You are on page 1of 176

The Future

of Architecture.




Architecture's expanded field

010 - Two thresholds
013 - The carousel
014 - The continuity
015 - Historians

in time
01 hegemonies
01 type

versus architects,

or the problem

S eds to rails:
e dominion of steel

01 inclusion



The search
for modern form

Domestic innovation
and tectonic expression

018 - The lamp 01 style

028 - Toward a "new art" from Paris to Berlin

042 - The central

place 01 Great Britain

019 - The eminence

031 - Great Britain alter the Arts and Crafts

043 - Residential


043 - Uni/ying

01 the Beaux-Arts

023 - Proqrarns

01 modernization

034 - Art Nouveau and the Paris-Nancy

023 - Networks

01 internationalization

036 - From Italian "Floreale"


to Russian "Modern"

the urban landscape

046 - The advent 01 rein/orced


036 - The Catalan renaissance

053 - Concrete




In search of a language:
from classicism to Cubism

The Great War and its

side effects

Expressionism in
Weimar Germany and
the Netherlands

090 - Anglo-American

102 - A triple mobilization


092 - German nostalgia

093 - Loos and the lure 01 "Western
097 - Berlage and the question


01 proportions

100 - Cubism and cubistics


103 - The spread 01 Taylorism

110 - The Arbeitsrat

103 - Commemoration

111 - Dynamism

in architecture

106 - Postwar recomposition

117 - Hanseatic


108 - New architects

118 - De Klerk and the Amsterdam


and reconstruction


lr Kunst




Architecture and
revolution in Russia

The architecture
of social reform

its networks
and spectacles

162 - The shock 01 revolution

176 - Modernizing

165 - A pro/ession


180 - Red Vienna

190 - The journal

166 - The "social


181 - The new Frank/urt

191 - Model cities and open-air

171 - Polemics

and rivalries

171 - The Palace 01 the Soviets competition


and propaganda


185 - Taut's housing


186 - French suburbs

186 - Echoes overseas
189 - Equipping

the suburbs

in Berlin

194 - Modern

as printed stage


195 - The International


01 Modern Architecture
198 - Networks


enters the museums

01 in/luence

and historical





American rediscovered,
tall and wide

The challenge of the


New production,
new aesthetic

056 - Chicago

070 - An explosion

082 - The AEG model in Berlin

057 - Sullivan's

in white and black



071 -_The planners'



083 - Factory as inspiration

060 - Wright and prarie architecture

071 - Town, square, and monument

085 - The Deutscher

063 - Wright and Europe

076 - The idyll 01 the garden

088 - Futurist mechanization

067 - The skyscraper


to New York


077 - Zoning tor the colonies

lor Europe's







Return to order in Paris

Dada, De Stijl, and Mies:

from subversiveness
to elementarism

Architectural education
in turmoil

138 - The Dada blast

153 - The Weimar Bauhaus

124 - Purist lorms and urban compositions

127 - Le Corbusier

and the modern


128 - Grand vessels in Paris and Geneva

128 - Perret and the "sovereign


129 - Paris Art Deco

132 - Mallet-Stevens,

or elegant


136 - The extent 01 French modernism

152 - The Beaux-Arts

138 - The new lorms 01 De Stijl

156 - The Bauhaus

143 - Van Doesburg

156 - The Vkhutemas


143 - Oud and Rietveld, Irom


161 - Innovative

to house design

148 - Mies van der Rohe's theoretical

and the alternatives

in Dessau and Berlin

in Moscow


in the

new and old worlds





Futurism and Rationalism

in Fascist Italy

The spectrum of
and traditionalisms

North American

200 - A second


224 - Wright, the return

200 - Muzio and the Novecento

212 - Literal classicism

231 - Los Angeles

204 - The regime and Rationalism

215 - Modern

232 - The skyscraper

207 - Terragni's

216 - Traditionalism


208 - An ambiguous
209 - New territories



217 - Opportunism

and selt-crttlcal

217 - Islands 01 coexistence



236 - Industrial

- lertile ground


and market

238 - The New Deal's housing

and the European






Functionalism and
machine aesthetics

Modern languages
conquer the world

Colonial experiences
and new nationalisms

250 - British reticence

272 - From Arabizing

240 - Taylorism

and architecture

241 - From ergonomics




243 - Dynamic



France and the United States


to modernizing

in North Alrica

as Czechoslovakia's

275 - Near Eastern and Alrican


260 - The moderns

and Nelson



258 - The modern


242 - Poetic lunctionalism:


255 - Northern

in Hungary

and Poland

01 Turkey and Iran

277 - The modernization

261 - Balkan ligures

279 - Chinese


262 - Iberian modernization

283 - Modern


264 - Japanese


275 - Italian cities around the Mediterranean

in Palestine


265 - Brazilian





Le Corbusier reinvented
and reinterpreted

The shape of American


Repression and diffusion

of modernism

322 - The Unit d'Habitation

338 - The second

358 - Seven Sisters

322 - 01 palaces

342 - Mies the American

359 - Socialist

345 - Wright's

359 - Khrushchev's

and houses

01 Ronchamp

324 - The surprise

325 - Indian adventures

346 - Research

326 - Invention

349 - Gropius

326 - Corbusian

and introspection


334 - The saga 01 Brasilia


last return
out west

366 - Japan's

01 the Bauhaus

351 - Saarinen's


352 - The solitude

in Moscow

realism exported

360 - Aalto's eminent

and Breuer: the



330 - Anglo-American



new energy

367 - Latin Americanisms

and Johnson's


01 invention

372 - Archipelagoes

01 Kahn

353 - From experimentation

to commerce




lhe postmodern

From regionalism to critical


The neo-Futurist
optimism of high tech


424 - Scarpa,

- From nostalgia

to play

- The "end 01 prohibitions"

.: - - Retrieving
- America



turns postmodern

e uncertain

Iront 01 postmodernism

e city - composition

or the rediscovery

01 craft

or collage?

427 - Collective


438 - Beaubourg


439 - Composition

426 - Siza's poetic rigor

in the Ticino


439 - Experimentation

431 - Moneo and Iberia

441 - Structure

432 - Europe as a lield 01 experience

445 - Architects

433 - Research

446 - New geometries

in South Asia

434 - Latin American

434 - A critical



a canon
to Rogers



to Piano

to Foster

and engineers




Architecture of a total war

Tabula rasa to horror

vacui: reconstruction

286 - Front lines and home Ironts

and renaissance

The fatal crisis of

the Modern Movement,
and the alternatives

287 - Extreme scales

298 - An American

288 - Air raid protection

291 - Constructive
291 - Mobility

and destructive

292 - Imagining

01 military occupation
the postwar

294 - Converting


310 - The Festival 01 Britain

299 - Literal reconstruction

or radical


and Ilexibility

292 - Architecture

294 - Memory



to peace

and memorials

312 - Italian Neorealism

314 - Planet Brazil

301 - The "neighborhood

302 - The traditionalists

unit" as model
at work

318 - Housing

and innovation

in North Alrica

302 - In search 01 a British model

319 - CIAM in turmoil

303 - German debates

320 - The end 01 CIAM

309 - A modernist





Toward new utopias

Between elitism and

populism: alternative

After 1968: architecture

forthe city

378 - Italy: critical


381 - Independent


385 - Technology:

ethos or icon?

394 - Research

cities 01 indeterminacy

395 - Venturi's

386 - Hovering

388 - Metabolism

in Japan

388 - Megastructures
389 - Technology

404 - 1968, annus mirabilis

and technocracy

and its double

401 - From lunctionalism


408 - The input 01 the user



outer boundaries

Vanishing points
469 - Strategic

- Gehry, or the seduction

- Koolhaas,

or lantastic

-- - Nouvel, or mystery

471 - Reinvented



471 - Sustainable


- Herzog and de Meuron,

or the principie

01 the collection

.:; - Deconstructivists
- Fragmentation


01 art


and rationalists

and poetry in Japan

472 - The city reborn yet threatened

473 - Landscape

as horizon

473 - Hypermodern
474 - Persistent




the extended

405 - The shape 01 the city

396 - Grays and Whites

and global agitation

405 - Observing


social expectations

476 - Notes
494 - Bibliography
506 - Index
526 - Acknowledgments

and credits

expanded field

William Morris's News from Nawhere and H. G. Wells's When


the Sleeper Wakes, published

types and classes of users. Architecture

in 1890 and 1899 respectively,

The field al so expanded

with the rise of new

ceased to be a dis-

depict a future society - a socialist utopia in the former case,

cipline exclusively in the service of the wealthy and began to

a capitalist dystopia in the latter - encountered

address broader constituencies,


by the novels'

after a long period of sleep. If the contemporary

including municipalities,


eratives, and a wide range of institutions and social groups ..

inhabitants of the planet had awakened in the early twenty-first

It also responded to the breaking down of classical codes, the

century, they would have been at a loss to recognize not just

rejection of historical imitation, and the introduction

the cities constellating

materials. Its new relations to technology, the arts, and the city

the world's surface, but also the build-

of new

ings making them up. Both cities and buildings have under-

were affected by external conditions as well as by internal anes.

gone fundamentaltransformations,

At times it had recourse to sources outside the discipline,

more so than at any time

in the past. Likewise, the quantity of building stock produced

adopting metaphors based on biological organisms, machines,

since 1900 has surpassed the sum total of that which existed

or language; at other times it found inspiration within its own

in all previous human history.


Not only did the population of urban areas exceed that of the

it has been impossible to limit architecture's


book to realized constructions.

for the first time shortly after the year 2000, but

traditions ..

In view of all these transformations,

also the very forms of human presence on the face of the earth

books, journals, and public manifestations

reflected tharoughgoing

ture of architecture

changes. In the nineteenth century, the

train station and department

store joined the ha use, palace,

and temple in the existing inventory of building types. In the

definition in this

Unbuilt designs, as well as


the cul-

in its broadest sense, have also been taken

into account. Indeed, realized buildings are always informed by

ideas, narratives, and repressed memories of past projects.

twentieth century, office and apartment towers, large housing


vast hangars enclosing factories and shopping

centers, and a wide variety of infrastructures

dams to airports followed. Contradicting

ranging from

Two thresholds in time

the British historian

Nikolaus Pevsner, who famously wrote that "a bicycle shed is

The very delimitation

a building; Lincoln Cathedral is a piece of architecture,"

Rejecting a strictly chronological

the most prosaic programs came to be considered

worthy of aesthetic altention. This unprecedented
struction was meager compensation

. 1


begins with the period from 1880 to 1914. It finds its temporal
brackets between the "short century" that the British historian

for a previously unim-

treasures, the effects ot industrialization,

urbanization, and war.

mutations were not limited to the invention of

programs responding to the new demands of production



expanded field

definition, the present narrative

surge in con-

aginable level of destructian ot natural resources and cultural

. Architecture's

"twentieth century" is open to debate.


