What is MOMO?

MOMO stands for Modern Movement in architecture and urban planning. It's a product of the 20th century that derives from the revolutionary emergence of new ideas of the avantgarde during and immediately after World War I: De Stijl, German Expressionism, Russian Constructivism, the Bauhaus, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius... .

The widespread modernist realizations of the inter-war period show a great variety of ‘Modern Movements’ all over the world:
German Neues Bauen, Dutch Nieuwe Bouwen, Belgian Modernisme, French and Italian ferro-concrete experiments, ‘functionalist’ buildings of the early International Style, Colonial Modernism outside Europe, and a lot of regional variations.

The ‘second phase’, post-war modern architecture, is marked by the large scale spreading of the International Style more particularly in housing programmes and new towns all over the world. The experiments with new materials and technologies, originally developed as part of the war effort, is also typical for this late-modern architecture (lightweight steel, aluminium and plastics and all sorts of modern equipment).

In the last decades, the architectural heritage of the Modern Movement appeared more at risk than during any other period. At the end of the 1980s, many modern masterpieces had already been demolished or had changed beyond recognition. This was mainly due to the fact that many were not considered to be elements of heritage, that their original functions have substantially changed and that their technological innovations have not always endured long-term stresses.

The threatened, some rapidly disappearing and altered beyond recognition MoMo-masterpieces, shows the need for an organization like DOCOMOMO to prevent the further loss of remarkable Modern Movement heritage.