 1975, and then became the title of his 1977 book The Language of Post-Modern Architecture. In his book he declared that modern architecture had died precisely at 3:32 in the afternoon of July 15, 1972, when an aging complex of high-rise public housing buildings in Saint Louis, Missouri, designed and built following the modernist precepts of Le Corbusier, was dynamited and torn down. He called for a return to eclecticism, variety and ornament.

Another important advocate of postmodernism was Robert Venturi, in his book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966) and particularly in his book Learning from Las Vegas (co-authored with Denise Scott-Brown and Steven Izenour, 1972), in which he celebrated the neon advertising signs and flamboyant casino architecture of Las Vegas, Nevada. He denied the principle of Mies van der Rohe that “Less is More”, and called for a return to complexity and ornament. Venturi created a variety of buildings to illustrate his ideas, notably the Guild House in Philadelphia, with subtle classical elements.

Philip Johnson, who had first taken his inspiration from Le Corbusier, also began to look beyond modernism for something new. His AT&T Building (now 550 Madison Avenue) in New York, a modernist office tower with a neoclassical Chippendale pediment on top, like a piece of 18th century furniture, became an icon of post-modernism. Charles Moore created the exuberant Piazza d’Italia in New Orleans, Louisiana, a public square filled with recreated pieces of Italian renaissance architecture. Other notable postmodernists included Michael Graves, with his pioneering Portland Building in Portland, Oregon and the Denver Public Library.

Several influential architects at the end of the 20th century are difficult to put into any one category or movement. The notable end-of-century buildings of Richard Meier include the Getty Center in Los Angeles (1984–1997), where buildings of different shapes are united by their whitish stone-faced facades and broad panels of glass; and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (1980–83).

Prominent architects in Europe at the end of the 20th century included Jean Nouvel in France, noted for the Fondation Cartier and the Institut du Monde Arabe; the Swiss architect Jacques Herzog, who transformed the Bankside Power Station in London into the Tate Modern Gallery.

Several works or collections of modern architecture have been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. In addition to the early experiments associated with Art Nouveau, these include a number of the structures mentioned above in this article: the Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht, the Bauhaus structures in Weimar and Dessau, the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates, the White City of Tel Aviv, the city of Asmara, the city of Brasilia, the Ciudad Universitaria of UNAM in Mexico City and the University City of Caracas in Venezuela, and the Sydney Opera House.

Private organizations such as Docomomo International, the World Monuments Fund, and the Recent Past Preservation Network are working to safeguard and document imperiled Modern architecture. In 2006, the World Monuments Fund launched Modernism at Risk, an advocacy and conservation program.

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