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ARCH 14 — Iconic Modern Architects

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 4—May 23
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 6
Unit: 1
Tuition: $465
Instructor(s): Stephen Atkinson
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Apr 4—May 23
8 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 6
1 Unit
Stephen Atkinson
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
During the early to mid-20th century, a revolutionary transformation in architectural styles and ideologies led to the coining of the term “modern.” This course explores the world of modernist architecture by closely studying the works of its pioneering architects. By examining their iconic and lesser-known creations, the course aims to construct a comprehensive understanding of the architects and their profound impact on the architectural landscape.

Modern architecture is renowned for its inclination toward an abstract international style. This approach, characterized by cutting-edge technologies and materials, emerged as a fitting expression of a rapidly evolving world, unburdened by the constraints of historical conventions. However, within the folds of modernism, certain architects embraced a sense of place and history, infusing their creations with what will be referred to as “poetic functionalism” or, in contemporary terms, “form follows function.” This course will spotlight five iconic architects in depth—Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Alvar Aalto—who contributed in unique ways to the modernist narrative. We will also touch on the diverse works of eight additional architects to help provide a deeper understanding of the ideas, innovations, and artistic expressions that shaped this architectural era. By the end of the course, students will have a well-rounded knowledge of modernist architecture, its key figures, and the broader cultural and philosophical context in which it thrived.

Founder and Principal, Atkinson Architecture

Stephen Atkinson is an architect with a residential practice in Palo Alto. He studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In addition to remodeling and designing homes, he writes on the historical relevance of the famous Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.