Galerie funkce

Functionalism

 

Is an architectural style, which can be summed up in a single sentence as follows: Style follows function. A functionalist building is very simple, however not artistic. From the end of 20’s through the end of 70’s of the 20the century, it was the leading architectural style. Pseudo-artistic styles such as socialist realism or rural functionalism, as well as architectural styling in the Third Reich, all were based on Functionalism. Purpose-built, utilitarian buildings of simple shape are a typical example of Functionalism architecture. New materials such as scarlet bricks, iron or concrete, are largely utilized here.

 

Architecture, as Adolf Loos, a leading functionalist in Czech regions, insists, does not belong among art, which however doesn’t mean, it should meet aesthetic ideals. Le Corbusier introduced Functionalism in his piece as a new form, which could break free of frequent opulence and a cult of affected aesthetics prevailing as late as to the 20’s of the 20th century. Overstuffing and pointless complexity were gracefully replaced with geometrically neat shapes. Similarly as Adolf Loos called ornament a crime, Le Corbusier says: “Decorating is of a sensuous and primitive nature, in the same way as color, therefore it suits the lower classes, peasants and barbarians.“

 

Functionalism, as an artistic style broke into not only in architecture but also significantly in design of applied art, furniture and interior accessories. Thoughts and artistic sentiment of Le Corbusier were further refined in Bauhaus School in Weimarane Desava, of which founder and leader was Walter Gropius. His contemporaries as well as followers such as Marcel Breuer, Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe or Ludwig Hilbersmeier and others, gave rise to a quality timeless, nowadays more and more requested modern functionalist design.

 

Czech Functionalism

 

In Czech regions, so called Czech functionalism took shape and broke into mainly furniture design and interior accessories. A creed of distinguished Czech architects, formed during the times filled with social tension, became a thesis, that the basic obligation of an architect is creating exclusively rational equipment, thus affordable to broad classes of population. Czech avant-garde of advanced architects subsequently ranked among the world vanguard and through its theoretical pieces and primarily successful implementations, contributed to deepen the principles of the new artistic movement. It has remained a paradox however, that most thoroughly were the principles of Functionalism applied primarily in realization of individually designed constructions and interiors of the well-off.

 

The most accurate formulation of the orthodox Functionalism here in his speeches and publications formulated Karel Teige. In his theoretical consideration he reached at a vision of a standardized flat, which people would not even furnish themselves. They would get equipment from the builder and all the functions would be eliminated from the flat and moved to common facilities. Thus the flat would be freed not only of bunch of functions, but also abundance of furniture. In his last thinking of Functionalism, the author was removing everything from the flat, except for sleeping and reading. Everything else he was suggesting to move from the flat to a public facility. Food to common kitchens, raising kids to day care centers and children playgrounds, personal hygiene to public spa. Finally, the reading could be fully relocated to libraries, so a bad and storing space would suffice for personal belongings and cloths. Architects grown up and creating in the beginning of the era between the world wars, in their pieces obviously reflected not only the era atmospherics filled with contrasts, but also pursued implementation of these theories.

 

New equipment standards, Unit Furniture emergence

 

Even in the beginning of the twentieth an idea of that a strict scientific approach, based on human needs research will make it easier for standard product creation, standardization, rationalization and creating keenly priced products. Those were ascetical requirements, at the same time, it was anti-aestheticism. It was an effort trying to prevent return to the old decorativeness which encumbered creation of a number of previous generations. While critically looking at these attitudes, we must not forget that for the first time in the European history of furniture art, the furniture was designed and completed without application of an ornament. At the turn of twentieth, interior accessory designs of completely new type were created. Interior suiting furniture design here started taking over by construction work. Bulky closets started disappearing as being replaced with built-in wardrobes and cloakrooms. Kitchen furniture had become a part of the construction in these experimental projects; first place in a designer’s focus took the sitting furniture. At that time, an idea of kit/unit furniture took shape and got ripe. Compositional “unit” furniture was being created on the basis of plain geometrical raster principles. De Stijl, Modrian’s neoplasticism, Bauhaus, Functionalism – all these styles that contributed to first half of the twentieth century architecture evolution, promoted right angle to profession of faith.

 

Purposefulness without coziness, orthodox Functionalism

 

First of all, it was forgotten, that harmony between design and beauty is a mere coincidence and thus uncertain. The fact, that if this status happens, it does not automatically, was forgotten. Purposively calculated furniture, scientifically set parameters of each furniture types were about to find their application in the future. Non-decorated plain surfaces, removed ornament, excluded decoration, were the creed, through which the Functionalism had manifested since the very beginning. In its fundamental resistance to pointless decorations, it left everything reflecting the decorativeness. However, it was forgotten that beside the practical part of constructions as well as furniture objects, their social use is also important. In thoughts and proclamations of the avant-garde architects, aesthetic experience was denied initially, co-forming the cultural value of the objects. The material world – milieu formed in an orthodox way according to these opinions with no regard to the aesthetical aspect, was very aloof. Rooms with plain walls, without a decorative object, carpets and with minimal amount of furniture, did not feel as a cozy home. It was the effort, which directed from decorativeness flooding to the form neatness, the Functionalism, which however avoided, perhaps in an orthodox way, any efforts for kindness, through its sterility.

 

Functionalism with aesthetics

 

During work of young pre-war generation, that dealt with spaces layout as well as furniture design, emotional impression found its meaningful spot back again. Authors of thus conceived furniture objects followed in advancement of functionalist approaches in a broader way. Mainly in the way, they managed to emphasize its aesthetic aspect at the Functionalism.

