top of page
  • mh0016

What Is International Style Architecture

What Is International Style Architecture

You must have definitely seen international style architecture before, whether you knew it or not. Such structures look impressively futuristic, but their concept has stood the test of time. Over the past 40 years, we've been amazed at the achievements of international style architecture.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at what makes these architectures so special. To learn more about the past behind this architectural movement, as well as to explain some of the distinguishing features of its buildings, keep reading. By the end of this article, you'll know for sure whether or not you're an international style fan.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

History of the international style home

International style houses, like most architectural styles, can be seen as a rejection of the trends of their time period. There was a focus on eclectic buildings in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s that hosted a combination of decorative elements from various architectural periods.

Architects of the time started to look for ways of making less ornamental and more utilitarian designs.

Around the same time, the Industrial Revolution brought in a host of new construction materials, such as mass-produced iron and steel. These materials meant that architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and J.J.P. Oud were able to construct structures in which a desire to push the limits of structural engineering, rather than decoration, dominated the shape and aesthetics.

The international style moved to the United States with its architects who hoped to escape persecution with the advent of the Second World War. It remained a powerful architectural style until the 1970s when architects began to get frustrated with the formulaic, "boxy" appearance of the international style.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Since homes of international architecture are so standardized, it is particularly essential to analyze the distinguishing features that bind them together. There's little ornamentation to talk about with these houses, so much of the resemblance comes from their shape. A list of identifying features is given below:


  • Usually, they are rectangular shape buildings

  • Roofs are always flat.

  • Utilitarian materials such as concrete, steel, and glass

  • The surfaces are smooth and untextured.

  • The corners are rounded.

  • A “weightless” quality, as if parts are floating


  • One or more stories buildings

  • Homes with open floor plans

  • Continuation of utilitarian materials (like concrete floors)

  • Comprising of Large, floor-to-ceiling windows

Prominent Buildings in the History

The international style consists of residential homes in only a small percentage. These buildings are large and used for industrial purposes. In reality, if we had to think of one style of building that was associated with international architecture, it would be the American skyscraper.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

With that in mind, some prominent buildings in the international style include:

  • The Museum of Modern Art (New York, New York)

  • Willis Tower (Chicago, Illinois)

  • Glaspaleis (Heerlen, Netherlands)

  • Villa Savoye (Poissy, France)

  • The Design Museum (London, England)

If you would like to know more about this architecture, contact the Top Architecture Company in CT

104 views0 comments


bottom of page