Eric Hobsbawm condensed

into the years from 1914 to 1991 . 4

and a longer span that places the twentieth century's origins

within a continuum that goes as far back as the Enlightenment.
This initial mament is characterized

and urbanization,

by the convergence


the rise of social democracy


Europe, the emergence


of the social sciences as

and the dissemination

thought of important philosophers

of the

from Friedrich Nietzsche to

Henri Bergson. It also coincides with the rise of revolutionary

art movements such as Symbolism

in poetry and the arfs, and

second millennium appeared to signal the next radical break in

the culture of architecture.

It is this moment that provides the

closing bracket for this book. The automation

sional labor as well as the relationship

dio and the building site. The Guggenheim

a war for world domination

Spain, completed

the triumph of


between the design stu-

Cubism in painting. While the European powers were fighting

and orchestrating

of processes

a digital age had the effect of modifying the division of profesMuseum in Bilbao,

by Frank Gehry in 1997, was a highly visible

imperialism, designers, and the images of their work, also

exemplar of these new practices while also a demonstration

began to make inroads around the globe, thanks to the unprec-

the potential importance

edented acceleration of modes of transport and new networks of

public policy; together with dozens of other surprising

printed information, which disseminated the cultural norms of the

ings, Gehry's museum called into question the traditional defini-


tion of the architectural

A pair of almost contemporaneous

events were crucial to this

of architecture

object. With architecture

and cultural organizations


in urban planning and


firms, clients,

enjoying unprecedented


beginning: the Universal Exposition in Paris of 1889 and the

the rise of a generation of designers hyped by the international

World's Columbian

media, but initially engaged in theoretical and critical activ-

Exposition in Chicago of 1893. The Paris

fair coincided with the climactic moment of European colonial-

ity and open to utopian discourse, coincided with a crisis in the

ism, while the Chicaco fair signaled the emergence

social policies that had developed over the course of the twen-

of the New

World on the international scene. Both everits called the very

tieth century. Coming on the heels of several generations

definition of architecture

architects who had nurtured high aspirations to social trans-


into question, in its purpose - as its

became much broader social groups - as well as

formation, designers at the end of the twentieth century often

its forms. Mass production, of which Fordism became the most


significant system of organization,

have used to achieve substantive reforms.

wide market and encouraged

led to the creation of a world-

the most radical architects to

to developers

and politicians tools that they might

The span from 1889 to 2000 does not divide easily into tidy,

search for new forms consonant with the machine aesthetic. At


the same time, traditionalists,

account multiple, overlapping

who were often no less engaged

socially and no less hostile to eclecticism,

the more comforting

sought to perpetuate

archetypes of the past by adjusting them

segments. Rather, it is necessary to take into

which culmi-

nated with Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990, and


throughout the

century, as suggested by the historian Fernand Braudel in his

historical interpretation
used the architectural

o new demands.
Almost one century later - after decolonization,


of the Mediterranean


metaphor of multidimensional

to describe these multiple temporalities.




In twentieth-century

architecture they include state policies and their highly volatile

e end of the Cold War, which was marked by the West's


iumph over the Soviet bloc in 1989 - the winding down of the

well as cities and regions, which undergo slow processes of

life cycles of institutions and organizations






expanded field

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the

Illinois Institute 01 Technology,

c. 1945

growth and decline; and, most simply, the construction

of major

manifestoes, which have sometimes exerted their influence at

buildings and the lives of architects, critics, clients, and histori-

a distance of several decades. An attempt has been made

ans. More fleeting temporalities,

throughout the book to identify the visual documents

in which concepts and ideals


appear and disappear only to resurface a few decades later,

the clearest understanding

also play their par!. The problem of writing a history of twentieth-

tions. Together with images of completed

century architecture

within their urban contexts, pages of magazines, book covers,

is precisely that of relating these differential

rates of temporal change to specific designs and built objects.

and architects'

Given this framework, I have resisted the temptation to write a


of these resonances and reverberabuildings, sometimes

portraits help to reconstruct the complexity



networks of signs and forms.

history of what has been known as the "Modern Movement"

ever since Nikolaus Pevsner made a rather partisan identification of its "pioneers"

in 1936, celebrating Walter Gropius

as its major figurehead.

-> 6

ing the rubric of the "International

New York,

-> 7

The carousel of hegemonies

I have also avoided perpetuatStyle," formulated

in 1932 in

preferring instead to shape a broader definition

In the following

pages, the different national "scenes" of archi-

tecture have been treated as porous to international strategies

of modernity that cannot be reduced to the fetish of novitas,

and debates - as contexts in which the latter were subjected to

of the new for newness's sake. From this point of view, it was


essential not to disreqard architectural

ries with impermeable

nity based on conservative


or traditionalist

of moder-

concepts, even if


and adaption - rather than as territo-

borders. The history of twentieth-century

architecture could be written by following the thread - or, rather,

they were frequently rejected or ridiculed by militant critics act-

untangling the knot - of consecutive

ing, as is often the case, on behalf of the leading architects.

imposed on national and regional cultures.

Resurgences of classicism and the occasional subversive erup-


tion of the vernacular are part of this bigger picture. Indeed, far


from being a rigid category, and even less a sterile one, tradi-

including their military consequences.

tion - though sometimes wholly fabricated - has consistently

mendous impact on culture. In 1941 the media tycoon Henry

served as an intellectual stimulan!.

Luce declared that the twentieth century was destined to be

-> 8

An exploration of the shifting boundaries

between architecture

was characterized

United States exercised considerable

cal architects

The elevated ideals with which radi-

have often identified themselves

machine aesthetic or organicism

- such as the

- needed to be taken into

account, along with the effects of the apparently most abstract

These conflicts had tre-

the "American Century," following centuries implicitly perceived

as "French" and then "English."

methods of form-giving.

The period under

and political conflicts between dominant states,

al so proved indispensable

the changing

-> 9

in crucial ways by recurrent

and the related fields of art, urban planning, and technology

for understanding

systems of hegemony

-> 10

There is no doubt that the

influence on architecture

- as on many other fields of culture - even before the massive

increase in its power following victory over the Axis forces in
1945 and a second triumphal moment at the end of the Cold

-> 11

The vocabulary

of architecture

faithfully reflected



these shifts. After 1945 American terminology


been perfected by the British. The architecture

of the Moroccan

the Italian language of architecture that had emerged during

city of Casablanca

the Renaissance and then was supplemented

al so to Berlin and Los Angeles, while Buenos Aires contained

by French and

British terms in the eiqhteenth and nineteenth centuries and by

German terms in the early twentieth century.

was defined in relation not just to Paris but

echoes of Madrid, Budapest, Milan, New York, and Paris.

-> 12

But the hegemony of this relatively new civilization was not

the only thing to have an impact on global architeclure.

The continuity of type

each national scene as a porous rather than

closed real m reveals systems of domination

of varying types,

On each national scene, the groups competing

for dominance

intensity, and duration, from industrial modes of production

in architecture at times indulged in exaggerated

polemics in

lo patlerns of leisure. National scenes have remained open

order to consolidate

despite recurrent attempts by authoritarian

Pierre Bourdieu's sense of the termo ->

or xenophobic

their own "symbolic capital," in sociologist


It was therefore impos-

regimes to shore up their borders. Far from giving way to a

sible to limit a history of the relationships


century architecture to a list of aesthetic "influences"


national systems have con-

structuring twentieth- a term

stantly redefined themselves, shaped by the interplay of inter-

I have consciously avoided. Instead, following Hans Robert Jauss,

nal and external forces. Long before the advent of air travel and

I found it essential to analyze the reception

new information technologies,

the global circulation

of ideas

and images by way of the steamship, the telegraph, and the



met by works and

ideas, as this often redefined the professional

tects, even those working at a considerable

identity of archi-

distance from the

buildings they were interpreting and sometimes emulating.

of pictures - all nineteenth-century

inventions - shaped every local scene.

This book proposes to map the relationships

These patterns may also be detected within colonial empires,

among theoretical systems, seminal concepts, urban plans,


which both reached their apogee and underwent their final

paper projects, and completed

collapse in the twentieth century, then were partially perpetu-

along with individual architects, remains the central focus,

ated under postcolonial

although, once again, with their local and international recep-


after 1945. But the relation-

buildings. This last, however,

ship of the colonizer to the colonized was never unidirectional,

tion taken into account. The connection

and the hybridization that characterized

spaces and built ones was particularly strong in the twentieth


urban planning and

into constructions

plan of Chandigarh,


-> 13

Corbusier - was rooted in town-planning


expanded field

principies that had

in a kind of leap from the shelf of the "ideal project

library," as identified by Bruno Fortier,

The general

capital of the Punjab - initially entrusted

to the American architect Albert Mayer, then to Paris-based



built by the dominant power,

also operated between colonizing

between imagined

century, given that the principal types of structures were often

in many colonies, where local themes were





-> 16

to the reality of the


The glass towers imagined by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in

1921, for example, were built only in the 1950s. They then

became a tiresome clich - an easy target for critics advocat-

within an optimistic picture of the encounter between formal

ing "postmodernism"

and technological

- before being reborn at the end of the

century thanks to new technological



advances. Likewise, the

by Le Corbusier in 1922, a collec-

invention and social advances ... 22 Twenty

years later, but in a similar vein, Kenneth Frampton proposed

a "critical history" of the Modern Movement, seeking to pro-

tive dwelling with individual living spaces, has contnued'to

long its "incomplete

inspire projects in the third millennium. The machine-build-

took into account the global expansion of modern architecture,

project." ..23 Soon after, William Curtis

ing that Antonio Sant'Elia envisioned just before World War I

a perspective

would appear in a modified form in the Centre Pompidou in

America ... 24 In 2002, Alan Colquhoun

Paris, while the contorted, biomorphic

vey no less committed to the celebration of modernism than

Frampton's ... 25

by the Expressionists

structures dreamed of

have finally become feasible today in an

rooted in his own experiences in Asia and Latin

published a concise sur-

age when digital modeling has made it possible to break down

Reyner Banham, who as early as 1960 saw roots of modern

complex shapes into components


that can be calculated and

strategies in both Italian Futurism and French

Classicism, was among those to propose a more subversive

industrially produced.

reading ... 26 Manfredo Tafuri and Francesco

Iyzed the relationship
century architecture,

Historians versus architects,

or the problem of inclusion

Dal Co also ana-

of aesthetics and politics in twentiethunderlining

the ideological

shaped the field, ..27 which Tafuri had addressed

his enigmatic but magisterial Architecture

forces that
previously in

and Utopa (1973).

