idesign > styles > Rationalism and Expressionism

Europe - U.S.A. 1890s - 1930s

 

 

 

Early Rationalism

Espressionism

Purism

Futurism

Constructivism

 

Adler and Sullivan The Chicago School

Hendrik P. Berlage

Auguste Perret

Adolf Loos

Peter Behrens

Van de Velde

Bruno Taut

Erich Mendelsohn

 

Pictures

Links

help

 

 

 

steiner house by loos pic from www.greatbuildingsonline.com

image source: www.greatbuildings.com

 

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Early Rationalism  

hennebique invention of reinforced concrete pic from www.technologis.it

image source: www.tecnologos.it

vienna steiner house pic from http://icar.poliba.it/storiacontemporanea/seminari/delconte/delconte01/img33.htm

image source: www.tecnologos.it

 

Early rationalism has been an undefined and unstable movement which developed at the beginning of the 20th century. This transition style, just has expressionism, only proliferate because of the invention of new building technologies.

Despite its many incostancies, this first step of modern rationalism was the base and the ispiration for the mature International Style.

Rationalism, garnered many more supporters than expressionism. The Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity), as the rationalist movement was called in Germany, grew out of a desire among painters for an art that directly addressed pressing social and political problems.

Architects, in turn, sought to design buildings that might improve the lives of those within them. They called for designs of great clarity that paid strict attention to function and made use of modern materials and technologies.

Info source: encarta.msn.com

       
Espressionism  

taut glass pavilion expressionism pic from www.arkitera.com

image source: www.arkitera.com

eistenin tower pic from http://www.caed.kent.edu//History/Modern/Mendelsohn/einsteintower.jpg

image source: www.caed.kent.edu

 

Expressionism drew inspiration from such expressive individualists as Gaudí and was connected with a broader movement in German art, literature, and drama. After the war’s horrible slaughter, which mass-produced weapons had made possible, some German architects grew less enchanted with the machine and sought a design ideal that would express emotion and the essence of life. These architects included Bruno Taut, Hans Poelzig, and Erich Mendelsohn.

Mendelsohn's Einstein Tower (1920-1924, Potsdam, Germany) housed a domed observatory atop a rounded, free-form tower. Its surging sculptural forms and varied volumes demonstrated the newly expressive possibilities of concrete, which in this case hid a conventional brick structure underneath. Info source: encarta.msn.com

       
Purism  

adolf loos miller house pic from http://static.blogo.it/artsblog/AdolfLoosMller.jpg

image source: www.nivis-regnum.com

ozenfant studio by le corbusier pic from www.essential-architecture.com

image source: www.essential-architecture.com

esprit nouveau pic from http://www.hnabooks.com/product/show/1802

image source:www.hnabooks.com

 

"Ornament is crime" declaimed Adolf Loos - an influential architect, designer and campaigner for simplicity and functionality in design. Info source: www.designaddict.com

Purism (1918-1925), was another movement interested in a kind of utopian vision of art and the modern world. Purism was comprised of only two artists: Amédée Ozenfant and Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier).

In their own manifesto, Après le Cubisme, published in 1918, they criticized that the heirs of Cubism produced an art that was essentially decorative and ornamental which they believed to be inferior to an approach that would give attention to the basic, essential form of objects. Moreover, they believed that fantasy and individuality had no place in modern art.

   The machine became the artist's reference, the exemplary symbol of their age. Architectonic form most defines their paintings.

The two artists remained faithful to the traditional genre of the still life and everyday objects-a bottle, a pipe, a tool, a musical instrument, and produced diagrammatic and colorful compositions, the outcome of a methodical line of thought and a methodical working method. Ultimately Jeanneret turned his attentions fully to architecture, which would be the logical extension of this approach. Info source: www.huntfor.com

       
Italian Futurism  

sant elia study for a modern building pic from http://www.shafe.co.uk/art/Introduction_to_Modern_Art_24-2-04_-_Italian_Futurism.asp

image source: www.shafe.co.uk

 

sant elia futurism pic from www.essential-architecture.com

image source: www.essential-architecture.com

 

Futurist architecture (or Futurism) began as an early-20th century form of architecture characterized by anti-historicism and long horizontal lines suggesting speed, motion and urgency.

