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If the façade is complex and interesting, it affects people in a positive way; negatively if it is simple and monotonous

Humans prefer humanistic architecture, with fractal visual complexity and natural materials. Modernism tossed it all out, then the post modernists recognized that that was a horrible mistake, but decided it was too uncool to just go back to what people actually liked.

If you are interested in a short US-centric read on how the whole thing went down, read this:


Post WW2 architects have a lot of human unhappiness to answer for.

Not an architecture expert, so maybe somebody can help me out, but the early modern architecture was often still complex and humane (I'm thinking 1930s - Amsterdam School and WPA post offices). Only later did modernism become an excuse for big, cheap, and ugly.

Modernism -- i.e., the Bauhaus, the International Style, and Le Corbusier -- was always about big, cheap, and ugly. The Amsterdam School was Expressionist, not Modernist; and nothing's more anti-Modernist than a pretty painting on a wall, even if it's in a visually arresting 1930s style.

But that said, the Amsterdam School and the WPA work were beautiful, and I'd never heard of them before. Thank you for mentioning them! I'll be sure to look into both in a lot more detail.


The treatment of Christopher Alexander by the architecture faculty at Berkeley is very high on my "Why I don't donate to Cal as an alumni" list.

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