Until the 1970s the histories told by Sigfried Giedion, Bruno

Several generations of biographical

Zevi, Henry-Russell

pedias have allowed readings parallel to those offered by these

Hitchcock, and Leonardo Benevolo per-


and encyclo-

petuated a view of modern architecture that gave priority to the

historical narratives. Recently Adrian Forty attempted,

radical character of its innovations. Each narrative carried its

and Buldngs, to define the semantic field of modern archi-

own particular biases ... 17 As early as 1929 Giedion was inter-

tecture by identifying some of its key terms, whereas Anthony

ested in observing

Vidler unveiled the strategies determining

"national constants." ..18 By 1941 he spoke

in Words

many of these found-

of the creation of a "new tradition," a notion Hitchcock had

ing histories ... 28 Yet few of these works have attempted to

proposed in 1929 ... 19 In 1951 Zevi responded to Giedion by

reveal the continuities that characterize


- an often broken thread, but one that runs throughout the

the historical relationship of architectural


modern architecture

to politics and surveying a vast array of buildings ... 20 In 1958

episodes discussed

Hitchcock described the "reintegration"

From Giedion to Tafuri to Frampton, these discourses

of the arts of the engi-

in this book.
of archi-

neer and the architect; he also preferred to write about build-

tectural history have revealed the fact that the supposed

ings that he had actually had the opportunity

omy or objectivity of the author is a quasi-fiction.

Benevolo, he placed the development

to visit. ..21 As for

of modern architecture

books originated from a commission


Many of these

by a particular architect



- in Giedion's case, by Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius - or

appears all the more obsolete thirty years after the eruption

reflected an intellectual

of the last of several short-lived

position developed

in close contact


with architects - in Tafuri's case, with Aldo Rossi and Vittorio

going so far as to extend the definition

Gregotti. Through such relationships, architects have undeni-

tion to the vast configurations

ably shaped historians' thinking and writing and at times biased

explored by, tor example, Bruno Latour,


of the modern condi-

of scientific and political thought

-> 30

I have ventured

their interpretations.

beyond the limits of the movements

The following pages try to place less emphasis on the creativity

own modernity to consider changes brought about by the con-

of incontestable

vergence 01 the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and

and Mies

-> 29

"masters" like Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier,

than on the sometimes

unfairly neglected work of

ing codes to the lunctional

ered through the publication


ing the last two decades. The importance

modern architecture


of the "masters" of

needs to be assessed as much through a

careful reconsideration

of their ascendancy

ination as through a celebration

and period of dom-

of their work. From this point


the rise of the nation-state. The adjustment of conservative build-

architects who had less heroic careers but have been rediscovof a plethora of monographs

literally proclaiming


01 modernization

process of the material transformation

- the

of society -

belongs to this chronicle as much as do innovations in building

typology and torrn, even if the former respond more to the mandates of state power and capital than to ideal s of social relorm.
It is difficult and perhaps impossible to communicate

in a single

01 view - and unlike many 01 the volumes named above - this

narrative a spectrum of experiences

book attempts to be as inclusive as possible, within the limits 01

graphs, exhibition catalogs, doctoral theses, and thematic stud-

its format and at the risk 01 occasionally

ies have not yet exhausted. Yet by alternating wide brushstrokes

plex trajectories.

I have frequently

the experimental




devoted more attention to

01 architects' careers than to their

that thousands of mono-

with specific details, I have endeavored to evoke a landscape of

recurrent themes and at times to reveal different ways of think-

late periods, when their work often regressed or was simply fro-

ing about the past. Among these recurrent themes is the

zen in place by success and repetition.

passionate search by modern architects for an architecture

In order to avoid reproducing

the kind 01 epic narrative with

which many previous histories have interpreteo the theories and


to be "rational" - a term that has enjoyed much

success over many decades - or in any case to be justified

designs of the most innovative architects 01 the nineteenth cen-

by a ratio related to construction, function, or economy. This

tury - reducing their immediate predecessors

search led in extreme cases to a reduction of the conception

to the dubious

status 01 "pioneers"

- I have taken a broad view 01 the untold-

ing of architectural

modernity. The continuity between the ide-

of "rational" building to little more than the implementation

als and reform strategies lorged during the first decades of the

ment guaranteeing

Industrial Revolution and those 01 the "mature" modernism

theme in twentieth-century



sunlight. Another recurrent


has been the relation-

the 1920s cannot be denied. Indeed, a definition 01 modernity

ship of architectural

limited to the aesthetic and design precepts of high modernism

classes - a subject taken into consideration



expanded field


principies like the provision of optimal ventilation or an align-

programs to the needs of exploited social

by professional


for the first time in history during this periodo

the twentieth century, diverse populist movements

constantly addressed this subject, whether structurally - for

example, in terms of social housing - or aesthetically, by drawing on vernacular

rather than "pedigreed"


I have aspired to trace projects, alongside the dazzling accomplishments of the "rnasters" and their trailblazing


that claimed to free architecture from the weight of history, that

are more reflective of the slow, cumulative, and irresistible
process of modernization.

During the golden age of Hollywood

cinema, the major studios and leading producers

eir movies as "A," "B," or

"e" according


to their budget. This

narrative, though most often focused on A buildings, was

initially written with the intention not to neglect the relationship between the "major" architecture
orks and the "minor" architecture

of the most spectacular

of mass production, which

constituted the urban backdrop for the monumental


The physical limitations of a single volume have constrained this

arnbton, But if the pages that follow cannot unravel all the myszsries of twentieth-century

architecture, they aim first and fore-

-nost to be an invitation to discovery and to suggest a framework

in which to understand its most characteristic features.



Sheds to rails:
the dominion
of steel

The historical cycle referred to by the Scottish urban planner

The lamp of style

Patrick Geddes and his American disciple Lewis Mumford as

the "paleotechnic

age" was symbolized by the invention of the

steam engine, the diffusion of the telegraph, and the expansion

of the railroads ..

As it unfolded, the crisis of rapidly growing

cities and the erosion of historicist architectural

voked a late-nineteenth-century

languages pro-

revision of ideals that had been

At a time when national identity was developing in parallel with a

passion for history, Semper and his French contemporary Eugene
Emmanuel Viollet-Ie-Duc shared the beliefs that architecture must
free itself from the multiple styles inherited from the past and that
the logic embedded in the history of architecture, when released

formulated in response to the Industrial Revolution. Most of the

from the baggage of historical styles, would give rise to the one


true style of the contemporary age. Semper declared, "Style is the

positions and slogans of the following decades

sprang from these precocious visions of a new culture based

accord of an art object wilh its genesis and with all the precondi-

on induslry. The effects of scientific discoveries combined

tions and circumstances of its becoming." . 4 Viollet-Ie-Duc added

wilh Romanlicism

and belated echoes of the Enlighlenmenl


in his Lectures on Architecture

that style was no longer merely

broaden Ihe ambilions of new nation-states thal rapidly came lo

the result of the will to create a form, but rather the logical outcome

both support and depend upon imperialism

of a given set of conditions: "As long as we are used to proceeding

and colonial expan-

sion. National and inlernalional economic growth heighlened

by reasoning, as long as we have a principie, any compositional

the demand for public policies that would satisfy the expecla-

task is possible, if not easy, and follows an orderly, methodical

tions of increasingly well-organized


path, the results of which, though they may not be masterpieces,

In 1889 an international

opened in Paris to com-

are at the very least fine, acceptable pieces of work that can have


memorale the hundredlh


With Iheir Galerie des Machines,


of the fall of the Baslille.

Ferdinand Dulert and

style." . 5 Thus a locomotive or a sleamboat could be stylish in the

sense meant by Viollet-Ie-Duc so long as it did not imitate a stage-

Victor Conlamin soughl lo ouldo Joseph Paxlon's Crystal

coach or a sailboat but embraced its own lechnical requirements.

Palace al Ihe London world exposition, which in 1851 had

The bold gestures represented

revealed Ihe vast gap between the mechanical

in which three-hinged

arches spanned 110 meters (360 feet),

and by the 300-meter

(986-foot) tower that would soon take


elegance of its

glass envelope and the eclectic ornamentation

of the industrial

objects it housed ..

products featuring mass-produced

The sight of these new


had spurred

the name of Gustave Eiffel,


by the Galerie des Machines,

the man responsible for its

design and erection, were made possible by the use of iron,

John Ruskin to pen diatribes against the machines that were

the preeminenl

stripping workers of their rale in handcrafting

clearly visible in both these emblematic


objects. But the

hut" also on view at the 1851 fair inspired the ideas

that would fuel Gottfried Semper's treatise Oer Stil in den technischen und tektonischen

Knsten (Style in the Technical and

Tectonic Arts; 1860-3) .. 3 4

Chapter 01

Sheds to rails: the dominion

fully disguised

material of nineteenth-century

industry. Though

edifices, iron was care-

in other contexts, including most of the buildings

erected in Europe and North America in the middle of the century. Architectural

theorists therefore took particular interest in

the question of how to sheathe metallic structures ..

01 steel

6 ~


Firth 01 Forth Bridge, Benjamin

Baker and John Fowler, Edinburgh,

Inchgarvie and File, United Kingdom,



I el g

Hut, Irom Der Stil in den

und tektonischen


Slyle in the Technical and Tectonic Arts),



Vaulting 01 Large Spaces, Irom Entretiens

sur I'architecture
Eugene Emmanuel

(Lectures on Architecture),


Semper, 1860-3

his 1849 volume The Seven Lamps of Architecture,

Ruskin had

the dominant status 01the methods inculcated at the cole

eounced "structural deceit" as inimical to architectural "truth."

des Beaux-Arts in Paris, which was uncontested as the lead-

e wrote, "The architect is not bound [italics in original] to exhibit

ing school in Europe and much 01the world. Among its stu-

structure; nor are we to complain 01 him ter concealing it, any

ore than we should regret that the outer surlaces 01the human
- ame conceal much 01 its anatomy; nevertheless, that building
"11 generally be the noblest, which to an intelligent eye discovers

- e great secrets 01 its structure, as an animal lorm does, although

om a careless observer they may be concealed."

-> 7

In a similar

dent body were young Americans and Central and Eastern

Europeans, whose adherence to its principies would vary widely
alter they returned home. The Beaux-Arts approach lavored axial
composition, symmetry, and hierarchy - above all in the context 01the competitions

in which its students engaged - and

it neglected the relationship 01 buildings to the urban labric in

.~in, Semper - borrowing the notion 01 "tectonics," or the exterior

favor 01 an abstract vision that generally imposed them on empty

axpression 01 interior structure, lrom the historian Karl Bbtlicher


- proposed to differentiate the Kernform (corelorm) lrom the

Ernest Flagg underlined in a lively article written upon his return


Irom France, such an approach provided ballast against the

(artform) in buildings.