This artistic movement started in Italy and lasted from 1909 to 1944. It was animated by the poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, and works by notable figures such as architect Antonio Sant'Elia and the artists Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Fortunato Depero, Enrico Prampolini. Futurist forms suggest speed, dynamism and strong expressivity, in an effort to make architecture belonging to modern times.


Futurism is not a style but an open approach to architecture, so it has been reinterpreted by different generations of architects across several decades, but is usually marked by striking shapes, dynamic lines, strong contrasts and use of advanced materials.
Info source: www.essential-architecture.com

       
Russian Constructivism  

russian constructivism momunment pic from http://akacocolopez.wordpress.com/2008/06/27/dynamic-tower/

image source: www.grahampotter.com

 

RUSSIA 1910-1921: During the early part of this period the Russian avant-garde embraced Cubism and Futurism and moved toward a non-objective art (art without subject) exemplified by Kasmir Malevich's development of Suprematism. In 1913-14 Vladimir Tatlin made and exhibited several relief constructions using industrial materials inspired by the Furturist Umberto Boccioni's vision of 'plastic configurations in space' and the 3D collages seen in Picasso's Paris studio. Tatlin used the term Constructivism to describe these works.

The first Constructivist manifesto appeared in 1921 when the First Working Group of Constructivists was formed in Moscow. Other developments principally in Holland and Germany led the movement to expand and become international. Info source: www.grahampotter.com

 

       

Adler and Sullivan:

The Chicago School

 

adler and sullivan the chicago school pic from http://www.patsabin.com/illinois/stock.htm

image source: www.patsabin.com

chicago school adler and sullivan pic from www.essential-architecture.com

image source: www.essential-architecture.com

 

Within a decade after the fire of 1871, Chicago was a boomtown. By 1890 it had a population of more than a million people and had surpassed Philadelphia to become the second-largest metropolis in the United States.Dankmar Adler's experience as an engineer with the Union army during the Civil War helped him devise a vast raft of timbers, steel beams, and iron I-beams to float the Auditorium Building (1889). In 1894 Adler & Sullivan developed a type of caisson construction for the Chicago Stock Exchange which quickly became routine for tall buildings across the United States.

The early structures of the First Chicago School, such as the Montauk and the Auditorium, had traditional load-bearing walls of brick and stone, but it was the metal skeleton frame that allowed the architects of the First Chicago School to perfect their signature edifice, the skyscraper. William Le Baron Jenney constructed the world's first completely iron-and-steel-framed building in the 1880s. Info source: encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org

Some of the distinguishing features of the Chicago School are the use of steel-frame buildings with masonry cladding (usually terra cotta), allowing large plate-glass window areas and the use of limited amounts of exterior ornament. Sometimes elements of neoclassical architecture are used in Chicago School skyscrapers. Many Chicago School skyscrapers contain the three parts of a classical column. The first floor functions as the base, the middle stories, usually with little ornamental detail, act as the shaft of the column, and the last floor or so represent the capital, with more ornamental detail and capped with a cornice. Info source: en.wikipedia.org

 

       

Hendrik P. Berlage

 

berlage

image source: www.vitruvio.ch

amsterdam beurs by berlage

image source: en.nai.nl

 

Hendrik Berlage (1856-1934) studied architecture under Gottfried Semper at the Zurich Institute of Technology during the 1870s after which he travelled extensively through Europe. In the 1880s he formed a Partnership in Holland with Theodore Sanders which produced a mixture of practical and utopian projects. A published author, Berlage held memberships in various architectural societies including CIAM.

A visit Berlage made to the U.S. in 1911 greatly affected his architecture. He was particularly influenced by the organic, wood-based work of Henry Hobson Richardson, Louis H. Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Considered the "Father of Modern architecture" in the Netherlands and the intermediary between the Traditionalists and the Modernists, Berlage's theories inspired most Dutch Modernist groups including De Stijl, the Amsterdam School and the New Objectivists. Info source: www.greatbuildings.com

       
Auguste Perret  

august perret picture pic from http://d.hatena.ne.jp/images/diary/k/ken106/2005-08-05.jpg

image source: d.hatena.ne.jp

perret rue franklin pic from http://farm1.static.flickr.com/2/1374489_9797f807a5.jpg?v=0

image source:farm1.static.flickr.com

 

(1874–1954), French architect, one of the most important pioneers of the modern French style.

