Functionalism-Sullivan, Lecorbusier

Functionalism-Sullivan, Lecorbusier

Function or 'functionalism' in architecture is the defining principle which in its simplest form states that a building or structure should be derived solely from the function it is intended to fulfill. Employed by pioneering modernist architects including Louis Sullivan and Le Corbusier, functionalism, stood alone as the cornerstone of their definitions of honest, pure, and beautiful structure. In Louis Sullivan's 'Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings' he exposes the true inter-correlations at work between function and form (structure): "I suppose if we call a building a form, then there should be a function, a purpose, a reason for each building, a definite explainable relation between the form, the development of each building, and the causes that bring it into that particular shape; and that the building, to be good architecture, must, first of all, clearly correspond with its function, must be its image as you would say." Functionalism as an architectural principle can be traced back as far to the Vetruvian principles of Greek and Roman structure.   For Louis Sullivan as well as Le Corbusier form was a mere manifestation of functional principles including the practical considerations of use, material, and structure and not by a preconceived picture in the designer's mind.
Born in 1856 Louis Sullivan, deemed by some to be the "father of modern architecture," is credited with the creation of a wide variety of structural masterpieces all of which subscribe to his archetypal description and notion that "form ever follows function". Implicitly connected to Sullivan's principle of functionalism was his description of an organic quality that as he states is the very basis of life itself. Taken from his essay "The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered," first published in Lippincott's, March 1896, Sullivan states, " It is the pervading law of all things organic, and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and superhuman, of all...

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