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Contemporary Modern Architecture

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The term "contemporary architecture" refers to today's building styles, which are quite diverse and boast a wide array of influences. In terms of architecture, "contemporary" and "modern" aren't synonyms. "Modern" refers to the modernist architecture of the early and mid-20th century, an era of great change in the American landscape. Ornamentation and sentimentality were out; clean lines and superior function were in. But over time, many architects came to feel modern houses were cold and unfriendly. Postmodernism and deconstructivism came along to tweak the modern ideal, leaving us with the contemporary state of affairs. Contemporary architecture retains modernism's devotion to connecting the indoors and outdoors, and to achieving a feeling of spaciousness. But it isn't averse to showing signs of regional character or even whimsy. And today's architects are especially concerned with energy efficiency and sustainable materials, which has led to some truly innovative design.

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