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The International style is a major architectural style that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s, the formative decades

of Modern architecture. The term originated from the name of a book by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, The International Style. The book was written to record the International Exhibition of Modern Architecture held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1932 and it identified, categorized and expanded upon characteristics common to Modernism across the world and its stylistic aspects. The aim of Hitchcock and Johnson was to define a style that would encapsulate this modern architecture, and they did this by the inclusion of specific architects. The authors identified three principles: the expression of volume rather than mass, the emphasis on balance rather than preconceived symmetry, and the expulsion of applied ornament.

Architects who worked in the International style wanted to break with architectural tradition and design simple, unornamented buildings. The most commonly used materials are glass for the facade (usually a curtain wall), steel for exterior support, and concrete for the floors and interior supports; floor plans were functional and logical. The style became most evident in the design of skyscrapers. Perhaps its most famous manifestations include theUnited Nations headquarters (Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, Sir Howard Robertson), the Seagram Building and the Toronto-Dominion Centre (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), and Lever House (Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill).