BY Nicola Jayasundera

Modernism is a form of architecture that embraced minimalism in the 20th century and moved away from the more ornate and detailed forms of design. The style reinvented the way of building and focussed on volume, asymmetrical compositions and minimal ornamentation.

St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo

This Roman Catholic cathedral is a timeless masterpiece that envisions the lightness of a bird and its wings. Its concrete structure with a simple design has a central bell tower that reaches up to the sky while the sloping ‘wings’ depict the wings of a bird.

National Library of Belarus, Minsk

The 72 metre rhombicuboctahedron (eight triangular, six square and 12 rectangular faces) shaped building has 22 floors and houses a collection of about 10 million items of various media. Its glass panelling allows the building to sparkle all day thanks to its diamond-like design.

Guggenheim Museum, New York City

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a stacked white cylinder of reinforced concrete. It is a mix of dramatic curves externally and spiralling floors inside, which create a continuous space that gradually uncoils itself.

Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, Barcelona

As part of the1929 International Exposition in Spain, the Barcelona Pavilion or Mies van der Rohe Pavilion portrayed Germany’s progression after World War I. The elegant and sleek design with continued glass is combined with gardens and reflective pools.

Bauhaus Dessau, Dessau-Roßlau

It is a school that reflected Walter Gropius’s Bauhaus style of architecture and includes structural and technological advancements through its revolutionary style. Window facades, reinforced concrete and brickwork, and roofs covered with asphalt tiles that were meant to be walked on, are part of the design.

Chilehaus, Hamburg

An irregular-shaped plot of land led to the designing of this building that’s shaped like a passenger ship. The tiered balconies on the upper floors emulate the decks of the ship while the pointed tip resembles the prow and the gently curving southern facade gives the impression of the side of a ship.

Colline Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp

Built to replace the church destroyed during WWII, the stark white walls create an aesthetic of purity and an ethereal atmosphere amidst the wooden terrain. The sculptural character is enhanced with thick curving walls and a massive curvilinear roof that envelopes the heavens.

Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin

It’s a concert hall that has an organic and futuristic aesthetic. The exterior facade comprises fitted blocks of yellow hued metal with an angled and curvy tent-like structure that pairs well with the surrounding forest landscape.

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