Perret was one of the earliest advocates of reinforced concrete as a building material; his apartment building (1902–3) in the Rue Franklin in Paris was the first French residential building in concrete.

Perret was forward-looking in his emphasis on designs that visually reveal a building's structure; his preoccupation with classical proportion links him with earlier architects, as exemplified in his Church of Notre Dame (1923) at Le Raincy.

As director of the postwar rebuilding of the French city of Le Havre (1949–56), Perret designed a gridlike plan that was based on classical proportions, with a broad central axis, generous squares, and prefabricated housing in a uniform style. Info source: www.history.com

         
       
Adolf Loos  

adolf loos pic from wikipedia.orgkoloshka potra it of adolf loos

loos muller interior pic from www.anneke.com

image source: www.anneke.net

loos steiner house in vienna pic from http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/steiner/index.htm

image source: www.galinsky.com

 

Adolf Loos (1870-1933) set up his own practice in 1897 and produced his first major work - the Café Museum in Vienna - in 1899.

From the late 1890s, he began to stir up debate: his arguments against the Viennese Secession style were widely published, while the Goldmann and Salatsch department store (now known as the Loos Haus), which he completed in 1911 opposite the Hofburg in Vienna, caused a furore with its startingly plain facade.

Despite the striking simplicity of his exteriors, Loos' interiors were decorated comfortably, using beautiful materials and elegant details. One of his most attractive projects, the Müller Villa in Prague, built in 1930 and restored in 2003, was the culmination of his pioneering 'Raumplan' concept - designing continuous spaces for living rather than regularly divided floors with limited flexibility. Loos rarely designed furniture - he was more prone to adapting tried and tested earlier designs, such as the knieschwimmer armchair he placed in several interiors designed in the 1920s.
Info source:
www.designaddict.com

       
Peter Behrens  

bherens potrait pic from www.britannica.com

image source: www.britannica.com

philip johnson and mies van der rohe

image source: www.flickr.com

johnson and glass house pic from http://www.nyc-architecture.com/ARCH/ARCH-PhilipJohnson.htm

image source: www.essential-architecture.com

 

In 1903, Behrens was named director of the Kunstgewerberschule in Düsseldorf, where he implemented successful refoms. In 1907, Behrens and ten other people (Theodor Fischer, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Bruno Paul, Richard Riemerschmid, Fritz Schumacher, among others), plus twelve companies, gathered to create the Deutscher Werkbund (DWB).

The Werkbund was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, though it had more modern purposes. They were willing to create for the industry, change the social structure from a class divided society to an egaletarian mass society and re-humanize economy, society and culture.

In 1907, AEG (Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gessellschaft) hired Behrens as its artistic consultant. He created the entire corporate identity of the company (logotype, product design, publicity, etc.) and for that he is considered the first industrial designer in history. Peter Behrens was never an employee for AEG, and always worked as a freelancer.

From 1907 to 1912, he had students and assistants, and among them were Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (also known as Le Corbusier), Adolf Meyer, Jean Kramer and Walter Gropius (who later became the first director of the Bauhaus.)Info source: www.essential-architecture.com

       
Henri Van de Velde  

van de velde pic from www.henry-van-de-velde.com

image source: www.henry-van-de-velde.com

henri van de velde werkbund theatre

image source: www-users.rwth-aachen.de

henri van de velde interior

image source: germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org

 

The Belgian architect and designer Henry van de Velde (1863-1957) had trained as a painter but was so strongly influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century that he eventually turned his attention to applied arts and interior design.

Van de Velde was one of the most important representatives of the Raumkunstbewegung, a movement in architecture and interior design that grew out of the Jugendstil. The Raumkunst [or “space art”] movement concerned itself with a variety of architectural spaces: domestic interiors, sacred architecture, and public buildings.

