Postmodernism is one of those architectural styles that, at first glance, are difficult to describe in words. Postmodern architecture is often characterized by sophisticated, sometimes even playful design, characterized by fun quirks, sensual imagery and dynamism. Representatives of this movement are actively rethinking traditional elements, trying to "revive" them, but at the same time not forgetting about the issues of taste and the possibility of interaction of new objects with already created masterpieces.
Features of postmodernism
The postmodern movement originated in architecture in the 1970s-1980s. This style became a kind of reaction to the exhausted modernism, its coldness and formalism, subordinated only to functionality. Postmodernists tried to move away from the works of their predecessors, who by their work evoked a depressing state of despondency and impersonality. The followers of the new style with their creativity denied coldness and formalism, introducing complex associative images into the created objects.
In postmodern projects, you can see the revived decorative masonry, facing, relief, ornaments, paintings, etc. They preferred to give the object a special playfulness, funny strangeness, trying to erase the boundaries between elitism and mass character. Part of the playfulness of postmodernism lies in bright colors, irony and paradox, in the ability to present familiar forms in an unfamiliar context.
In contrast to the facelessness of modernist objects, the followers of the new trend used bright colors and unimaginable forms to breathe life and variety into their work and make the structures one of a kind. At the same time, they managed to skillfully integrate extraordinary, and sometimes frankly ironic objects into any area of the city, taking into account its peculiarities, history and preferences of residents. Although it was the latter who were in no hurry to accept the uniqueness of the buildings being erected.
1. Showroom M2 for Mazda in Tokyo (Japan)
Despite the fact that the architect Kengo Kuma was not a follower of postmodernism, his project of the M2 showroom for the carmaker Mazda is considered a prime example of collage style in design. The Japanese architect with his creation decided to "restore the traditions of creating ancient buildings and rethink their canons for the XXI century." And he succeeded perfectly well, because the M2 building very quickly became a landmark and style icon. Although initially there were plenty of critics about the composition.
Interesting fact from Novate.ru: At the moment, the building is used as a funeral hall.
2. Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (USA)
The Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed for the Los Angeles Orchestra and Main Chorale, is a prime example of the new style. The creator of this fantasy object is Frank Gehry, the most recognizable postmodern architect, whose work has become a style icon and a hallmark of the cities where they were implemented. Its organic forms are inspired by billowing sails frozen in time.
Besides a truly unique design aesthetic, the building is renowned for its acoustics. Acoustic designer Yasuhisa Toyota managed to create a special concert area in the hall to achieve the perfect sound when designing curved interiors that matched the building's unusual metal cladding.
Remarkable: The massive building and its many metal sails are covered with over 12,000 stainless steel panels.
3. Piazza d'Italia in New Orleans (Louisiana, USA)
Piazza d'Italia is a playful rendition of a traditional Italian plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. An unusual object in all respects was designed by Charles Moore. The creator in such an enchanting way decided to show what influence Italian culture has made on New Orleans.
Of course, many did not accept the brightly colored facade, repeating the forms of classical architecture, but, according to the author, in this way he did not scoff at the canons of the classics, but on the contrary, he wanted to emphasize the true triumph of Italian innovations in art. But despite the good intentions of the creator of the extraordinary public square, its bold design directly influenced the further fate of the object.
For many years it has been called a "failed project" or "postmodern ruins", but the world and tastes are changing. In the end, the project was restored and accepted by critics and residents of the city, because Piazza d'Italia, whatever one may say, is a unique and fun public space that leaves no one indifferent. Isn't this the main thing in art?
4. House of piano and violin in Huainan (China)
Not only eminent creators have become famous on the path of postmodernism. In 2007, students of the Hefei University of Technology, together with the Huainan Fangkai Decoration Project Co architectural studio, managed to surprise the world with another object that really delighted with its aesthetics and functionality. Thanks to their efforts, a real art object in the form of a giant piano and violin appeared in the city. But it was not props or art for the sake of beauty, but a real building, including an exhibition hall for cultural events, classrooms and an unusual staircase placed inside a violin.
An extraordinary creation, created on a scale of 1:50, is intended not only to serve as a cultural center, but also to decorate the newly built area of the city, as well as to attract the attention of society and tourists. As time has shown, the object called Piano and Violin Shaped Building coped with all these tasks with a bang. And even if it is not considered a masterpiece of world architecture, it has clearly declared itself and even entered the unofficial list of amazing architectural phenomena, however, as an unusual building.
5. Vulcania amusement park in Auvergne (France)
The Vulcania Center Européen du Volcanisme amusement park is one of the latest examples of postmodern architecture, designed by Hans Hollein. The loudly declared object appeared on the territory of a partially flooded geological park in the French region of Auvergne. Work on Volcania began in late 1994 and ended in 2002, many years after the heyday of postmodernism. Nonetheless, the project represents the development of a striking visual vocabulary, wit and eclectic taste.
For many years, this futuristic project with its otherworldly, inverted golden crystal cone, figuratively speaking about geology, spaceships and rockets, pyramids and a place for psychedelic experiences, caused a lot of heated debate and a storm of discontent. But despite all the difficulties, the object was completed and is now considered to be "a book holder for the postmodern movement."
For those who are confused about the styles of architecture and do not want to disturb the guides once again while traveling, we advise you to study "Cheat sheet for dummies." It will certainly help you navigate the main directions of world architecture without help from others.