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The tower of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium (Y. Lindegren & T. Jäntti, built in 1934-38)

Functionalism, in architecture, is the principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building. This statement is less self-evident than it first appears, and is a matter of confusion and controversy within the profession, particularly in regard to modern architecture. Functionalism had the strongest influence in Germany, Czechoslovakia, the USSR and the Netherlands.

The place of functionalism in building can be traced back to the Vitruvian triad, where 'utilitas' (variously translated as 'commodity', 'convenience', or 'utility') stands alongside 'venustas' (beauty) and 'firmitas' (firmness) as one of three classic goals of architecture. Functionalist views were typical of some gothic revival architects. In particular, Augustus Welby Pugin wrote that "there should be no features about a building which are not necessary for convenience, construction, or propriety" and "all ornament should consist of enrichment of the essential construction of the building".<ref>A.W.N.Pugin, The true principles of pointed or Christian architecture : set forth in two lectures delivered at St. Marie's, Oscott.</ref>

The debate about functionalism and aesthetics is often framed as a mutually exclusive choice, when in fact there are architects, like Will Bruder, James Polshek and Ken Yeang, who attempt to satisfy all three Vitruvian goals.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}


Functionalism (architecture) sections
Intro   History of functionalism    Modernism    Czech and Slovak Functionalism   Danish Functionalism  Examples  Functionalism in landscape architecture   References   Literature  External links  

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