-> 8

Filty years later Walter



But as the New York architect and Beaux-Arts alumnus

3enjamin no longer resorted to these kinds 01 organic images to

hazards 01 prolessional practice.

characterize nineteenth-century

The cole was hardly characterized by complete unanimity, how-

Parisian architecture but rather

oorrowed a ligure lrom psychoanalysis.

In a clarilication 01 a

ever; contradictory

-> 11

positions were olten embraced even by those

staternent by Giedio'n, he noted that the engineering structure 01

who adhered to its central principies. In contrast to the carica-

e ildings played "the role 01 bodily processes - around which

tures drawn by modernist critics, many exponents 01 eclecticism

ertistic' architectures gather, like dreams around the Iramework 01

used the past not as a supermarket ter historical ornaments but

~ ysiological processes."

rather as a source lor evaluating the "true" and "correct" language


He thus updated Semper's distinc-

zon between Kernform and Kunstform using a concept proposed

Sigmund Freud tor the interpretation 01dreams.

suited to each project; in this respect they differed Irom both the
champions 01 a rigorous classicism and the hard-line rationalists. The Beaux-Arts "eclectics" olten proclaimed their allegiance

The eminence of the Beaux-Arts

to Viollet-Ie-Duc, tor whom a building's plan was a lunction 01 its

~~e relationship 01the outer skin to the internal structure rern-

and critic Frantz Jourdain expressed this position by praising the

purpose and its lacade deduced Irom its plan. The Paris architect

ed a kind 01 mystery in the great Parisian buildings 01the late

architects 01the 1889 exposition lor having "put aside senile and

- ,eteenth century, such as Charles Garnier's Opra (1860-75)

dangerous formulas and understood that ... social requirements

Victor Laloux's Gare d'Orsay (1887-1900). The metal used

cannot be subjected to the tyrannical rule 01 a style," and particu-

- lheir construction was totally hidden by their lacades, which,

larly lor having understood that "it is the necessities 01 everyday

lhe case 01the Opra, were expertly decorated with sculp::...eand architectural ornament. These two buildings epitomized

lile that have the right to dictate the structure and to demand that
it provide rational exteriors, plans, and proportions."






atto Wagner,

Vienna, Austria, 1903, first version

01 the main elevation







,,an.DENDE KUNST". ti












Page from Moderne








Otto Wagner, Vienna, Austria, 1903-6

Otto Wagner, 1896

10 ~

History 01 Human Habitation,

section at the Universal Exposition,

Charles Garnier, Paris, France, 1889

Programs of modernization

returned to the United States alter several years abroad and dis-

The "everyday life" referred to by Jourdain had been radically

with horror, writing in 1906 that they resembled "extravagant pins

covered the skyscrapers of New York with an admiration tinged

transformed since the beginnings of industrialization, Increased

in a cushion already overplanted,

manufacturing needs and expanded communication

The tension between civil engineering and architecture, so obvi-

and dis-



tribution networks required more factories, train stations, mar-

ous in international exhibitions where historicist ornament con-

kets, and department stores, The establishment of nation-states

trasted sharply with structural innovations, was toned down

had stimulated the construction of palaces for the governing elites

somewhat in the great works of the engineers, often achieved

and large halls for parliamentary assernblies. New penal, health-

without archtects. Photographs of Eiffel's viaducts in Porto and

care, and education policies took material form in prisons, hospi-

Garabit (1876-7 and 1881-4, respectively) and of Benjamin Baker

tals, schools, and universities. Above all, the dawn of the age of

and John Fowler's spectacular bridge over the Firth of Forth

organization led to the proliferation of a new type of edifice, par-

(1880-90) 6 publicized the idea of an architecture based on the

ticularly in the United States: the large building devoted exclu-

elasticity of the frame rather than the massiveness of the walls,

sively to otfices. Traditional construction techniques relying on

Images of bridges, dams, locks, and other marvels of civil engi-

stone and brick masonry, though ingeniously reinforced with tie

neering free of any applied artistic forms inspired many careers

beams, girders, and iron frames, were reaching their limits, and

in engineering and architecture. It is no coincidence that the illus-

the invention of new types of structures became crucial.

tration opening Le Corbusier's manifesto Vers une architecture

Many contemporaries

(Toward an Architecture; 1923) is a view of the Garabit Viaduct.

recognized the new horizons opened


up by the great iron and glass halls built to serve the agendas
01 the Industrial Revolution and the nation-state, Decades ear-

Networks of internationalization

lier, the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol had put forward a vision 01
a new transparent, vertical architecture derived from his anal-

Once travel by steamship and the rapid long-distance


ysis of Gothic architecture and based on "one principal idea:

mission and increasingly accurate reproduction of photographs


encouraged the circulation of people and images, international-


13 Later in the century mile Zola studied the concept

01 the new Parisian department sto res in writing his novel Au

ization intensified. World's fairs became mass spectacles

bonheur des dames (The Ladies' Paradise; 1883) and solicited

crowded with travelers from far-flung places, while professional

me advice of Jourdain, who would later design the Samaritaine

architects hopped on trains and boats to go see their colleagues'

Department Store in Paris, Zola's contemporary





Architectural periodicals provided plans and photo-

Huysmans observed that the new iron edifices did not include

graphs of even the most distant structures, while a genuinely

"Greek, Gothic or Renaissance borrowings; they are a new, origi-

global market for architecture took shape through major compe-

nal form, unachievable with stone, possible only with the metal-

titions, such as the one in 1898 for the campus of the University of

lurgical products of our tactories."

California, Berkeley, and those held between 1905 and 1914 for



As for Henry James, he




Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel and

Maurice Koechlin, Paris, France, 1888-9






Galerie des Machines,

Victar Contamin,


Dutert and

Paris, France, 1889


Garabit Viaduct, Gustave Eiffel,

France, 1881-4, page lrom Le

Vers une Architecture

(Towards an Architecture,


the design of new capital cities like Canberra and for extensions

lacked the structural rigor of the Galerie des Machines. Rare were

to Barcelona, Berlin, and Antwerp. Photography, already a wide-

the pavilions displaying a new, more fluid aesthetic or even hinting

spread practice, became a powerful medium in the circulation of

at an organic life. The most remarkable contributions, such as the

architectural forms and the study of urban environments. In fact,

pavilion devoted to a novel evocation of a village church designed

both architects and writers seized on the young medium and

by Eliel Saarinen, who was representing Finland, served to crys-

practiced it themselves: mile Zola photographed the Crystal

tallize the national forms for which the past century had constantly

Palace as reconstructed in Sydenham, outside London, and Frank

searched. From this time on, the most successful experiments were

Lloyd Wright returned from his first trip to Japan with a collection

to take the form of houses and modest public buildings rather than

of his own photographs of temples and gardens ... 17 Artists' inter-

the grand official architecture of nation-states and municipalities.

pretations of modern life were no less significant. In Paris, Claude

The most coherent and revolutionary architectural hypothesis put

Monet painted memorable views of the Gare Saint-Lazare, the

forward during this period between the two Paris world's fairs was

train station closest to his studio, while Gustave Caillebotte and

probably that of the Viennese architect Otto Wagner. In Moderne

Georges Seurat took an interest in the nearby Pont de l'Europe

Architektur (1896), 8 written for his students at the Vienna Academy

and the bridge in Asnieres ... 18 This acute attention to the met-

of Fine Arts, he advocated a Nutzsti/ (utilitarian style) that was free

ropolitan scenery would continue with the Expressionists and the

of historical references and that transposed the rhythms of indus-

Futurists. Though architects had a close working relationship with

trial society to architecture: "One idea inspires the book, namely

the practitioners of the decorative arts, it was the work of paint-

that the basis of today's predominant views on architecture must

ers that especially transformed their sensibility. There were many

be shifted, and we must become fully aware that the sole depar-

domains of internationalization. The rapid growth of colonial

ture point for our artistic work can only be modern life." ..20 After

empires, notably those of Great Britain and France, was accompa-

his metropolitan railroad stations, which he began building in 1895,

nied by an assimilation and transformation of the visual languages

and the two buildings he erected on the Wienzeile in 1898, fea-

of colonized peoples, which the European public encountered

turing bold floral decorations on ceramics and more conservative

especially through the ephemeral extravaganzas of world's fairs.

sculptural ornament, Wagner's designs underwent a spectacular

The Human Habitation pavilions built by Charles Garnier for the

transformation. The glazing of the main hall of his Postsparkasse

1889 exposition

10 -

and strongly criticized by the academy for

(Post Office Savings Bank; 1903-6) 9 was free of any such deco-

their "Iack of taste" - opened multiple cultures to observation ... 19

rative detail. On the exterior, the aluminum rivets attesting to the

Architects also had access to handbooks and portfolios contain-

logic of the building's on-site assembly became the ornamentation,

ing examples of building designs and ornamental motifs from, for

punctuating the still-symmetrical facade that the building turned to

instance, the Far and Near East, which they could copy or adapt

the RingstraBe.

to their own purposes. The world's fair held in 1900 in Paris was

cladding along the great monument-lined

something of a regression compared to its 1889 predecessor.

last third of the nineteenth century, paradoxically pointed forward

Henri Oeglane's Grand Palais and Charles Girault's Petit Palais

to an architecture freed from the weight of masonry.

Chapter 01

Sheds to rails: the dominion

01 steel

These rivets, which affixed the stone building's

boulevard built in the

The search for

modern form

By the turn 01 the twentieth century, lew progressive


Toward a "new art" from Paris to Berlin

had lailed to read the work 01 Friedrich Nietzsche. In Thus

Spoke Zarathustra,

the German philosopher

the role of "the creator" as an iconoclast,

Equally rare were those architects

had affirmed

The label "Art Nouveau"

a "Iawbreaker."

-> 1

ignorant 01 the writings of


(new art) was borrowed

from the

Paris art gallery owned by Samuel Bing and

designed by Louis Bonnier in 1895. It was applied to the experi-

John Ruskin and William Morris, which called for artistic crea-

ments carried out in Paris by architects such as Hector Guimard

tion to be rooted in manual labor. A shared cult of youth drove

and Jules Lavirotte. But the real starting point of the movement

architects and artists of the new generation to break with insti-

was lound in a series of town houses that Victar Horta built in

tutions that were now considered

as outdated as they were

Brussels beginning

tyrannica!. The 1897 "secession"

01 Viennese artists and archi-

that had been set lorth in the first issue 01 the periodical

in 1893. Here Harta lollowed the agenda


tects lrom the prevailing aesthetic culture in Austria - those


who shared the realization that there were no longer any tradi-

satisfied merely with building in the ideal, he is involved with

tions left to reject - was the most spectacular

everything that interests and touches uso Our monuments,

example of this

modern trend toward rupture with art and architecture's

The movement


included a group 01 young artists who, starting

in 1898, gathered around the periodical

Ver sacrum (Sacred

in 1881, which informed its readers: "The artist is not

houses, furniture, clothes, the slightest objects of everyday use

are constantly revisited and transformed

by Art, which com-

bines with everything and constantly renews our entire life to

Spring), its title an allusion to a poem by the Romantic writer

make it more elegant and more noble, more cheerful and more

Ludwig Uhland.


