The decline of architecture?
October 14, 2009 6:49 PM Subscribe
Why is it that I seem to instinctively prefer houses from the late-19th or early 20th century to post-war architecture?
posted by dydecker to Home & Garden (34 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a architectural dilettante. I like what I like, but I don't know too much about houses or architecture so I can't explain why I like what I like. I need a bit of help. Can someone much more knowledgable than me about the subject explain why I--and many other people it seems--seem to prefer houses build during the Edwardian or Georgian period than the modern or post-modern stuff? I do like the occasional modern thing, especially when the design specs are really really high, but it seems to me that this contrasts with my feeling about most all pre-modern architecture, which I like as a rule and it would be the rare exceptional bad building which rubs me up the wrong way. OTOH, MOST of the stuff from the second half of the 20th century rubs me up the wrong way. It just seems so bland.
I have a suspicion that this instinctive dislike is based on some kind of building technique which changed in the 20s or 30s. Maybe your average suburban building started being mass-produced at this time? Or is it because the older buildings are often in the more desireable neighborhoods? Was it due to the invention of the car?
I'm mostly drawing from architecture in New Zealand, but then also some stuff I've seen in Europe and elsewhere. What is the reason for this? In other fields such as painting or music, I'd say I can appreciate modern styles and idioms much more than the older stuff...but I'd like to know what happened to architecture in the 30s or 40s and thereafter which made it change so.