Architecture in the 60s and 70s

Architecture of the 1960s is often referred to as the Post Modern era. Architecture, like nearly everything in the 60s, was a contrast between established norms versus individualism and self expression. In public structures and private housing of the affluent, architecture of the 60s was moving away from long held rules. The change to architecture in moderate housing was less related to style than to how it melded with, and was impacted by, the surrounding environment. City planning also became essential due to burgeoning population growth.

As the 60s trends for individual expression and informality surfaced in architecture, a breach between accepted standards and creative design grew. A new generation of architects emerged, forming a communication network that promoted and expanded the exchange of ideas outside academia. This new breed of architects proposed that architecture was more than the creation of isolated structures but that it required social and environmental considerations as well. Use of space age technology, real and envisioned, coupled with the new concepts of complex architecture, led the way toward environmentally and ecologically focused design.

The 70s were eventful, often chaotic, years. The unpopular Viet Nam War caused social, political and economic distress. By the mid 70s the energy crisis and resulting economic recession added to social change that would last throughout the decade. Globally, the style of major architecture projects in the 70s was experimental and unconventional. Individualism and extremism prevailed. The impact in the US on home architecture was less extreme but no less dynamic.

The end of the Viet Nam War brought an increased demand for new housing. The increasing violence in cities and the basic 70s return to nature trend increased the movement to suburbs and rural areas. Although the architecture of new homes of the 70s changed little externally, internal design reflected the latest technology. Increased energy costs and awareness of the need for energy conservation advanced the use of energy efficient products and development of alternate sources, such as solar and wind.

A new direction for architecture in the 70s was the trend toward restoration and rehabilitation of existing buildings. Economic constraints and increased awareness of environmental issues caused demand for architecture plans for restoration of old houses, barns, schoolhouses etc for homes. Multi unit housing and businesses were created in empty warehouses, factories, train stations and other large buildings. Desire for revival and reintegration created a new trend in the common architecture of the decade.

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