Functionalism (1919-1933)

Functionalism started in 1919 and it was tightly connected to the Bauhaus. It was based on the thought that each industrial building had to be functional, like a machine. 

 

Functionalism and the Bauhaus

The Bauhaus, literally translated to “construction house”, was born as a German school of arts in the early 20th century. It was founded in Weimar in 1919 and moved to Dessau until 1932. The style was commonly featured with a fusion of the Arts and Crafts school with modernism. The machine was a symbol for the future. The forms of a building were chosen with practical considerations such as use, material, and structure. 

The Guggenheim museum (New York, USA 2012)
Modern Architecture, functionalist example.- The Guggenheim museum (New York, USA 2012), by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 1939

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Most Important Examples

1. Villa Tugendhat was projected by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, wanted by the wealthy newlyweds Grete and Fritz Tugendhat.

Villa Tugendhat
Villa Tugendhat, Brno, Czech Republic.

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Mies designed a revolutionary iron framework, which gave him the possibility to dispense with supporting walls and conceive the interior to achieve a better space and light from outside. The villa was incredibly expensive for the time because of the materials, distinctive methods of construction, and the use of new technologies to heat and cool the estate. 

 

2. Villa Müller is an edifice designed by Adolf Loos in 1930. The villa is in Prague, Czech Republic. The house was structured on a completely new architectural concept of Adolf Loos, dealing with the spatial structure of the plane, called Raumplan, that rediscovered functionality in designs employed for social housing. Villa Müller is important to distinguish the model of modern house.

Adolf Loos- Muller House, 1929-30
Adolf Loos- Muller House, 1929-30

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Adolf Loos- Muller House, 1929-30
Adolf Loos- Muller House, 1929-30

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adolf loos
adolf loos

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Functional Objects Design

Designed objects are rational, less ornate, and based on rigorous features. Marcel Lajos Breuer, for example, was a Hungarian modernist. His Wassily Chair became a classic of modern, Bauhaus design. For this chair, he employed bending tubular steel for the whole structure, underlining the potentiality of modern industry in everyday objects. Marianne Brandt was a German artist that studied at the Bauhaus school. Brandt’s designs for lamps and other household objects are considered among the most important of the Weimar and Dessau Bauhaus.

B3 chair - Marcel Breuer
Wassily Chair (1925)- Marcel Breuer

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/2c69215f-e6ac-41ea-aea2-d6b272f31b67 by Tim Evanson


Info source:

https://www.britannica.com/art/Functionalism-architecture

https://study.com/academy/lesson/functionalist-architecture-definition-characteristics.html