Modernism I 23. August 2011 Eli Støa



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Modernism I

  • 23. August 2011 - Eli Støa


AAR 4812 / Theory and History of housing Modernism I 23. August 2011 / Eli Støa



Historical and social context

  • Background

    • Industrialisation, urbanisation, speculation, poor housing conditions for workers 1860 – 1900
    • Housing reform movement
  • First world war

  • The second industrial revolution

    • Organisation, management and increasing efficiency of production processes (Taylorism)


The second industrial revolution

  • Organisation, management and increasing efficiency of production processes (Taylorism)

  • Distributions of work and specialisation

  • Private cars

  • Electrification of homes

  • New consumer commodities







Ideological basis

  • Break with history

  • A rational approach to architecture

  • Social agenda

  • Standardisation / mass production

  • Functionalism: a new aesthetic



What is Modern?

  • “The current, the new and the transient: all three levels of meaning refer to the peculiar importance that is ascribed to the present in the concept of modernity. Modernity is what gives the present the specific quality that makes it different from the past and points the way towards the future. Modernity is also described as being a break with tradition, and as typifying everything that rejects the inheritance of the past” (Heynen, 1999:9)



A new era

  • ”modern man, who no longer dresses in historical garments but wears modern clothes, … needs a modern (architecture) appropriate to him and his time”

  • (W. Gropius in Conrads, 1964:95)



A new era

  • A new comprehension of the home:

  • From an increasing ’homecentredness’ after industrialisation

  • … to the avant gardists dissociation with the introversion of the bourgeouis home sphere’s







A new comprehension of the home

  • Le Corbusier wanted to replace: “(the) sentimental hysteria surrounding the cult of the home”, with a more rational approach to dwellings as “machines for living”

  • ”The modernist aesthetic is quite antagonistic to the idea of the home as a ”refuge of privacy and an assertion of individual – or family – identity” expressed in the knick knacks on the shelves, the antimacassars on the airmchairs, the filmy curtains at the windows, the screen before the fireplace.” (Morley?)



A rational approach

  • ”Nature was known by its parts, but not as a whole. Similarly, urban functions could be identified and improved, according to the management principles of Ford and Taylor, and then effectively reorganized in time and space”

  • (Rowe, 1993:162)



Rationality





”Die neue sachlichkeit”



Scientific basis for architecture

  • ”Architecture was to have a firm scientific basis, but more than that, it was to take its inspiration from the rationalism and experimentation of sciences” (Rowe, 1993:45)



Scientific basis for architecture

  • ”Functionalism was one of the most alarming aspects of the modernist agenda in the early twentieth-century because architects who adhered to it had confidence in a ’science’ that cannot be validated scientifically and believed that the user was predictable and obedient”

  • (Jonathan Hill, 2003:17)





















Functionalism – a new aesthetic



Functionalism – a new aesthetic













The functionalist doctrine



Adolf Loos: a new open and vertical organisation in which the rooms were connected by a centrally located staircase

  • Adolf Loos: a new open and vertical organisation in which the rooms were connected by a centrally located staircase

  • Le Corbusier: ”promenade architecturale” – an architectural walk through the house, ”det å kunne bevege seg opp gjennom etasjene, ha skiftende utsyn og innblikk i husets forskjellige sone” (Findal, 2007:28)









A new aesthetic

  • the inherent logic of new materials and construction techniques

  • avoid all unnecessary and superficial elements (absence of decoration)

  • Simple lines, primary colors, clear geometrical forms – contrast to the surrounding nature (abstraction)









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