Munday and Cramer

Modern architects: The style that shaped the 20th century

Before we dive too deep into the work of modern architects, let’s talk history.

The architectural Modern Movement began in the 20th century. Becoming popular just after World War I, past styles were quickly rejected and disfavoured by the construction industry. Modern architecture celebrates minimalism and considers a building’s true function.

Postmodern architecture superseded modernism and rose in popularity during the 1960’s. This style brought colour and decoration back into fashion within the construction industry.

Key characteristics of the modern style

There are lots of characteristics that set Modern Architecture apart from other styles, namely, the use of reinforced concrete, steel, and glass.

Additionally, the work of modern architects can also be spotted by looking out for the following features.


Within modernism in architecture, asymmetry is incredibly common. This means that buildings are designed to have uneven and irregular shapes that both compliment each other, but also to add more visual interest to the building. This is different to traditional symmetrical buildings, many of which would be nearly identical if mirrored.

Large windows

A key indicator of modern architecture is the use of large windows and clear walls. This style tends to opt for quite an open design with generous use of glass as a building material. Examples of this include The Gherkin and The Shard in London.

Natural materials

Contemporary modern architecture may utilise natural materials, with the rising movement towards sustainability within the industry. This can also help buildings blend into the environment better in some locations. Materials commonly used for these buildings include stone, flint and different types of wood, depending on the requirements.

Absence of adornment

As we mentioned earlier, much modern architecture favours function over decoration. In fact, to some, this style may be considered quite plain and minimalist. With this in mind, the lack of adornment and decoration will come as no surprise. Additionally, walls within these buildings will usually be quite smooth and untextured.

The work of modern architects

Here in the UK, lots of architects have adopted the above core design features. The style is used all around us and has been incorporated into lots of well-known landmarks. Below are just a few examples of famous modern architecture:

  • The Shard – London, UK
  • 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) – London, UK
  • Sydney Opera House – Sydney, Australia
  • Munich Olympic Stadium – Munich, Germany
  • Coventry Cathedral – Coventry, UK

Munday + Cramer’s Modern Architects

Based near Chelmsford, Munday + Cramer are home to an experienced team of modern architects. As specialists within building design, we can help you to capture the true essence of any style.

In addition to architecture and design, we also specialise within a number of other areas too. These include property and land surveying, procurement, facilities, and project management. No matter your needs as a consumer, we’ve got you covered!

Contact us today

Interested in hearing more about the work of our modern architects? It’s never too early to start thinking about design and in actual fact, it’s important you get this pinned down sooner rather than later. This is likely to have a huge impact on other decisions during the planning process.

For more information on how the Munday + Cramer team can help you, get in touch today. You can reach us by clicking here or by calling us on 01245 326 200.