Last edited 15 Mar 2019

Minimalist architecture

Minimalist architecture, sometimes referred to as 'minimalism', involves the use of simple design elements, without ornamentation or decoration. Proponents of minimalism believe that condensing the content and form of a design to its bare essentials, reveals the true 'essence of architecture'.

Minimalist architecture emerged from the Cubist-inspired movements of De Stijl and Bauhaus in the 1920s. Architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, theorised that minimalism gave maximum power to architectural space.

German pavilion barcelona.jpg
Barcelona Pavilion, Mies van der Rohe. Image source: Marc Teer.

Common characteristics of minimalist architecture include:

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