The Concept of Functionality in Architecture

Function represents the necessities in architecture’s usage value, supplying everything that people needs practically and spiritually when utilizing it. Therefore, map is the direct end when planing architecture. After all, building a edifice is more than planing constructs in documents. Once the construct is realized for usage, failure to organize the relationship between map and signifier may ensue in a useless design. Lack of map will do architecture a sculpture, unable to supply comfort infinite for people to utilize. In human history, spiritual topographic points are the first architecture in Greek and Egypt. After Greek was conquered by Rome, sphere and bath appeared and people started to pay attending to their ain abode. In churrigueresque period, landscape and spring were built in abode, stand foring new demands from homo.

In footings of map the regulation must be “to works a edifice steadfastly on the ground” , that is, to accommodate its size and signifier to the terrain ( site ) ( Greenough, 1947 ) . Architecture aiming at different group of people or different public-service corporation may hold distinguishable functional demands. The first public-service corporation of architecture that pops in head may be shacking. For illustration, a farmhouse is a topographic point for brooding. Unlike house in metropolis, farmhouse is a comparatively separate topographic point that a batch of things are non easy to shop. And people populating in the house have to go to to their stock and works. So a farmhouse should hold adequate room for shop and unrecorded. If possible, puting it on the hillside, pointing the portion of the house in which the husbandman and his household eat, cook, remainder and sleep towards the vale, go forthing the farmhouse’s larger back half to cattles, Equus caballuss, and caprine animals. A big shop room will be necessary on the back side of the house for hive awaying life necessities and tools etc. Once the design meets those demands, there is room for beauty and conceptual significance. However, a building is more than a topographic point to populate. Bridges and airdocks, bowls and power Stationss, main roads and dikes, mills and shopping promenades, the map of these topographic points varies and necessitate to be taken into consideration when designing. Taking a more close to life illustration, shopping promenade, a production of modern city, is a topographic point to fulfill multiple demands of clients. Peoples coming to the promenade want to purchase garments, have dinner, watch film, work out or play games. Meeting these demands will pull big population, making considerable income for the shopper proprietors. As a topographic point incorporating big measure of people, adequate public infinite and parking infinite will vouch public security and pull client from comparatively far abode.

Natural factors such as clime and topography influence map of architecture. Cities lying along river frequently portion similar building manner. One ground is that these topographic points frequently experience heavy rainfall. In order to faster drain H2O, roof normally have high incline. In southern China, some minority people lift their house up utilizing bamboo. Such design allows better airing in whole twelvemonth unit of ammunition wet. One survey studies that the mean thickness of wall in southern England, Holland and Belgium is 23cm ; in Germany, the information is 38cm ; in Poland and Lithuanian, the information is 50cm ; in Russia, the figure is more than 63cm. That is to state, closer to sea, thinner the wall. Peoples need thick walls to contend against cold conditions and thin walls with big room infinite to radiate heat. All these demands from people utilizing the building must be earnestly considered and people are ever the cardinal construct in planing. And it is something that comes along all the ages and had nil to make with who design the architecture. Showing map is like seeking to educate everyone a construct and signifier can be anything from a theatre to a picture. Equally long as the audience gets the thought, the signifier is successful. Otherwise no affair how originative or beautiful the signifier is, it’s empty.

In all, unless the functional demands are to the full met, architecture will miss of humanity. In Marcus Vitruvius Pollio ’s book, he asserted that a construction must exhibit the three qualities firmitas, utilitas, venustas – that is, it must be solid, utile, beautiful ( Sullivan and Walker, 1924 ) . These regulations have become basic rating criterions to traditional architectural aesthetics till today. Bruno Zevi regarded map as the really first regulation in modern linguistic communication of architecture ( Zevi, 1978 ) . Both of them stress the importance of structure’s belongingss to run into people’s demands. In modern society, designing is going progressively intelligent and humanistic. A good architecture design should show itself without excess account.

“Architecture is frozen music” as Goethe put it, cipher would oppugn his romantic and poetic manner of depicting what signifier can add to architecture. Architecture is like an artistic composing and it has artistic value for people to look up to. Any building in this universe, even a petroleum thatched house has cosmetic elements that make it more than four pillars with a screen. The nature has the power to determine signifier to maximise map and architecture is one of the creative activities that did non merely copy nature ( Winckelmann and Potts, 2006 ) . Alberti claimed that if a quality is desirable anyplace, certainly it can non be absent from edifices, without piquing experient and inexperient alike ( Alberti, 1988 ) . Therefore, simply supplying for functional demands and bring forthing something that is lasting and well-constructed is non plenty, beauty must add to the design.

