Modernism is a movement that includes music, literature, art, architecture and design which appeared before 1914. This movement was created by artists, designers, architects who revolted against historicist and academic traditions of the late nineteenth century and enthusiastically accepted the new social, political and economic ideas of the contemporary world. Some historians divide the twentieth century into two periods: modern and postmodern.
The pressure of transportation, communication and big advancement in science made modernist architects choose more economical and less ornamented styles. Modernist architects and designers such as Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe translated ideas of modernism into everyday life.
Modernist architecture began with industrial buildings, temporary exhibition halls and bridges which were built fast and at the same time were large and economical. A very clear and typical example of modernist architecture was the machine. According to Le Corbusier, one of the most famous modernist architects, the car, the plane and the boat were paradigms for a functional architecture. A house was an efficiently designed machine for dwelling, like a plane was created for flight.
Modernist architects not only widely used such materials as glass, reinforced concrete and steel, but they made these materials visibly expressed in their creations. Some historians claim that the use of these materials contributed to the growth of the modern style.
James Stirling is considered one of the most famous modernist architects of the twentieth century. He was born in Scotland in 1926. From 1945 till 1950, he studied at Liverpool University. For several years he had worked in partnership with Lyons, Israel & Ellis, after that he began his collaboration with James Gowan. Stirling and Gowan were influenced by the ideas of the Smithsons and modernist work of Le Corbusier and under this influence they created a number of significant buildings. This started a new trend toward exposed reinforced concrete and brick.
At the start of his career Stirling's works were utilitarian, intended to be useful rather than decorative. His later designs were more formal and built under the influence of the Post-Modern movement. During his life he changed his basic architectural approaches and was criticized for his inconsistency. He has been constantly experimenting, not committing to a particular style.
Ricardo Bofill is a Spanish architect, born in Barcelona in December 5, 1939. In 1963 he organized a team of architects, planners, engineers, philosophers, writers and movie makers. It was a big international group called "The Taller de Arquitectura". For over 40 years it has collected an immense knowledge in architecture, urban planning, interior, landscaping, product design and furniture. "Taller de Arquitectura" under the leadership of Ricardo Bofill made designs for headquarters such as Cartier, Christian Dior, Shiseido, Axa, Decaux, and Bank One.