 

 

(Source: Stanislav Dlabal, Nábytkové umění –vybrané kapitoly z historie)

 

 

Functionalism

 

Is an architectural style, which can be summed up in a single sentence as follows: Style follows function. A functionalist building is very simple, however not artistic. From the end of 20’s through the end of 70’s of the 20the century, it was the leading architectural style. Pseudo-artistic styles such as socialist realism or rural functionalism, as well as architectural styling in the Third Reich, all were based on Functionalism. Purpose-built, utilitarian buildings of simple shape are a typical example of Functionalism architecture. New materials such as scarlet bricks, iron or concrete, are largely utilized here.

 

Architecture, as Adolf Loos, a leading functionalist in Czech regions, insists, does not belong among art, which however doesn’t mean, it should meet aesthetic ideals. Le Corbusier introduced Functionalism in his piece as a new form, which could break free of frequent opulence and a cult of affected aesthetics prevailing as late as to the 20’s of the 20th century. Overstuffing and pointless complexity were gracefully replaced with geometrically neat shapes. Similarly as Adolf Loos called ornament a crime, Le Corbusier says: “Decorating is of a sensuous and primitive nature, in the same way as color, therefore it suits the lower classes, peasants and barbarians.“

 

Functionalism, as an artistic style broke into not only in architecture but also significantly in design of applied art, furniture and interior accessories. Thoughts and artistic sentiment of Le Corbusier were further refined in Bauhaus School in Weimarane Desava, of which founder and leader was Walter Gropius. His contemporaries as well as followers such as Marcel Breuer, Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe or Ludwig Hilbersmeier and others, gave rise to a quality timeless, nowadays more and more requested modern functionalist design.

 

Czech Functionalism

 

In Czech regions, so called Czech functionalism took shape and broke into mainly furniture design and interior accessories. A creed of distinguished Czech architects, formed during the times filled with social tension, became a thesis, that the basic obligation of an architect is creating exclusively rational equipment, thus affordable to broad classes of population. Czech avant-garde of advanced architects subsequently ranked among the world vanguard and through its theoretical pieces and primarily successful implementations, contributed to deepen the principles of the new artistic movement. It has remained a paradox however, that most thoroughly were the principles of Functionalism applied primarily in realization of individually designed constructions and interiors of the well-off.

 

The most accurate formulation of the orthodox Functionalism here in his speeches and publications formulated Karel Teige. In his theoretical consideration he reached at a vision of a standardized flat, which people would not even furnish themselves. They would get equipment from the builder and all the functions would be eliminated from the flat and moved to common facilities. Thus the flat would be freed not only of bunch of functions, but also abundance of furniture. In his last thinking of Functionalism, the author was removing everything from the flat, except for sleeping and reading. Everything else he was suggesting to move from the flat to a public facility. Food to common kitchens, raising kids to day care centers and children playgrounds, personal hygiene to public spa. Finally, the reading could be fully relocated to libraries, so a bad and storing space would suffice for personal belongings and cloths. Architects grown up and creating in the beginning of the era between the world wars, in their pieces obviously reflected not only the era atmospherics filled with contrasts, but also pursued implementation of these theories.

 

New equipment standards, Unit Furniture emergence

 

Even in the beginning of the twentieth an idea of that a strict scientific approach, based on human needs research will make it easier for standard product creation, standardization, rationalization and creating keenly priced products. Those were ascetical requirements, at the same time, it was anti-aestheticism. It was an effort trying to prevent return to the old decorativeness which encumbered creation of a number of previous generations. While critically looking at these attitudes, we must not forget that for the first time in the European history of furniture art, the furniture was designed and completed without application of an ornament. At the turn of twentieth, interior accessory designs of completely new type were created. Interior suiting furniture design here started taking over by construction work. Bulky closets started disappearing as being replaced with built-in wardrobes and cloakrooms. Kitchen furniture had become a part of the construction in these experimental projects; first place in a designer’s focus took the sitting furniture. At that time, an idea of kit/unit furniture took shape and got ripe. Compositional “unit” furniture was being created on the basis of plain geometrical raster principles. De Stijl, Modrian’s neoplasticism, Bauhaus, Functionalism – all these styles that contributed to first half of the twentieth century architecture evolution, promoted right angle to profession of faith.

 

Purposefulness without coziness, orthodox Functionalism

 

First of all, it was forgotten, that harmony between design and beauty is a mere coincidence and thus uncertain. The fact, that if this status happens, it does not automatically, was forgotten. Purposively calculated furniture, scientifically set parameters of each furniture types were about to find their application in the future. Non-decorated plain surfaces, removed ornament, excluded decoration, were the creed, through which the Functionalism had manifested since the very beginning. In its fundamental resistance to pointless decorations, it left everything reflecting the decorativeness. However, it was forgotten that beside the practical part of constructions as well as furniture objects, their social use is also important. In thoughts and proclamations of the avant-garde architects, aesthetic experience was denied initially, co-forming the cultural value of the objects. The material world – milieu formed in an orthodox way according to these opinions with no regard to the aesthetical aspect, was very aloof. Rooms with plain walls, without a decorative object, carpets and with minimal amount of furniture, did not feel as a cozy home. It was the effort, which directed from decorativeness flooding to the form neatness, the Functionalism, which however avoided, perhaps in an orthodox way, any efforts for kindness, through its sterility.

 

Functionalism with aesthetics

 

During work of young pre-war generation, that dealt with spaces layout as well as furniture design, emotional impression found its meaningful spot back again. Authors of thus conceived furniture objects followed in advancement of functionalist approaches in a broader way. Mainly in the way, they managed to emphasize its aesthetic aspect at the Functionalism.

 

 

(Source: Stanislav Dlabal, Nábytkové umění –vybrané kapitoly z historie)