Designed for 20th century lifestyles, modern homes come in many shapes.
The Shed Style is a modern housing type known for large windows and unusual shapes.
Photo © Jupiterimages Corporation
In the later half of the twentieth century, architects and builders turned away from historic housing styles. These modern homes took on a wide variety of shapes. Here are a few of the most popular categories identified by architectural historians Virginia & Lee McAlester:
Source: A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia & Lee McAlester
- Minimal Traditional (1935-1950)
Small, one-story homes with low-pitched roofs.
- Ranch (1935-1975)
One-story homes with a long, linear shape
- Split-Level (1955-1975)
A two-story variation of the Ranch shape
- Contemporary (1940-1980)
Low, one-story home with flat or almost-flat roof or with a tall, exaggerated gable
- Shed (1960-Present)
Angular homes with oddly-shaped roofs and trapezoid windows (shown above)
About Modern Houses
"Modern" is a general term that can describe many different house styles. When we describe a house as modern, we are saying that the design is not
based primarily on history or traditions. In contrast, a Neoeclectic
home incorporates decorative details borrowed from the past. A Postmodern
home also borrows details from the past, often exaggerating or distorting the details.
A Neoeclectic or Postmosdern home might have features such as dentil mouldings or Palladian windows. A modern home is not likely to have these types of details.