The unification

between architecture

and the decorative


-> 3

Horta followed Viollet-Ie-Duc's

injunction to create

rational and ethically "true" architecture. To do so, he devoted

was a constant feature of the practice of these young proles-

himself to the study of plant life, which inspired the motils used

sionals, who sought in different ways to turn each edifice into

in the columns and joists of his houses. He also conceived

a "total wark of art." The latter concept derived from the musi-

designs that allowed light to reach deep into the lots on which

cal dramas of Richard Wagner, another figure venerated

his houses were set. Horta's masterpiece, which made his vision

European and North American


metal, glass, wood, and ceramics

a new orchestral


each component

was accentuated

-> 2


Stone, brick,

became the instruments


in which the specific quality of

in a variety 01 design strat-

legible to the working class, was the Maison du Peuple (People's

House; 1898-9, demolished



in Brussels, a building

that enclosed a meeting hall and a brasserie in a metallic cage.

It would remain one of the clearest interpretations

of this new

egies known as Art Nouveau in France, Sezession in Austria,

type of building commissioned


tives to serve as a proletarian alternative to bourgeois gathering

in Germany, Floreale or Liberty in Italy, and Modern

in Russia.

by warkers' unions ar coopera-

places. French Socialist leader Jean .Jaures declared on the

day 01 its opening: "Here dreams take the solidity of stone
without losing their spiritual elevation."

Chapter 02

The search lar modern lorm




Josef Hoffmann,


Austria, 1904-5



Maison du Peuple (People's House), Victar Harta, Brussels, Belgium, 1898-9,



Joze Plecnik, Vienna, Austria, 1903-5




17 Bloemenwerl
Uccle, Belgium,


House, Henry Van de Velde,


Horta's compatriot

Museum 01 Decoralive


Arts, Odn Lechner,

Hungary, 1893-6

Henry van de Velde, born in Antwerp and


The Orchard, Charles F. A. Voysey, Chorleywood,

United Kingdom,



their teacher's ideas in Bohemia. Wagner also

trained as a painter, sought an aesthetic principie that would

had an impact in Budapest, where Odon Lechner cornbined

apply to every object 01 daily lile. Looking back in 1916, he

Wagner's approach with Hungarian ornamenlal themes in such

wrote, "Ruskin and Morris tried to chase ugliness Irom man's

buildings as the Museum 01 Decorative Arts (1893-6). 18

heart; I preached that we had to chase it trorn his mind."

Having settled in Berlin, Van de Velde was invited by Count


House (1895-6)

central double-height

17 in Uccle, structured

-> 5


around a

Harry Kessler to establish new art schools in Weimar, the capi-

hall in the English lashion, and the

tal 01 the Grand Duchy 01 Saxony. Van de Velde both designed

he built in Germany after 1900 were treated as

creations in which "the ornamental

ism." He proclaimed

buildings and put in place a curriculum

rnoti becomes an organ-

that "ornamentation

01 lorm embodied

is subject only to the

laws 01 the goal it sets for itsell: harmony and equilibrium.

as "expressive as the line that reveals the rush 01 blood beneath

It is

lhe epidermis, the breath that makes Ilesh rise, the energy that

not expected to represent anything, it must be Iree to not represent anything since without this Ireedom it could not exist."

based on a conception

in the "modern line," which he imagined 10 be


lifts our limbs." He added that the modern line had to transcribe

lhe movemenls 01 lile "whether we are devoling ourselves to

In Vienna a group 01 young architects trorn all over Central

practical daily chores or we are in a state 01 ecstasy, drunk or

Europe gathered around Otto Wagner and saw their first works

drawn into that divine dance, to which, as Zarathustra com-

go up in the Austrian capital. Joseph Maria Olbrich built the

mands, man musl constantly give himsell over so as 10 escape

Secession Building in 1898-9 to house the wark 01 radical art-

the weight 01 lile and material things."

-> 7

For the industrialist

ists. Its pediment was inscribed with the slogan, "To the age its

Karl Ernst Osthaus, Van de Velde built in the small manulacturing

art, to art its Ireedom." He also built houses that aspired to pro-

town 01 Hagen lirst the Folkwang Museum (1900-2) then the

vide an architectural

large villa Hohenhol (1908), culminating


01 his clients' personalities.

a decade 01 work.

Josel Hoffmann undertook a search lar a geometric

While these developments


Duke Ernst Ludwig created the Darmstadt arlisls' colony. The

based on the square and on the interplay 01 black

and white. With the Purkersdorl

Vienna, he developed


an orthogonal





with white

inspired by houses he had sketched on his trav-

els in the south 01 Italy. The Slovenian native .Joze Plecnik built
the Zacherlhaus

in 1903-5

using prismatic shapes; this

outside world discovered

were unlolding in Saxony, the Grand

it in 1901 on the occasion 01 an

exposition there entitled Ein Ookument deutscher

Kunst (A

Document 01 German Art). Olbrich was the star 01 the show.

Having completed the Secession Building in Vienna a tew years
belore, he built the Ernst-Ludwig


was a bold departure trorn the excessive subtleties lhat had

arlisls' warkshop that dominaled

the Darmstadt colony, as well

quickly diminished

as his own house, in which he conceived


the Secession's

the Portois & Fix (1899-1900)

impact. Max Fabiani erected

and Artaria (1900) buildings, as


ter the exposition, an

every detail, frorn tex~

tiles to cutlery. Peter Behrens, a painter-turned-architect


well as the more classical Urania inslilute 01 popular science

Hamburg with a more austere artistic language, lollowed suit by

(1909-10). Wagner's students Jan Kotra and Pavel Jank


Chapter 02

The search lar modern lorm

no less inclusively every leature 01 the house he built


Elvira Photo Studio, August Endell, Munich,

1897, demolished


23 ~

Glasgow School 01 Art, Charles Rennie





Glasgow, United Kingdom,


House, Joseph Maria Olbrich,

Darmstadt, Germany, 1899-1901


Behrens House, Peter Behrens, Darmstadt,

Germany, 1899-1901

adjacent to Olbrich's. 20 Elsewhere other contemporary

were more superficial,


including the Elvira Photo Studio, (1897,

1944),22 in Munich realized by August Endell, with

[true] architectural

tradition would remain with us still." ..10

In practical terms, the Arts and Crafts heritage was represented


by the houses 01 Charles Francis Annesley Voysey,

its decorative facade treatmenl. Familiar with Heinrich Wblfflin's

whose puritanical approach resulted in what he called "mod-


est country houses." His own residence, The Orchard (1899) 19,

of art, Endell believed that a Formgefhl

sense) was at the root of all architectural


designo According


in Chorleywood,

Hertfordshire, was an example 01 such a house,

him, "The architect must be a form-artist; only the art 01 form

with a rectangular

leads the way to a new architecture."

lectually inclined owner. Although in Voysey's view "too much

. 8

layout designed lor a middle-class,


luxury is death to the artistic soul,' . 11 his New Place, a resi-

Great Britain after the Arts and Crafts

dence commissioned

by the publisher A. M. M. Stedman in

The close ti es between Germany and Great Britain were exem-

Several ligures contributed to the modernization

plified by Charles Rennie Mackintosh's

scene during this periodo The lurniture designer Charles Robert

Haslemere, Surrey (1899), certainly did not lack complexity.

"House lor an Art l.over' competition

schrift fr Innendekoration


in the 1901

by the Zeit-

(Journal lar Interior Decoration)

Ashbee proposed to "reconstruct"


01the British

the industrial system rather

than rebel against it; he pointed out that in the "modern mechan-

by his attention to Olbrich's work. Around this time, the Arts

ical industry 'standard' is necessary, and 'standardization'

and Crafts movem'ent, which had been centered on William

essary," given that "the great social movement"

Morris, began taking a new direction, and William A. Lethaby

Crafts had degenerated

became its principal theorisl. A lormer assistant to the architect

tocracy working with great skill lor the very rich." ..12 Following

is nec-

01the Arts and

into "a narrow and tiresome little aris-

Richard Norman Shaw, Lethaby lounded the Central School

his design 01 the central hall 01 the Vienna Secession's exhibi-

01 Arts and Crafts in 1888 in London, where he insisted on a

tion in 1900, Ashbee's ideas were lelt all the way to Chicago.

socially generous curriculum.

There he met Frank Lloyd Wright, who drew on Ashbee's thinking


In his 1892 book Architecture,

and Myth, he called lor architecture

thesis of the fine arts, the commune

he also expressed

to be a "syn-

01 all the cralts." . 9 But

a firm beliel in the present, in agreement

with his contemporaries.

As Reyner Banham noted, an exten-

sion 01 Lethaby's position may be read in a 1905 article in The


Review, which asks rhetorically:

live in perpetual

"Why should we

rebellion with the present? ... [I]f we

could only think of our building as an entirely modern problem

without precedent

... just as the railway engine is, then, with-

out doubt ... the ruins 01 the past might crumble to dust but the

in his 1901 book The Arts and Crafts of the Machine. Another
English designer, Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, locused on the
interior space 01 houses, and his ideas met with such success
in Germany that he was invited to join Ashbee in litting out the
Grand Duke 01 Hesse's palace in Darmstadt (1897-8).
More spectacular, Charles Rennie Mackintosh's activity centered
on Glasgow, a city with a solid classical tradition. With Herbert
McNair and the sisters Frances and Margaret Macdonald, who
were close to the Symbolist

movement on the Continent, he

"The Four," also known as "The Mac Group." Their




Hill House, Charles Rennie Mackintosh,


United Kingdom,



La Samaritaine



Store, Frantz

Paris, France, 1904-5

designs were shown in 1896 at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition

small cutouts, resembled

Society. Mackintosh

when suffused with daylight from the glass roof. Mackintosh's

also designed

Glasgow, including

several tearooms

"The Willow" (1903-4),


whose name was

work had considerable

a kind of sacred forest, especially


drawn from Dante Gabriel Rossetti's sonnet "The Willow


Wood." Mackintosh

there for more plantlike motifs.

scored the interior with a pattern of ver-

on the Continent,-and

shapes of his library countered


the preference

tical lines that was echoed in the high backs of the chairs,
while the use of white lacquer contrasted
The stained-glass

inventive. Mackintosh

on hilly terrain, their prismatic

built a handful of houses


these, Hill House, (1902-3),24

in Helensburgh,

roofed with slates. Of


was particularly

house whose walls seem to embrace



for the way its

recalled Scottish houses of

century. For Windyhill,

William Davidson, Mackintosh

W. W. Blackie's


walls of stone and rough concrete

the seventeenth

with natural oak.

