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Cubist architecture

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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The cubist movement began in the early 20th century by artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. What began initially as a trend in art, cubism quickly transcended into the realm of architecture and design. As with modernism, the main aim was to reject the styles seen by predecessors and create something completely new and innovative; a true rejection of the current vernacular.

What is largely a topic that is heavily debated, the most common links between the art style and architecture movement are the extruded shapes, geometry and exploration of the three-dimensional form. We have experts on the homify site who have created homes reflecting these qualities and who are dedicated to keeping the cubism style well and truly alive in the 21st century.

Le Corbusier reinvented

When you ask people about modern architecture, Le Corbusier is often the first name that comes to mind. Known for designing with highly geometric forms, in particular, cube shapes, this house is reminiscent of what is classified as one of the greatest periods of the contemporary era. The cantilevered second floor is a reoccurring feature which you will see repeated in each photo in this ideabook, as it is the defining element that separates cubism from standard modern design.

A contemporary take

Generally speaking, cubist architecture is white. However, as we are looking at examples from the current era, it is only fitting that we would see some designs that reflect the trends of today. This exquisite wood paneling is both visually stunning and an excellent barrier against solar absorption; given the majority of the house is finished with glass. The pushed and pulled look is one design students are taught quite early on in their studies, and whilst it looks uncomplicated and simple, the engineering principles employed to complete a structure with such finesse are both challenging and rewarding.

Texture play

Using a white on white colour palette can sometimes feel a bit sterile and clinical, and as with interior design projects, using different textural elements is important to break up the monotony. Cleverly, the architects behind this project have included a subtle texture play by using slate grey tiles and arranging them in such a fashion that they appeared varied yet unified. The black frames of the windows also aid in the definition of forms; it is clear where the rendered elements finish and begin. 


Synergy of Light and Space:  Kitchen by The Myers Touch
The Myers Touch

Synergy of Light and Space

The Myers Touch

The ambiguity in Picasso's work is part of what defines cubism. Where do shapes begin or end? How, in contemplation, is a structure broken down, analysed and reassembled in our heads? A reflection pool at the base of an already complex structure certainly plays tricks on our mind. This example challenges both the two and three dimensional forms we are familiar with, as the photo in question projects a myriad of angles for the subject to be viewed in a single context. If speaking strictly about cubism and the ideals behind it, it is with no doubt, that this example in both form and essence reflects the intentions of Picasso and Braque.

To see more avant-garde and exciting architectural builds see ’7 reasons why we love minimalism and 4 excellent examples of domestic architecture’.

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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