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Twentieth Century Architecture

Buildings in the international style were built everywhere in the first twenty or thirty years of development in those countries which became independent during this period. The style of the architecture has to be seen in the context also of a growing number of international design consortia, often led by major American or European architects, able to offer rapid and efficient services, perhaps to overseas investors, as for example in the case of tourist hotels. But in 1986 this is beginning to change, as increasing numbers of indigenous architects are educated either at home or abroad, they are happily, taking over responsibility for the buildings of their own countries, and there are signs that local cultures are once again beginning to exert an influence upon the artifacts they produce.

In spite of the well-known buildings of the modern movement in Europe and the Americas, those of the constructivist movement in Russia of the 1920s and 1930s and those influenced by them, the period prior to 1945 was not notable for global acceptance of the new design genre. Whatever the reasons may have been, there was no such wide acceptance until the later 1940s, '50s and' 60s. The term international style was coined in America in the 1920s to denote rationalist European architecture and was widely adopted to indicate the increasing number of buildings constructed all over the world in the modernist mode.

Japan initiated the most energetic and diverse program of building the country had ever seen. The lapse in new building activity has given ample opportunity for clients, users and architects to consider the social and technical viability of the buildings of the post 1945 boom years. And partly though not entirely, as a result of turning to the rehabilitation of old buildings, for most architects of the 1970s an unfamiliar milieu, the tenets of modernism have been called into question. It is to be hoped that the pluralism of architectural styles in the 1980s represents an appropriate starting point for the greatest surge of building yet seen, in the interests of creating a new spatial order for the twenty-first century.

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