Art Nouveau and the Paris-Nancy axis

door panels and the lighting fixtures were

in Kilmacolm

(1900), a

the garden of its owner,


chairs and decarated

built-in furniture and

the walls with geo-

On the other si de of the Channel, Art Nouveau branched

out into two principal centers: Paris and Nancy. In the capital
city, critics derided the "noodle style" (le style nouille) of Hectar
Guimard, whose entrances to metro stations began to appear
on Paris streets in 1900. The most remarkable of them looked
like insects spreading diaphanous

wings. The outcry by critics

and the hostility of the conservative


for Old Paris

prevented Guimard from realizing other such projects, including

a kiosk he designed for the Place de l'Opra in 1905. Inspired

metric motifs. But his major work, to which he devoted him-

by his encounter with Horta's buildings, Guimard had become

self intermittently

well known thanks to his Castel Branger (1894-8), 28 a Paris

for more than ten years, was the Glasgow

School of Art. 23 He first completed

which opened large rectangular

windows onto the street,

allusions to Gothic religious buildings

medieval fortresses.

the east wing (1897-8),

Built considerably

had a fundamentally


later, the west wing

different designo A gable struc-

ture with three vertical bow windows extending

much of the

height of the elevation, it was a revision of a scheme with

small arched windows
also designed

he had proposed

initially. Mackintosh

two large glass boxes on the roof to serve as

building noted for its poetic assemblage

of cast iron, brick,

and rough and carved stone. Guimard densely covered the


surfaces from its front gate, which opened onto an

evocation of an underwater grotto, to the wainscoting

of its

apartments, with a vinelike web of lines. The building's facades

revealed the interior articulation

and abandoned

any vertical or

horizontal alignment.
It was rare far Guimard's
for the ceramicist

houses, such as the one he designed

Louis Coillot in Lille (1898-1900),

to sit

studios. But his majar focus was on the library, which occu-

quietly between parallel walls. Both the Castel Henriette in

pied two levels and included

Sevres (1899-1903,


masonry envelope ..

of wooden elements,

Chapter 02

a balcony floating inside the


The search lar modern lorrn


This warm composition

by light coming through


in Villemoisson-sur-Orge


of the Castel Branger, displaying

1969) and the Castel Orgeval

extended the vocabulary
an acrobatic





Entrance Gate at the 1900




Louis Majorelle House, Henri Sauvage, Nancy, France, 1898-1901

Castel Branger, Hector Guimard, Paris,

France, 1894-8

Ren Binet,

?aris, France, 1900, as featured on a


blotting paper


turrets, elabarate windows, and conical roofs that


plans and made no concession


symmetry. In 1929 Salvador Dal interpreted Guimard's

designs as "nothing but the cylindrical
itary symmetries."


Jourdain (the son 01 Frantz Jourdain) and Henri Sauvage lar the

of hered-

. 14 In fact, Guimard had already revealed

his kinship with Viollet-Ie-Duc.

cole du Sacr-Coeur

He confirmed

it with his

(Lectures on Architecture)

like the ones Viollet had included


used in her performances.

Together with the ceramicist Alexandre Bigot and the glassmaker Jacques Gruber, Sauvage also built a house for the
Louis Majorelle (1898-1901) 27 in Nancy. Frantz

Jourdain saw it as the culmination

ist approach, a "mathematical

in an imaginary view in his Entretiens sur /'architecture

time, Guimard's

American dancer l.oie Fuller, evoked the undulating fabrics she


(1898) in Paris, where he constructed

V-shaped cast-iron supports

studies." . 15 Another pavilion at the fair, designed by Francis

years earlier. At the


largest building was the Humbert de Romans

01 Viollet-Ie-Duc's


solution to the problem posed,"

by any concern lor symmetry: "Sauvage applies

this same respect lor truth to his decorative work, which proves

Concert Hall in Paris (1899-1901), the roof 01 which was held

to be impeccably

in place by branching

neously with the structure, in one impulse, the consequence


wood columns that created the


buildings, such as the

Cramic Hotel (1904) and his apartment

the philosopher

building on Avenue

Rapp, provoked otraqe Irom contemporaries



by eclecticism,

the 1900 International

Paul Souriau, the bard 01 "rational beauty,"

the Nancy artists developed

a body of work remarkable far its

vitality and consistency, with Lucien Weissenburger's


that elicited by Guimard's work.

Though dominated


an idea and the corollary of a theorem." . 16 In dialogue with

of a natural lorest. Elsewhere in Paris only Jules

Lavirotte's extravagantly

rational and which was conceived simulta-


Frantz Jourdain

elegant examples ..



was more than a radical critico In 1891 he

Exposition in Paris did feature a few pavilions related to the

became the lirst architect to join the Socit Nationale des

new aesthetic, including the Bing pavilion by Bonnier, who



by Auguste Rodin, Euqene Carriere, and

also designed a stunning unbuilt giant globe lar the geogra-

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.

pher lyse Reclus and who later built two elementary schools

against his anti-Semitic

in Paris. Above all, the fair's entrance pavilion, 26 designed

Zola, whose lunerary

by Ren Binet, later the author of the new Printemps depart-

1903 he lounded

ment stares (1907-10), reconnected

case for Parisian innovation

01 Art Nouveau. Binet's interpretation

with the organic sources

was inspired by the


His most brilliant architectural


entilic investigations

in Paris. The exuberance

Alfred Dreylus

and was a friend of mile

he designed

the Salon d'Automne,

German biologist Ernst Haeckel, the author 01 a series 01 sciillustrated with brilliant color plates show-

He supported


in 1902. In

the principal


over the next twenty years.

work was the Samaritaine

Store 25 built between 1904-5

01 the wrought-iron

ing the structures of underwater organisms. As Binet wrote to

floral motifs on its front contrasted

Haeckel of his design: "Everything about it, lrom the general

side facades, whose large rectangular

composition to the smallest details, has been inspired by your

oflice buildings

along the Seine


with the rationality



of its

evoked the

01 Chicago.






House, Fiador Shekhtel, Moscow, Russia, 1900-2

Botter House, Raimondo



(Istanbul), Oltoman



From Italian "Floreale" to Russian "Modern"


since the abolition 01 serfdom in 1861, the

At the turn of the century, the intellectual

gathered together by its architects

Muscovite bourgeoisie
cipation already underway
spread throughout
ideas manilested

and aesthetic eman-

in Austria and Belgium began to

Europe. In Italy the dominance

01 Viennese

itsell in the work 01 several architects.

was quick to take hold 01 those themes

under the banner- of the

"Modern" style. Though Viollet-Ie-Duc's

reflections on a national

style in his 1879 volume L'art russe (Russian Art) remained

on everyone's mind, architects now turned to popular themes

Raimondo d'Aronco was one 01 many Italian architects work-

rather than those of religious structures. The leading protagonist

ing in the Near Easl. Active in Istanbul Irom 1894 to 1909,

01 the Modern was Fiodor Shekhtel, the creator 01 the Russia

he created, in the words 01 his Roman compatriot

Pavilion at the Glasgow World's Fair (1901), which was praised

Piacentini, "a vast, variable, multilaceted

acterized by an "exuberant,

body 01 work," char-

restless, impulsive"

houses on the Bosphorus




-> 18

and his designs in Pera,

such as the Botter House (1900-1), 30 were characterized


lor its inventiveness and its coloration. In Moscow he organized the 1902 Exhibition 01 Architecture

and Design in the New

Style, displaying Viennese and Scottish works. Shekhtel built

the Riabushinsky

House in Moscow (1900-2),29

with a sculp-

the plasticity 01 their surfaces and the graphic effect of their

tural staircase that ranks high as a realization 01 European Art

metallic components.

Nouveau. He also built the Yaroslavl Train Station in Moscow

Giuseppe Sommaruga

and Ernesto Basile, active in Milan and

Palermo, respectively, indulged in monumental

imagery when designing

and historicist

public structures but used more Ilex-

ible lorms lor their private commissions.


Castiglione on Corso Venezia in Milan (1903-4)



caused a

(1902) for the industrialist Savva Mamontov, the patron 01 the


artists' colony, tapping into a repertory of popu- .

lar and medieval Russian lorms with the collaboration

01 the

painter Konstantin Korovin. The Modern approach was not limited to big cities like Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It was also

scandal - not because 01 its innovative concrete Iloors, which

adopted in the rest 01 the Russian empire, as, lor example, in

were invisible, but because 01 its rough lacade and its anatomi-

Mikhail Eisenstein's buildings in Lvov and Riga.

cally explicit decor. Two voluptuous

-> 20

sculpted lemale ligures on

either side 01 the entrance were removed under pressure lrom

The Catalan renaissance

critics and relocated to his Villa Romeo in Milan (1907-12).

The latter was a sophisticated


01 materials and

Catalonia presented what was probably the most remarkable

colors and probably the most apt example 01 an architecture

European scene 01 the period, experiencing



by the key terms "living organism, logic, lunction,



-> 19

Among Basile's abundant contributions

rooted in its rediscovery

a renaixensa, or

01 its own medieval

history and the adoption 01lorms from the Orient. Several vari-

to the city 01 Palermo, the Villino Florio (1900.,..2) and the Villa

ations 01 Barcelona modernism

Igiea Hotel (1898-1900)

de Gracia, a wide bourgeois avenue in the city's extension

stood out lor their decorative whimsy.

In Russia, which had been plunging headlonq into industrial

Chapter 02

The search lar modern lorm

are clearly visible on the Paseo

planned in 1859 by Ildelonso Cerda. Three buildings laced off


Palazzo Castiglione.



