Before World War II Europe The Modernist movement in architecture was an attempt to create a nonhistorical architecture of Functionalism in which a new sense of space would be created with the help of modern materials. The Viennese architect Adolf Loos opposed the use of any ornament at all and designed purist compositions of bald, functional blocks such as the Steiner House at Viennaone of the first private houses of reinforced concrete. Behrens strongly affected three great architects who worked in his office: In GermanyGropius followed a mechanistic direction.
Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Vitruvius gives these terms in the sequence firmitas, utilitas, venustas, whereas both Alberti and, following him, the 16th-century Venetian architect and theorist Andrea Palladio reverse the order of the first two. But it does seem worth noting that venustas generally comes last, implying that firmitas and utilitas are to be regarded as essential logical prerequisites of architectural beauty.
On the other hand, the practical advantages, in academic treatisesof giving priority to venustas are evident. The growing emphasis on aestheticscombined with developments in psychology and the influence of art-historical methods, added weight to this argument, while the corresponding independence of scientific techniques of structural and spatial analysis led many teachers of architecture to consider utilitas and firmitas as totally separate academic disciplines.
Important exceptions can be found to this generalization. Alberti not only avoids the erotic implications of the term venustas but, by subdividing amoenitas into pulchritudo and ornamentum, gives far more precise indications as to the type of visual satisfaction that architecture should provide.
Pulchritudo, he asserts, is derived from harmonious proportions that are comparable to those that exist in music and are the essence of the pleasure created by architecture. Both pulchritudo and ornamentum were thus related to function and environment in that, ideally, they were governed by a sense of decorumand, since the etymological roots of both decoration and decorum are the same, it will be understood why, beforethe term decoration had in both English and French a far less superficial architectural implication than it often does today.
After the German philosopher and educator Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten had introduced the neologism aesthetics aboutthe visual merits of all artifacts tended to be assessed more subjectively than objectively, and, in the criticism of all those sensory stimuli that, for want of a better term, critics somewhat indiscriminately lumped together as the fine arts, the visual criteria were extended to include not only beauty but also sublimity, picturesqueness, and even ugliness.
Now it is clear that, once ugliness is equated with beauty, both terms being contradictory become virtually meaningless. But ugliness, after the midth century, was not only one of the most important themes of many popular dramas and novels. Ugliness was also often considered the most appropriate architectural expression for all sorts of virtues—especially those of manliness, sincerity, and so on.
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Beforearchitects had expressed these qualities more subtly e. In later years, when the value of proportion and ornament became highly controversial, architectural theorists tended to avoid committing themselves to any criteria that might be subsumed under the heading venustas.
Our ultimate goal, therefore, was the composite but inseparable work of art, the great building, in which the old dividing-line between monumental and decorative elements would have disappeared for ever. The idea was accepted in most schools of architecture by the midth century, but one may question whether it fully justified the expectations of its protagonists, once it had been exemplified and proliferated in so many urban environments.
Utilitas The notion that a building is defective unless the spaces provided are adequate and appropriate for their intended usage would seem obvious.
Yet the statement itself has been a source of controversy since the s. The main reasons for the controversy are: Second, edifices are frequently used for purposes other than those for which they were originally planned.
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