The new building components of the Modern Architecture




reinforced concrete, cobogó, double-skin facade, brise-soleil, passive systems


The invention of reinforced concrete in the second half of the 19th century represented a revolution in building design and construction. Its worldwide spread at the beginning of the last century was the origin of today’s globalized way of building and living. The gradual abandonment of local building traditions and the contemporary debate on the sustainability of construction aimed at reconciling the sector’s energy and material needs with the preservation of the natural environment date back to this period.

From the second decade of the last century until the 1960s, the invention of reinforced concrete also determined the emergence and dissemination of the theoretical principles of the Modern Movement. This movement was joined by numerous architects, each of whom interpreted in an original way the five points of Le Corbusier’s rationalism (pilotis, free floor plan, free façade, ribbon windows, roof-garden-flat roof) and created masterpieces of architecture of the last century. This period was rich of cut-edging innovations in the building components. Through the critical study of archives and historical and technical sources, the work focuses on the innovation of the technological elements of façades to control the interaction between sunlight and the building, today referred to as passive energy systems. The study of some famous architectures of the Modern Movement demonstrates that architectural design is a continuous experimentation of materials and new technological solutions. Moreover, the control of the on-site behavior and effectiveness of innovations provides continuous lessons that presuppose the ability to seize opportunities for development and improvement from failed experiments.


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Author Biography

Graziella Bernardo, University of Basilicata

Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures: Architecture, Environment, Cultural Heritage


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How to Cite

Bernardo, G. (2023) “The new building components of the Modern Architecture”, VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, 8, pp. 4–17. doi: 10.4995/vitruvio-ijats.2023.18830.