In successful Raumkunst, all aspects of the interior – from construction elements like walls, floors, and ceilings, to lighting fixtures, furniture, and art objects – served the needs of the given space [Raum] with a complete, harmonious, and unified interior being the ultimate goal.

In 1900, he left Belgium for Germany, where his career took off. In 1906-07, he was named director of the School of Applied Arts [Kunstgewerbeschule] in Weimar (the predecessor to the Bauhaus) and participated in the Dresden exhibition with the dining room shown here.

Held in Dresden in 1906, the Third German Arts and Crafts Exhibition signaled a new direction in design and interior decoration, and led to the founding of the German Werkbund the following year. Info source: germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org

       
Bruno Taut  

bruno taut glass house pic from germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org

image source: germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org

 

In 1920 Bruno Taut (1880 1938) issued his Expressionist supplement Fruhlicht as as part of a Berlin planning magazine. The next year, after he accepted a position as city architect for Berlin, Taut published a "Glass Chain" publication. In 1923 he returned to Berlin where he worked in partnership with Franz Hoffman and his brother Max Taut. He produced his book Modern Architecture in 1930 for the Studio Press. Info source: www.greatbuildings.com

The German Werkbund was an association of artists, designers, and architects that prefigured the Bauhaus. Unveiled at the Werkbund's 1914 exhibition in Cologne, Bruno Taut’s Glass House was a successful amalgamation of aesthetic, technical, and commercial elements.

The building was conceived by Taut and the poet Paul Scheerbart (1863-1915), whose verses adorned the exterior base of the dome. The house was an explosion of color. The interior was constructed of glass floors and walls and mosaic windows. It also included an exhibition of information on the project's glass-industry sponsors. Info source: germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org

       
Erich Mendelsohn  

 

mendelsohn espressionism pic from www.britannica.com

image source: www.britannica.com

mendelsohn espressionism pic from flickr.com

image source: flickr.com

 

German architect known initially for his Einstein Tower in Potsdam, a notable example of German Expressionism in architecture, and later for his use of modern materials and construction methods to make what he saw as organically unified buildings. Info source: www.britannica.com

Erich Mendelsohn’s buildings, erected throughout Germany between 1920 and 1932, epitomised architectural modernity for his countrymen. This study examines his department stores, office buildings, and cinemas, counterparts to the famous housing projects built during the same years in Frankfurt and Berlin. Demonstrating the degree to which their dynamic presence stemmed from Mendelsohn’s attention to their consumer-oriented functions, James shows Mendelsohn to be more than an Expressionist, as he is usually characterised. Info source: www.cambridge.org

       

Pictures

 

august perret saint joseph church from www.picasa.web

image source:lh4.ggpht.com

 

 

 

adolf loos design armchair pic from www.architonic.comimage source: www.architonic.com

villa karma interior by adolf loos pic from http://www.anneke.net/Loos/Notes.htmlimage source: www.anneke.net

centralparkasse bank adolf loos design pic from www.anneke.netimage source: www.anneke.net

peter behrens house pic from http://www.gardenvisit.com/history_theory/library_online_ebooks/tom_turner_english_garden_design/abstract_style_of_garden_designimage source: www.gardenvisit.com

 

adolf loos steiner house pic from www.vitruvio.chimage source: www.vitruvio.ch

taut glass pavilion interior pic from http://people.cornell.edu/pages/jo24/writings/images/cw19.jpgimage source: people.cornell.edu/pages

 

 

 

 

   
       
Links  

about Chicago School: www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org

espressionism and rationalism: encarta.msn.com

purism art and architecture: www.huntfor.com

italian futurism architecture: www.essential-architecture.com

russian constructivism: www.grahampotter.com

more about August Perret: www.designaddict.com

more about Adolf Loos: www.designaddict.com

more Adolf Loose furniture: www.architonic.com

more about Peter Beherns : www.essential-architecture.com

more about Van de Velde: www.henry-van-de-velde.com

more about Bruno Taut : germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org

more about Erich Mendelsohn: www.cambridge.or

a brief history of concrete: www.tecnologos.it

 

 

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