A Building That Breaks The Traditional Rules Of Architecture


When a building breaks traditional rules of architecture, it is usually done to achieve a certain look or performance. This could be to make a statement, to express an idea, or to maximize efficiency. It could also be an extension of existing materials, techniques or styles. In particular, these buildings often make use of unusual shapes and materials to create a unique structure. It is also common for them to feature unusual or innovative elements in order to meet the functional demands of the space.

For instance, modernist architecture often incorporates curved walls, slanted roofs and other unconventional design elements. These are designed to create interesting spaces and interesting visual effects. Similarly, many modern buildings are built from unusual materials such as glass, steel or concrete. These materials can be used in innovative ways to create structures with unique qualities. The shape and material selection of the building can also be used to maximize efficiency and help to create a safer environment.

Moreover, modernist buildings are often designed with an intent to break away from traditional rules. Architects may push the boundaries of what is generally considered acceptable or possible with a structure. For example, an architect may design a building that is taller, wider or deeper than a traditional structure. Additionally, the architect may use unconventional designs to highlight the structure’s function. For instance, if the building is meant to be a retail store, the design may reflect this through a large glass facade or an open floor plan.

Finally, when designing a building that breaks the traditional rules of architecture, the architect may also create a space that reflects the importance of the people, activities or environment within it. This could involve creating a space that encourages people to interact in a specific way, or that highlights a particular issue or subject. For example, a building may have an open plan design that allows people to brainstorm in a comfortable setting. Additionally, a building may also incorporate elements of local or natural surroundings to provide a unique sense of place.


When designing a building that breaks traditional rules, the architect must often take into account a multitude of factors. This includes how the design must account for the changing demands of the space, the local environment and the people who will inhabit it. Additionally, the architect must also consider the functional requirements of the structure, such as how it will be heated, ventilation and insulation. In many modernist buildings, these considerations are addressed through the creative use of space and innovative design ideas.

Additionally, a modernist building must also account for the strength and stability of the structure. For example, an architect may design a building with an unusual shape and materials, but these must adhere to the necessary safety regulations. The architect may have to use new engineering techniques or materials to ensure the structure is strong and secure. The architect may also have to think creatively about how to address seismic activity, weather events or other potential hazards.

Finally, the complexity of a modernist building is also determined by the building’s location, as this will affect the strength of the structure and the ease of access to the space. The architect must also consider sustainability factors, such as how the building will be constructed or heated. Additionally, the building must be accessible for people with mobility problems and for those who require access to certain features such as ramps, entrances and fire exits.


When a building breaks the traditional rules of architecture, it is almost inevitably more expensive than a traditional structure. This is because the project is often incredibly complex and requires the use of innovative materials and methods. For example, many modernist buildings require the use of specialist materials, such as glass and steel. Additionally, it is often necessary to use several skilled professionals in order to construct the building, such as engineers, builders and architects.

The cost of a modernist building may also be affected by the local environment and regulations. For example, a structure in an earthquake-prone area may need to utilize additional engineering techniques and is likely to be more expensive. Additionally, buildings in built-up areas may have to adhere to additional safety regulations and demands that can drive up costs.

Modernists are also often willing to pay more for materials, as this allows them to create unique and innovative buildings. For instance, some buildings may incorporate recycled materials or speciality items, such as rare woods or environmentally-friendly materials. Additionally, these structures often require complex and sophisticated engineering techniques, further driving up costs.

Finally, modernists may also be willing to spend additional funds to create a space that is conducive to a particular activity or inspires a particular emotion. For instance, if the building is designed to aid creativity, the architect may choose to use indirect lighting, soothing colors and unique furnishings.


The rhythm of a modernist building can often be the first noticeable thing, conveying the message and the purpose of the building. In this sense, the rhythm of a modernist structure is an extremely important factor in setting the tone for the design and the atmosphere it evokes. The rhythm can be achieved through the use of certain elements, such as the repetition of certain forms or materials. Additionally, the rhythm can be highlighted by the placement of elements, such as windows or doors, to create an interesting visual illusion.

Additionally, the use of light and shade can also create rhythm and depth in a modernist building. The effect of the light on the structure’s materials and design elements can significantly alter the atmosphere. Moreover, the use of sound is often important to the modernist building as it can set a certain tone or evoke a particular emotion. A modernist structure may also incorporate acoustic tiles or soundproofing so as to create a unique listening experience.

The architects of modernist buildings also employ texture in order to create an interesting rhythm. Textures can be used in a variety of ways, such as blending materials together or making unusual patterns. Moreover, the textures of a modernist building should not just be limited to the walls or floors; the ceiling and window frames can also be used to create different textures and depths.

Finally, modernist buildings often also rely on other elements to create a truly unique rhythm. For instance, sculptures or murals can be used to make a statement or emphasize the building’s design. Furthermore, the use of technology, such as lighting or holograms, can also be utilized to create interesting rhythms. In this way, a modernist building can be designed with a variety of techniques and elements to create a truly stunning effect.


The construction of a modernist building is likely to have a lasting impact on its surroundings. This is due to its unique design, which can make it a landmark in the local area. Additionally, the modernist building may also be seen as a symbol of progress and innovation. For instance, a building designed to maximize energy efficiency may serve to inspire others to do the same.

Moreover, modernist buildings can also be used to gain publicity and publicity can lead to greater success. For example, the iconic Guggenheim Museum received worldwide recognition from its construction, resulting in increased visitor numbers and greater economic prosperity for the local area. Similarly, modernist structures often form part of a larger area or cityscape, helping to create an impressive or unique environment.

Furthermore, modernist buildings often form part of an area’s identity. For instance, the Eiffel Tower in Paris is synonymous with the city and serves to remind visitors of its unique history. Additionally, modernist structures may also serve as a talking point, providing a subject for discussion and debate. For example, a modernist structure may be seen as a piece of art, prompting those who view it to ponder its purpose.

Finally, modernist buildings can also be beneficial in terms of the environment. For instance, they may be designed with sustainable principles in order to reduce their environmental impact. Additionally, modernist structures may feature renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, wind turbines or geothermal heat pumps.


When a modernist building is completed, its legacy can last for much longer than its initial construction. This is due to the fact that it is likely to become a landmark or symbol of the area. Additionally, the design is likely to be compared to other structures, and its signature style will often be duplicated or adapted by other architects.

Moreover, the modernist building may also result in further developments in architecture. For instance, the designers may suggest new approaches and techniques that can be applied to other projects or inspire other architects to break the boundaries of traditional architecture. Additionally, modernist designs and materials may also be adopted for other buildings, regardless of the building’s purpose.

Furthermore, modernist buildings can also act as a marker of progress and change in an area. This is due to the fact that they often embody many of the current architectural trends. For instance, a modernist structure may feature innovative materials, utilize renewable energy systems or make use of new construction techniques.

Finally, modernist buildings are also likely to attract attention from the media and art world. For instance, many of these structures have been featured in films, television series or photoshoots. Additionally, modernist structures may also be seen as an expression of artistic vision and may be seen as a form of art in and of itself.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

Leave a Comment