Futurist architecture (or Futurism) began as an early-20th century form of architecture characterized by anti-historicism and long horizontal lines suggesting speed, motion and urgency. Technology and even violence were among the themes of the Futurists. The movement was founded by the poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who produced its first manifesto, the Manifesto of Futurism in 1909. The movement attracted not only poets, musicians, and artists (such as Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Fortunato Depero, and Enrico Prampolini) but also a number of architects. The latter group included Antonio Sant'Elia, who, though he built little, translated the Futurist vision into bold urban form.
Post WWII Futurism
In the post-WWII era, futurism, toned down considerably, redefined itself in the context of Space Age
trends, the car culture
and a fascination with plastic
. An example of this type of futurism is Googie
architecture of 1950s California
. Futurism is not a style but an open approach to architecture, so it has been reinterpreted by different generations of architects across several decades, but is usually marked by striking shapes, dynamic lines, strong contrasts and use of advanced materials.
Post WWII architects with futurist tendencies
In the popular literature futurist
is often used loosely to be describe architecture that has a strange or space age look. It is now sometimes conflated with blob architecture
. The looser usage of futurism—which rarely involves issues of politics—is to be differentiated from the Futurist Movement of the 1920s.
Examples of post WWII futurism
- Tomorrowland, at Disneyland in Anaheim, is perhaps the most famous outpost of futurism in the world.
- Capitol Records building, Los Angeles (Welton Becket, 1956)
- Dakin Building, Brisbane, California (Theodore Brown, 1986)
- Epcot Center, Walt Disney World, Florida
- Space Needle, Seattle (Victor Steinbrueck, 1963)
- Theme Building, Los Angeles International Airport (James Langenheim, 1961)
- Fiat Tagliero Building, Asmara, Eritrea (Giuseppe Pettazzi, 1938)
- California State University, Fullerton buildings (Howard van Heuklyn, 1967-1972)
- Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai (Jia Huan Sheng, 1995)
- Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco (William Pereira, 1974)
- Burj al-Arab Hotel, Dubai (Thomas Wright, 1999)
- The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles (John Portman, 1976)
- Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York (Wallace Harrison, 1965-1978)
- Oral Roberts University (Frank Wallace, 1963)
- The Federal District of Brasilia, Brazil (Oscar Niemeyer, 1960)
- The Illinois, Chicago (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1956) This mile-tall skyscaper was believed feasible, but was never built.
- TWA Flight Center at Idlewild (now John F. Kennedy) Airport, New York City (Eero Saarinen, 1962)
- Louvre Pyramid, Paris (I. M. Pei, 1989)
- CN Tower, Toronto
- Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport, Denver, Colorado
- US Pavilion at Expo 67, Montreal (Buckminster Fuller, 1967)