Taught the Bauhaus's vorkurs; director of New BauhausChicago.
Apart from the fact that even the most fanciful architecture has practical functions to fulfill, there have been times in the past when functional considerations have been unusually dominant, and the artistic character of the buildings of such times has been directly derived from the way the challenge of function has been met.
Historical European examples include the military architecture of the early Middle Ages, certain periods of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture, and much of the industrial and commercial architecture of the 19th century.
The Functionalist creed, however, is especially associated with the modern style of architecture, which developed during the second quarter of the 20th century as a result of changes in building technique, new types of buildings required, and changing cultural and aesthetic ideals.
In fact, as architects began to show discontent with the historical revivalism that had been paramount in the 19th and early 20th centuries, a type of architecture based on the clear outward expression of the function of the building was bound to develop.
The latter assertion, however, although typical of the polemical statements made in the s, when the battle for a more functional approach to architecture was being most strenuously fought, was not meant literally, as other statements of Le Corbusier indicate.
The supporters of Functionalism in architecture have on occasion asserted that good architecture is automatically produced by the fulfillment of practical needs; yet in this fulfillment there remain many alternatives among which the architect must choose, and such a choice may determine the difference between good and bad architecture.
For this reason, the emphasis on Functionalism in modern architecture implies a reunion of architecture and engineering, which had become separated in the 19th century.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:Lamps (s) Bauhaus influenced.
DESIGNS, ARTS & CRAFTS For other design movements, see: Art Nouveau () Art Deco (s/30s) For details of late 19th-century .
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