Milan. ltaly, 1903-4




Casa Mil (La Pedrera; the

Quarry), Antoni Gaud, Barcelona,

Spain, 1906-10

on the "Manzana de la Discordia"

(its name meaning both

"block of discord" and "apple 01 discord," playing on the

double meaning 01 manzana). The Lle Moreira Building (1902)
by Llus Dornenech i Montaer is reminiscent

of Parisian Art

Nouveau. Farther along, the Amatller Building (1898-1900)

by Josep Puig y Cadalalch, who was not only an architect but
al so an international traveler, archaeologist,
tured medieval-style


and politician, lea-

and a stepped gable, evoking

Hanseatic merchant houses and concealing

its owner's photo-

graphy studio. Next door, the Casa Battl by Antoni Gaud

(1906), a renovation 01 an older building, was nicknamed


de los Huesos (House 01 Bones) because of the bone-shaped

columns along its front facade, which opens into a stairhall clad
with blue ceramic tiles. The building is topped with a carapace
01 colored ti les.
The medievalizing

leatures 01 Puig's Casa Terrades, also known

as the Casa de les Punxes (House 01 Spikes) (1903-7),33

express a clear nostalgia lor Catalonia's golden age. Decorated
with mosaics depicting

nationalist motifs, the edilice caused a

political scandal. A lew blocks away, Dornenech built the San

Pau Hospital (1902-10), where the brick patterning is more
playlul. He combined
with extraordinary

an iron structure and wide glass openings

sculptural inventiveness

in the Palau de la

Msica Catalana (Palace 01 Catalan Music; 1905-8),35

built lor

the Orfo Catala choir as a symbol 01 the regional renaissance.

The sense 01 imagination

manilest in the decoration

01 the

Palau is even more vivid in Gaud's buildings. A genius inventor of structural and ornamental

lorms, this fervent Catholic was

born into a family 01 craltsmen

01 Ruskin and Viollet-Ie-Duc,

with his materials.

and, inspired by his readings

retained a direct and permanent


Alter some initial buildings

such as the Palacio Gell (1886-9), whose forms reflected




Casa Terrades (Casa de les Punxes; House 01 Spikes), Josep Puig y



strong neo-Gothic

Spain, 1903-7

and neo-Moorish


(the latter


Europe, mosl 01 Ihe impulses initiated by the revolt

derived Irom a trip to Tangier), Gaud pursued two parallel lines

01 young archilecls and artists betore 1900 persisled unlil 1914,

01 research. On the one hand, he conceived

and sometimes

structures based

beyond. The rigidily 01 classical composition

on slender trames and narrow arches, tested in innovative

was lundamenlally

scale models that used strings to simulate the catenary curves

egies aimed at inventing a new urban picturesque



the structure's weight. On the other, he created an

and successlully


Ihanks to straland accom-

modern ways 01 lile. The legacy 01 Ihe Secession

exuberant ornamental language with pieces 01 broken ceramic,

and Arl Nouveau was also visible in Ihe decorative elemenls

wrought iron, and sculptures 01 his own invention.

Ihal were soon lo be mass produced - in direcl contradiclion

Every tacet 01 Gaud's experimentation

lo Iheir movements'

with structures is repre-

sented in the galleries and the cistern at Park Gell (1900-14), 34

while his investigation

01 residential types led him to the Paseo

initially individualistic

aims. Easily imitated

and industrialized, Ihese expressions were subject to both commercialization

and the widest popular consumplion,


de Gracia, where he built the Casa Mila (1906-10) 32 across

lo the larlhest reaches 01 Lalin America and Asia.

frorn the Casa Battl. Known as the "Pedrera" (quarry), the Casa

At Ihe same lime, the experiments

Mil evokes the rocky cliffs 01 the Pyrenees at Montserrat, a

Glasgow and trorn Moscow to Barcelona also led to the dis-


covery 01 new geometries, trorn Ihe experimental,

site tor Catalan regional identity. Inside, the steel


structure supports the hanging stone

guage 01 Gaud lo the orthogonal,

lacade, while the roof bristles with shapes covered in ceramic

tiles and the underground

level serves as a parking garage.

Maria Jujol, a collaborator

01 Gaud who later carried on his

project was the Sagrada

in 1926. He linished the crypt begun by his lormer employer,

Juan Martorell Montells, as well as the walls 01 the apse and
the eastern lacade 01 the transept, which contains a stunning
01 statues enmeshed


in vines. Most importantly,

the Gothic system originally

it with stable hyperboloids


Chapter 02


planned ter the nave,

- surlaces with double

- without a single Ilying buttress. The church's



ongoing loday.

The search tor modern orrn

Hoffmann. This polarily between expressionism

lore in Ihe 1920s.

Familia Basilica, which he oversaw trorn 1883 until his death


Iyrical lan-

modular approach 01 Josel

and lunction-

alism, evident in their divergent directions, would come lo Ihe

In the apartments, wavy ceilings were sculpted by Josep

research. Gaud's most ambitious

undertaken trorn Vienna to

tor a century and is still


Park Gull, Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona,


Palace of Catalan Music, Llus Domnech

Spain, 1900-14

i Montaer, Barcelona,

Spain, 1905-8



and tectonic


The collective search for a new "style" would never have begun


without a more profound process of modernization

type of bourgeois residence characterized


a series of stunning weekend houses - a new

by a great num-

It operated on two distinct yet related planes: as a response to

ber of guest rooms. Often nestled against stone walls and fea-


turing striking contrasts between volumes and textures, these


social needs and as a dissemination


of new

The years between the Paris

houses were laid out in conjunction

with their gardens, gen-

International Exposition of 1889 and World War I corresponded

erally designed by Jekyll. Their relative modesty was dis-

to the zenith of British and French imperialism, to Germany's

guised by artifices, among them a play with perspective, that

belated but robust expansion, and to the emergence of the

Lutyens used to exaggerate their scale. The apparent symme-

United States on the world stage. In this competitive

try of L-shaped plan s, as at Tigbourne Court in Witley, Surrey

ment, national hegemonies

exercised contradictory


on architects, reshaping their strategies and aesthetics.


was no more than a visual illusion: the actual

landscape is picturesque

and irregular. At Deanery Garden

in Sonning, Berkshire (1899-1902), built for Edward Hudson,

founder of the popular periodical

The central place of Great Britain

Country Life, a double-height

entry hall illuminated by a large bay window contrasts with

The method of composition

developed at the cole des Beaux-

Arts continued to dominate the design of public architecture,

whereas a domestic architecture

inspired by the Paris of Baron

Haussmann spread to a wide array of cities,

from Bucharest to Buenos Aires to New York. Yet the central-

the solid walls enclosing it. At the Bois des Moutiers (1898) in
Varengeville, on the French side of the Channel, commissioned
by the banker Guillaume Mallet, the garden descends to the
sea as if in an idyllic landscape

painted by Claude Lorrain.

These English houses were studied by critics eager to under-

ity of the role played by Great Britain in the sphere of domestic

stand and replicate their essential features. One such observer,

architecture was undeniable. The principies applied to British

the Berlin architect Hermann Muthesius, published three vol-

residential design in the last decade of the nineteenth century

umes entitled Das englische Haus (The English House) 36 in

found enthusiasts among Parisians like Viollet-Ie-Duc

Sdille, who praised them in 1890 ..
plans became widespread,

and the double-height


hall became a common feature in French homes ..

At the beginning

and Paul

The use of more open

of the twentieth century, Edwin Lutyens inau-

1908-11, which had a profound effect on German architecture .. 3


The idealization of British material culture also domi-

nated the thinking of critics of the established aesthetic order,

among them Austrian Adolf Loos, who made it the pretext for his
polemical project to "introduce Western culture into Austria." . 4

gurated a break with the Arts and Crafts movement. He exam-

In the years leading up to World War 1,Germany's rapid

ined everyday dwellings and their close relationship to their


gardens, which he was better able to understand after coming

between industry and the decorative arts diminished

and the close relationships



into contact with the landscape designer Gertrude Jekyll.


Between 1889 and 1903 he designed

same time, relentless press coverage made both professionals

Chapter 03

in the English

Domestic innovation and tectonic expression

in the production

of industrial objects. At the



Das Englische

Haus (The English House),

ermann Muthesius,




38 ~

House, Hermann



Berlin, Germany, 1907-8

Court, Edwin Lutyens, Witley, United Kingdom,


and the public in Germany aware of American urban and archi-

building, whose layouts were already well defined. Structures

tectural developments.

devoted to artist's studios, which had first appeared in Paris


published Das amerikanische

1910, introducing

Muthesius, F. Rudolf Vogel

Haus (The American House) in

the work of Henry Hobson Richardson

his successors to a German readership ..


during the Second Empire, were given new interpretations,

with Andr Arfvidson's terra-cotta-clad
Studio Building (1912)




on Rue Carnpaqne-Prerniere


Paris. Apartment or residential hotels, offering apartments with

in-house hotel services for bachelors and couples without

Residential reform

children, spread throughout the United States and occasionDomestic architecture

reflected the transformations

in pro-

ally grew to the size of skyscrapers ..

The idea of col lec-

cess. The reforms that took place in the United States, France,

tivizing domestic services engendered

England, and Germany were touched off by social, political,

the Einkchenhaus,


Hermann Muthesius and Albert GeBner each built an example


spatial, and aesthetic factors. At the social level,

creativity was extended for the first time to a field

other types, such as

or communal-kitchen

building; in 1909

in Berlin, at Friedenau and at Lichterfelde, respectively ..

it had previously ignored: housing for the poor. As hygiene

became a fundamental

concern in municipal and state policy,

Unifying the urban landscape

regulations were brought to bear on lower-class

housing projects, xplicitly requiring the services of architects.

It was no easy task to shape a harmonious

urban landscape

The entire sphere of residential architecture reflected the deep


changes in the living habits of most social classes. Bourgeois

originality, particularly under the influence of Art Nouveau ide-

residences became increasingly complex, with more rooms

als. The question of how to regulate facades was hotly debated

devoted to receiving guests, larger and more numerous openings

in most European cities and some North American ones, some-

to the outdoors, and the addition of bathrooms or, in the case

times at precisely the same time that competitions

of France, less hospital-like cabinets de toilette .. 6 The relative

ing the facades of the year's most original buildings. The unified

of buildings by creators who individually aspired to

were reward-

amenity of different floors changed drastically with the installation

urban street wall, or einheitliche

of electrical elevators, which replaced early hydraulic-powered

advocates in Germany, while in New York the demand for visual

StraBenfront, found many

ones. These made upper levels - previously left to servants

continuity among buildings, based on the classicizing

and inhabitants of lesser means - and roof terraces more valu-

of Haussmann's


Paris, often went under the name of "munici-

able and stimulated the construction of ever taller buildings. The

pal improvement."

almost universal availability of electric lighting extended daytime

of 1902,

living into the night and modified the use of every type of room.

what critics like Charles Baudelaire and Victor Hugo had


. 9 At the same time, the Paris building code

written by Louis Bonnier, encouraged

There was little uniformity. New building types augmented

perceived as Haussmann's tyrannical


question of uniformity generated divided opinions.

