1   2   3   4   

A modernistic Florida home at Miami Beach

Modernist design represented a new architectural model for the modern age. Shaped in large part by ideas from the Bauhaus in Germany, the modernist movement of the 1930s celebrated the possibilities that machine production held out for meeting society’s changing needs.

Modern machine production made goods cheaper and available to a mass market, especially important developments given the economic crisis of the 1930s. Leading European modernist designers such as Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier highlighted symmetry and clean lines in design to reflect the new materials like steel, glass, and concrete that were symbols of the new age.

In Miami, architects such as Henry Wright, Roy France, and Henry Hohouser employed the symmetrical, streamlined styles of modernist design and adapted them to a tropical landscape. They introduced whimsical design motifs such as tropical murals, nautically-inspired porthole windows, and etched glass flamingoes to create what later became known as the Art Deco district of South Beach. The novelty of Art Deco design, and the ability to use modern construction techniques and building materials to keep costs down, ultimately gave Miami Beach the lasting appeal to a much wider demographic of traveler, and made it into the cosmopolitan oasis that it is today.


Image Gallery