As we can see from the development of architecture, pyramids are highly old design in history. Harmonizing to Alberti, the pyramid is formed between the surface of the material expostulation and the oculus, which is besides the beginning of interior visible radiation. Besides pyramid, Temple of Karnak, the dramatic testimony to Egyptian civilisation, is besides an ideal interior decorator in footings of signifier. The colonnades in the center are higher than the colonnades on sides, therefore making height difference in the roof and allowing visible radiation into the hall. Not all of the colonnades are needed for the support. Light flow through rows of colonnades, the shadow and visible radiation alternately projecting on the floor. Such dark consequence with highly big colonnades makes the temple a topographic point as if the Gods are above. Alternatively of external facts, beauty and nature are pure subjective judgements. The numerical proportions used in the design of the temple create a “visual harmony” which merely exists in the head and has no relation to the existent construction or material presence of the edifice.

The signifier of architecture is the outward look of stuff and construction. It is frequently perceived through lines, signifier and texture as a whole. Merely by signifier can architecture be perceived as something meaningful to people and activate religious reverberations. From personal position, signifier carries the information that interior decorator wants to show. For illustration, Mies van der Rohe expresses two architectural constructs through his skyscraper undertaking. One that can be found in his old experimental exploration-Mies’s Friedichstrasse undertaking, a edifice takes the contemplations and refractions of visible radiation by glass as surface alternatively of forms of shadow on an opaque stuff. The other separates him from his earlier skyscraper surveies, a edifice related to one another by a geometrically derived nucleus signifier, organizing as a complex unitary volume that does non allow itself to be read in footings of an internal formal logic. With these two related constructs Mies gave his reply to the job of physically and conceptually associating the architectural object to the metropolis. alternately crystalline, brooding glass drape wall absorbs, mirrors, or distorts the immediate images of metropolis. The metropolis was divided by these circumstantial images, making a sense of confusion. Normally, the spectator can hold on an antecedent logic of the object, pulling a decision on the formal subject by decoding the relationship every portion. However, proposition of Mies is unable decrypting by formal analysis. The work of Mies can non be reduced to a figure of constitutional parts related by some internal armature or transformed through some formal operation because no such compositional relationship exists in his work. ; The singularity of his work can non be interpreted as some sort of warp of other type. Mies wholly abandoned the classical design methods, making a new manner of organizing that a edifice could talk for itself in the sense of surface and volume in a peculiar clip and topographic point, in a contextually qualified minute. We have to acknowledge that merely those who were experienced and educated with background cognition can to the full understand the subject of the architecture.

There are other ways architect proposed to look at a edifice. As Rudolf Arnheim asserted, a edifice can be enjoyed from multiple positions and a work of architecture is “a mental image synthesized with greater or lesser success from partial views” ( Arnheim, 1977 ) , taking Arnheim to reason that “expression in non indistinguishable with a building’s physical belongingss, ” nor its physical construction, as is the instance in English Gothic architecture.

The above two designers provide new signifier either to expose beauty or to contemplate beauty. However, Albert proposed a new construct to specify signifier in human mental position. In his book, Albert explains the difference between quality ( the line in the head of the designer ) and affair, and his theory ofconcinnitasor ocular harmoniousness. Consisting of angles, qualities are the lineation of a edifice, as conceived in the head, separate from affair. In theDe re aedificatoria, “It is rather possible to project whole signifiers in the head without any resort to the material” ( Alberti, 1988 ) . He defined the signifier and figure of a edifice as a sort of positive fondness, that is “pleasing to the eyes” , and is “the chief object of the art of building” .Concinnitas, like apperception, transforms disparate and unrelated reasonable perceptual experiences into a consistent whole, distinguishes the object stimulation of physical signifier and the capable image of what is perceived.

Symbols in civilization repeatedly occurred in architecture in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian believed that when a people died, psyche temporally left organic structure and will come back to Earth shortly. So the topographic point to hive away organic structure must be sacred in the visual aspect and sustainable for 1000s of old ages. Similar with ancient Egypt, antediluvian Greek besides left plentifulness of spiritual topographic points. In ancient clip, due to individual building stuff and deficiency of advanced engineering, merely those topographic points enjoy the intelligence of interior decorator. Though all made of rock, bowl, college and theatre are carefully decorated and their technique are admirable even from the impermanent position. At that clip, architecture has been about entirely symbolic in signifier and ornament, missing of clear map design.

