International Style (architecture)

The International Style or internationalism[1] is a major architectural style that was developed in the 1920s and 1930s and was closely related to modernism and modern architecture. It was first defined by Museum of Modern Art curators Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson in 1932, based on works of architecture from the 1920s. The terms rationalist architecture and modern movement are often used interchangeably with International Style,[1][2][3][4] although the former is mostly used in the English-speaking world to specifically refer to the Italian rationalism of architects such as Giuseppe Terragni and Gino Pollini,[5] or even the International Style that developed in Europe as a whole.[6]

International Style architecture
Top left: Lovell House in Los Angeles, by Richard Neutra; top right: Villa Savoye in Paris, by Le Corbusier; centre left: Equitable Building in Atlanta, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; centre: PSFS Building in Philadelphia, by George Howe & William Lescaze; centre right: Seagram Building in New York, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; bottom: Paimio Sanatorium in Finland, by Alvar Aalto
Years active1920s-present
Cover of The International Style (1932, reprinted 1996) by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson
Kiefhoek housing, Rotterdam, by Jacobus Oud

It is defined by the Getty Research Institute as "the style of architecture that emerged in Holland, France, and Germany after World War I and spread throughout the world, becoming the dominant architectural style until the 1970s. The style is characterized by an emphasis on volume over mass, the use of lightweight, mass-produced, industrial materials, rejection of all ornament and colour, repetitive modular forms, and the use of flat surfaces, typically alternating with areas of glass."[7]