Modern Architecture is Ugly

“Stop making everything grey.” This is your sign to paint your bedroom walls with color and culture, like you’ve always wanted.

By Hailey Trask

Victorian architecture is awe-inspiring to any who sees it, with dreamy bay windows, ornate gables, steeply pitched roofs, and round towers/turrets meant to draw your eye up. It is easy to appreciate such architecture, especially when you understand the time it took to craft it. However, recent times have come to show that the aesthetic of the building does not matter but rather the functionality. Modernism has now taken over in terms of new construction. I can’t help but despise this form of architecture because it is as if visual appeal and uniqueness don’t matter. When you see a modern apartment complex, you’ll notice that each unit looks identical, as if it was cut out of an IKEA catalog.

The cost and build efficiency of this type of construction are what’s most appealing to people, which is why new lots continue to pop up every day. Would it be such a bad thing to say that I would prefer quality housing over quantity? The Victorian style had more care put into production and design. If architects would stray away from the boxy-neutral style and start adding some authenticity to their designs, it would set them/their work apart from others. If you look up modern buildings, you will find infinite photos of black & white buildings that look like cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other. The shape of the structures is simplistic and lacks personality but just adding the decorative trim and neatly carved pillars would add depth to any build and make it much more desirable.

For most of history, humans have decorated their homes with symbols and memories from their culture, life, and traditions while modernism doesn’t showcase any of that.

At this point some might be beginning to wonder what, if anything, we can do to change this. It is not like people can go in and start renovating their apartments and buildings can’t be altered that much once they’re up. In response I say, furniture is what shapes a room the most and even without alteration of the architecture itself you can transform a living space. Throw in those chairs you found at the thrift store, that old coffee table your grandmother gifted you, blankets you’ve collected through the years, anything to add that flavor of love into your home. Painting is off the table for most renters, but wallpaper is surprisingly still widely available with thousands of prints to suit anyone’s aesthetic. Those modern designs make houses look like show rooms, unlived in and sparking, but it is just totally unrealistic. Those entering your home should be aware that people live there, so you should not be afraid to show it.

Color and detail are the most eye-catching things and yet modernism strips buildings of both. Which creates bare and textureless walls that make the space feel uninviting. Instead of making empty and sad spaces, we need to integrate pops of color, vintage/abstract art, intricate trim designs, and most importantly, stop making everything gray. Although neutral colors are needed to balance any space, when you have too much in an area it makes it seem empty and just plain bland. For most of history, humans have decorated their homes with symbols and memories from their culture, life, and traditions while modernism doesn’t showcase any of that. Fill your home with that love and intricacy because it would be a shame if all we left for future historians were cell phones and concrete blocks.