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Architecture trend 2022: Mid-Century Modern style is back in fashion! Get inspired by the design

The Mid-Century Modern style is an American classic that emerged after World War II and is known for its clean lines, minimal decoration and connection to nature. Mid-Century Modern homes are characterized by very wide, low floors with large, open spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows and an emphasis on the outdoors. But is Mid-Century Modern style still relevant? Although the architectural trend had its heyday in America between 1945 and 1969, it has come back into vogue in recent years. Scandinavian design and Danish modernism are inspired by it and have made this design available to millions of new homes.

Mid-Century Modern style – brief history

Nature and lifestyle were at the forefront of the original mid-century homes

Mid-Century Modern architecture was brought to the United States by European architects fleeing Nazi Germany, and took influences from the Bauhaus and American High Pirairie style homes. Original mid-century designers include Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Breuer. Frank Lloyd Wright, the father of modern architecture, trained many mid-century modern architects.

Is Mid-Century Modern style still current

After World War II, Americans placed great emphasis on lifestyle, time with family, and time in nature. Mid-century modern homes built in the American suburbs reflected these ideals: large windows that overlooked the homeowners’ backyards, open living spaces where the whole family could be guests, and technological improvements – primarily in the kitchen – ensured that homeowners spent less time cleaning and more time with their families.

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The attractive architectural style and its subtypes

Architecture trend 2022 - Mid-Century Modern style is back in fashion

During its original boom from 1945 to 1969, Mid-Century Modern architecture was divided into three distinct styles:

International: Inspired by international architects – as the name suggests – this version of mid-century modern architecture was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus movement. The houses were extremely simple, with little to no decoration, and were usually adorned with stucco.

Contemporary: The most popular style of mid-century modern, contemporary homes feature clean lines, floor-to-ceiling windows, and natural, organic-looking materials such as wood, stone, and brick. Many of these homes have asymmetrical exteriors, with windows that extend to the roofline and exposed ceilings and beams on the interior.

Organic: A minority of mid-century modern architects emphasized fitting houses into their natural surroundings. Rather than building structures with sharp lines and right angles, they chose houses with more natural forms. Because organic Mid Century Modern homes were so influenced by their natural surroundings, an organic Mid Century Modern home in a forest would look very different than one in the desert.

What is characteristic of the Mid Century Modern style.

What is characteristic for the Mid Century Modern style


Although there are three variations of Mid Century Modern architecture, most Mid Century Modern homes have these elements in common:

Clean lines and geometric shapes: Straight lines and right angles are essential to mid-century modern architecture. Although many modern ranch-style homes have gable roofs or asymmetrical exteriors, most mid-century modern homes have flat roofs with straight lines.

Floor-to-ceiling windows: nature and lifestyle were at the forefront of the original mid-century homes. As a result, they were built with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the yard, sliding glass doors, and many outdoor access points.

Mid-Century Modern architecture is divided into three different styles

Elevation changes: many mid-century modern homes have two levels and short staircases connecting rooms in the house. Partially masonry or glazed walls, fireplaces in the center of rooms, and closets add depth and elevation to the interiors of homes.

Minimal decoration: although some mid-century styles are more ornate than others, simplicity is a key feature of this movement. Simple furniture with clean lines and a muted color palette complement the homes’ sleek exteriors.

Access to the outdoors: connecting with nature is an important value in mid-century modern architecture, so most mid-century homes have multiple access points to the outdoors. In some homes, even individual rooms have multiple doors and windows that provide access to the outdoors.

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Remarkable examples of this contemporary style

The Schindler house is a typical example of this architectural movement


Mid-Century Modern style is known for its ubiquity, but there are also some buildings that are considered characteristic examples of this movement. Here are four of the most notable:

Schindler House: architect Rudolph Schindler designed this house, completed in 1922, with a number of unique parameters. There are no dining rooms, living rooms or bedrooms – at least in the traditional sense. Schindler hoped this would be a community space. Currently, it is used as a public event space.

Kaufmann's house is an exemplary expression of the characteristics of the contemporary style of construction

Kaufmann House: Completed in 1946, Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House was one of many mid-century homes built in an epicenter of the movement, the Southern California city of Palm Springs. While there were many notable houses in the city in this style (including Frank Sinatra’s), the Kaufmann House, with its projecting angles, massive windows, and openness to the surrounding desert landscape, exemplifies the characteristics of mid-century modernism.

Notable examples of Mid-Century Modern style - Farnsworth house.

Farnsworth House: completed in 1951, the Farnsworth House was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Edith Farnsworth, an Illinois physician. The one-story, 1,500-square-foot house features floor-to-ceiling windows.

Notable examples of this contemporary style of architecture - Eichler houses

Eichler Houses: Named after real estate developer Joseph Eichler, the “Eichler Houses” were built in the 1950s and 1960s to make mid-century modern homes accessible to as many people as possible. Eichler developed more than 10,000 of these homes and was instrumental in bringing the mid-century style to the masses.