American International style

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International style

An architectural style that is minimalist in concept, devoid of regional characteristics, stresses functionalism, and rejects all nonessential decorative elements; it emphasizes the horizontal aspects of a building; developed during the 1920s and 1930s, in western Europe principally in the Bauhaus school, and also in America. Buildings in this style are usually characterized by simple geometric forms, often rectilinear, making use of reinforced concrete and steel construction with a nonstructural skin; occasionally, cylindrical surfaces; unadorned, smooth wall surfaces, typically of glass, steel, or stucco painted white; a complete absence of ornamentation and decoration; often, an entire blank wall; often a cantilevered upper floor or balcony; open interior spaces; a flat roof without a ledge; eaves that terminate at the plane of the wall; large areas of floor-to-ceiling glass or curtain walls of glass; metal window frames set flush with the exterior walls, often in horizontal bands; casement windows; sliding windows; glass-to-glass joints at the corners, without framing; plain doors that conspicuously lack decor rative detailing. Houses are commonly asymmetric; in contrast, commercial buildings in this style are not only symmetric, but appear as a series of repetitive elements.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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