There are plentifulness of illustrations that successfully incorporate signifier and map. The Fallingwater of Frank Lloyd Wright is one of them. Two platforms stretch from the house, looking as if the edifice were grown from the land. Water falling preceded the house and with the full natural system that grows and develops around the falls, making an semblance that it ne’er stops. In a sense, Fallingwater can be said to historicize the landscape and therefore give to nature a history and a significance beyond the present. Permanence, that quality which had for so long seemed at odds with modernism, was reintroduced but transformed into an facet of impermanency. The house is described as “Always all things at one time, it remains as charming, as hallucinatory, and every bit ethereal as cascade of white H2O or an early forenoon mist” ( Menocal, 2000 ) .

Form of architecture non merely refers to the interior infinite but besides outline.

With the rapid development of information revolution and addition in modern people’s aesthetic consciousness, it has ne’er been every bit diverse as modern-day architecture. A broad spectrum of architecture in modern society displayed a inclination towards stressing excessively much on signifier. Architect started to weaken even give up the rule of basic map and rational construction, concentrating more on the abstract logical relationship in the architecture. If ocular impact becomes the anterior concern of the designer, it will be given to be pure formalism and consequence in sculpturers doing architecture.

Taking the CCTV Headquarters in China as an illustration, in order to exhibit an overdone consequence, interior decorator challenges the normal mechanics at all cost. The whole edifice expressions like two elephantine three-dimension missive Z embroiling together and it besides looks like one giant writhing missive A. Its alone tilted mentality and dramatic character leave the audience a strong ocular impact. There is no denying that the architecture displays the distinguishable imaginativeness and creative activity of the interior decorator. However, it arouses uncertainties and expostulation due to misdemeanor of the mechanics’ rule. The chief map of a edifice is to vouch safety. Namely, it will non fall in under natural utmost status. However, the designing program broke a few regulations in national building criterions including tallness, uniformity, transmutation and rotational amplitude, etc. To construct such a high, hard construction, the original 5 billion investings is hardly plenty, because the edifice must be perfectly safe. In the terminal, the 550 1000 square metre floor country undertaking cost more than twice of the original investings program. There’re more illustrations than that. Guangzhou Opera House is the alone presentation of the relationship between metropolis civilization and societal ecology. The unusual mentality gets applause every bit good as reviews. On one manus, the building of such undertaking leads to concerns about safety. On the other manus, the alone signifier reduces the usage rate of interior infinite, therefore ensuing in waste of infinite and disbursal. In what grade should we take signifier into consideration and at how much cost should be taken to prosecute it stay argument.

Personally, I am non in favour of overly pursuing of pure signifier. To show the idea of a interior decorator and show beauty is of import so. Architecture is non simply a combination of building stuff, or any heap of rocks would go a edifice. Egyptian pyramid, Chinese pagoda, Hindu tope, and Sumerian zikkurat were the most powerful look of each civilization ‘s spiritual beliefs. They were designed harmonizing to the cultural symbolic systems ; their form, ornament, dimensions, and orientation to the Sun were carefully calculated to function their God or convey good fortune. But they enclosed small or no internal space.Often these buildings were funded by authorities or spiritual group who collect money from citizens. Large disbursals were paid on these undertakings pretermiting all expostulations. Even in impermanent society, designs taking at making a symbolic construction challenge all the mechanics rule in order to impact regular human knowledge. Such inclination consequences in increasing budget and diminishing utilizing infinite. What separates architecture from sculpture is that it is utile and people feel comfy utilizing it. When person enters a edifice, the assessment of interior visible radiation and infinite is every bit of import as out figure. It’s apprehensible that interior decorators want to talk out their head and strike the universe with alone work. However, understanding the demands of people is ever the primary concern. As Eisennman says “there is no conceptual facet in architecture which can be thought of without the construct of matter-of-fact and functional objects ( Torres, 2004 ) .

ALBERTI, L. B. 1988. On the art of edifice in 10 books, Cambridge, Mass. , MIT Press.

ARNHEIM, M. T. W. 1977. Nobility in Grecian society, Boulder, Westview Press.

GREENOUGH, H. 1947. Form and map ; comments on art, Berkeley, , Univ. of California Press.

MENOCAL, N. G. 2000. Fallingwater and Pittsburgh, Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press.

SULLIVAN, L. H. & A ; WALKER, D. D. 1924. The autobiography of an thought, New York, , Press of the American institute of designers, Iraqi National Congress.

TORRES, M. 2004. Low-cost place design: inventions and redevelopments, New York, NY, Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

WINCKELMANN, J. J. & A ; POTTS, A. 2006. History of the art of antiquity, Los Angeles, Calif. , Getty Research Institute.

ZEVI, B. 1978. The modern linguistic communication of architecture, University of Washington Press Seattle.


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