ones such as the town house and the apartment

a break with

horizontality. Thus the



41 Automobile

Garage, Auguste


Paris, France, 1906-7, demolished



Studio Building, Andr Arfvidson,

Drawing illustrating

the new Paris urban regulations,


Louis Bonnier, 1902

Paris, France, 1912

The preoccupation
more lar-reaching

with hygiene at the turn 01 the century had

II the nineteenth century saw the improvement

results than just increasing the number 01

01 bank-linanced

housing projects, the early twentieth century was characterized

apartments with bathrooms and toilets. II led to a reconceptual-

by public programs beneliting white-collar

ization 01 the very lorm that buildings should take. The building

as lactory workers. The Wonngwet (Housing Law) adopted in

codes 01 major cities prescribed

the Netherlands

and courtyards

the enlargement

01 air shafts

tor ventilation, while also aiming to broaden

in 1901 called ter public linancing

built with municipal

streets so as to space out housing blocks. For example, the

employees as well

or cooperative

quality standards and imposing


01 dwellings


regulatory authority. Between

New York State Tenement House Act 011901 not only modilied

1894 and 1912 France passed a body 01 laws putting in place

the lacades 01 apartment

a program of low-cost housing that was guaranteed,

blocks by requiring open spaces to

be regularly placed along the street-Iacing


walls, but al so

altered their tloor plans by mandating

yards .. 10 The lear 01 tuberculosis

eventually linanced,

larger court-

by the state. As a result, the number 01

housing projects increased through the initiatives 01 philan-

led to a veritable obsession

thropic societies such as the Rothschild Foundation and the

with sunlight. Projects by the Paris architect Adolphe-Augustin

Lebaudy Foundation, and subsequently

Rey, notably in his housing complex tor the Rothschild



was further developed

(1905), where the open courtyard was adopted

after wind-tunnel
tem lor apartment

tests determined the optimal ventilation sysbuildings, clearly displayed this concern ..

At the same time, the growing number 01 automobiles




through the work 01

agencies. The cooperative


in Germany, while in the UK the system

municipal action with private philanthropy.


also had

The advent of reinforced concrete

a direct effect on the design 01 domestic buildings. Initial

solutions based on stables that had been used tor horse-drawn


carriages since the sixteenth century were quickly replaced by

place at every


duction 01 reinforced

garages, such as the one Auguste Perret designed

on Rue de Ponthieu in Paris (1906-7, demolished

by parking spaces constructed




new buildings. The

augured new ways 01 perceiving the urban land-

scape, blurring the perception

01 contrasts and thereby

was another lield in which transformations

level 01 architecture,

rial on the planning

were as profound


concrete. The effects 01 this new mateand management

01 building

as its impact on architectural

by combining


a mixture 01 cement, stone aggre-

gates, and water with steel reinlorcement,


radically changing the very idea 01 the monument. In 1910

was considered

Peter Behrens declared, "Individual

a direct result 01 progress

in both chemistry

ics ..

between the rediscovery

tor themselves. The only architecture

01 viewing our surroundings,

buildings no longer speak


to such a way

which has now become a habit, is


by Siglried Giedion a "Iaboratory

The lew decades

material - originally

zation were marked by the invention 01 dependable

to calculate

Chapter 03

Domestic innovation and tectonic expression


01 this

used by the Romans - and its industriali-

one that produces surlaces as unilorm and calm as possible,

. 12



and mathemat-

which in their simplicity

present no obstacles."


with the intro-

the proportions

01 the concrete




A u guste
ent Buildmg,
t Paris , France,





Rue Danton, Edouard Arnaud, Paris, Franee, 1901


Chureh of Saint-Jean

de Montmartre,

Anatole de Baudot, Paris, Franee, 1894-1904


Baron Empain's "Hindu" Palaee, Alexandre

Egypt, 1907-10

Mareel, Heliopolis,




and the development


to master the techniques


of patent-licensed

systems. Engineers, contractors,

and architects



to the constructive

became one of the first multinationals

business, opening


in the construction

branches abroad in the 1890s to assist

tion to their projects. The Hennebique

simple system of columns and beams, allowed for



-> 15

The company

built both historicist

edifices, such as the "Hindu" palace designed

Marcel for Baron Empain in Heliopolis


utilitarian structures devoid of any ornamentation


and totally

for its indus-

trial clients. The building that douard Arnaud designed

the firm's Paris headquarters


(1901) 43 appeared to be made

of smooth carved stone, while Hennebique's

striated, stuccoed


once and for all,


with. In one, the engireinforced

forms made of brick, which subsequently

served as cladding

for the building. The material was put to its most spectacular use by Anatole de Baudot in the Church of Saint-Jean



With its arches seemingly

pended in midair, the building


Chapter 03




so terrified Parisians that the

nearly forced the parish priest to raze it.

Domestie innovation and teetonie expression

-> 17

the primacy of

An alumnus of the cole des

Gustave and Claude, Perret broke the mold of Parisian urban


with his building

Its concrete

structure was plainly visible from the street,

on Rue Franklin (1903-4),42

In 1908 the American


Arthur C. David made no attempt to hide his contempt:

has its interest; but the interest is assuredly




in the activities

rather as the

than as the finished


of the Passy circle, founded

the poets Guillaume

and Paul Fort; the artists Francis Picabia, Albert

Gleizes, and Raymond




-> 18

of the Parisian art scene, the Perrets

in July 1912, which al so included


not aes-

has not made any attempt to give it a

raw material of architecture



in the frank treatment of a new material, this

pleasing aspect; and it should be considered

with wire into


and resolves with

who had gane into business with his brothers


poured concrete

/e pass, /e prsent

incontestable sureness the profound flaws found in the direct

use of metal." -> 16

thetic. The architect

were experimented

the power

in iron. In his posthu-

concrete, which has all of its advantages,

an experiment

- and


Past and Present; 1916), Baudot referred to iron

provided an example of a roof terrace used as a garden, in

neer Paul Cottancin

had envisioned

book L'architecture,

this case for growing vegetables.

Other processes

to be striving to rediscover

barely clad by Bigot's ceramics.

own villa in

(1903) explored all kinds of concrete surface

- washed, aggregated,

meeting or concert

It would fall to Auguste Perret to establish

by Alexandre


to develop numer-

as little more than a "step" toward "its successor,

method, based on an


and light of the great Gothic naves and to realize what his
mously published


in adapting the new process of concrete construc-


projects for concrete

mentor Viollet-Ie-Duc

-> 14

The French engineer Francois Hennebique's


ous theoretical

in these he appeared

seemed to have reached their limits, reinforced

offered new spatial possibilities

brick and terra-cotta

of its interior. Until 1914 Baudot continued

and to control a mar-

ket that quickly became global. Just at the moment that iron

Bigot's exposed

gave the church a warmth that offset the cavernous


and the critic



Woman's Club, Irving Gill, La Jolla, California,

USA, 1912-13

In 1913 Auguste Perret made his name in Paris with the Champs

1902, and he laid the first concrete road, Route 57, in Warren

lyses Theater. 48 This "philharmonic

County, New Jersey. But Edison's effort in 1906 to mold

palace" combining three

separate halls, inspired by Louis Sullivan's Auditorium Building

individual houses and all their furniture out of a single pour of

in Chicago, had first been entrusted to the Swiss architect Henri

concrete in Stewartville, New Jersey, was a commercial

Fivaz, then to Henry van de Velde. When it came to its construc-

The engineer Ernest L. Ransome had more success in develop-


tion, however, the Belgian architect found himself competing with

ing concrete in the United States. Southern California turned out

Perret, who had been consulted concerning the concrete struc-

to be particularly fertile ground for research on the new material.

ture. Though certain aspects of Van de Velde's conception were

Irving Gill invented a tilt-slab system of monolithic walls, poured

conserved in Perret's final design, they were worked into a con-

on the ground, then hoisted to a vertical position; these were

crete cage held by four bowstring arches of a type previously

used in the La Jolla Woman's Club (1912-13) ... 21 46

used exclusively for bridges. The outline of this structure is trace-

In New York the most interesting experiment in concrete was

able on the facade in the design of the stone facing by the sculp-

Grosvenor Atterbury's buildings at the Forest Hills Gardens

tor Antoine Bourdelle, who recruited the painters Maurice Denis,

complex in Queens (1909-13), which had a romantic touch.

Edouard Vuillard, and Ker-Xavier Roussel in an exceptional col-

European civil engineers devoted themselves to inventing new

laboration. Nicknamed the "zeppelin of avenue Montaigne" by

processes and new forms adapted to the properties of the


material. The Swiss engineer Robert Maillart designed unprec-

critics, this edifice hosted the world premiere of

Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in 1913... 20

edentedly elegant works spanning Alpine rivers and ravines,

Perret was the most radical of the architects to explore the


potential of concrete. His experiments

Tavanasa Bridge (1905).47

quickly led him to erect

with the bridge over the Inn at Zuoz (1900) and the
His curved and taut forms went

factories and warehouses with slender vaults, the most widely

beyond the limits of the Hennebique

publicized example of which was built for the Wallut agricultural

in 1938, "Reinforced concrete does not grow like wood, is not

supply company in Casablanca,

for French colonization

a city that was a bridgehead

in Morocco. But Perret was not the only

method; as he explained

rolled like steel, and has no joints like masonry. It is best


with cast iron as a material that is cast in forms, and

Parisian to experiment with the new material. Francois Le Coeur

perhaps we can learn directly from the long development


the latter something

concrete in public building with his extension to the

Postal Administration



in Paris (1907) and in telephone

- a new type of program - on Rue du


(1912) and Rue du Temple (1914).


about how, by avoiding rigidity in form, we

can achieve a fluid continuity

between members that serve

different functions." ..22 The diaphanous

shapes designed by

the French civil engineer Euqene Freyssinet broke radically with

After the French state bought up private patents, concrete

the language of iron and stone structures. Freyssinet built a

entered the public domain, and its use fascinated all types of

bridge in Ferrieres-sur-Sichon

innovators. In the United States, the prolific American

in Vichy (1913), among others, before going on to invent pre-


tor Thomas Alva Edison took an interest in concrete as early as

Chapter 03

Domestic innovation and tectonic expression

(1906) and the Boutiron Bridge

stressed concrete in the 1920s ... 23





Bridge, Robert Maillart, Tavanasa, Switzerland,


Theater, Auguste Perret, Paris, France, 1910-3





Hangars, S. Schultz, K. N. Hbjgaard and H. Forschammer,

Reval (Tallinn), Russia (Estonia), 1917

F'-' - -w_~. -.-. - ,

~- ~~



Chapter 03

House, project, Charles-douard


Domestic innovation and tectonic expression

(Le Corbusier),

France, 1914

51 ~


Hall, Max Berg,

Breslau (Wroc!aw), Germany


Bois, who had translated German handbooks

Concrete nationalisms

French, he was a draftsman

on concrete into

in the Perret office from 1908 to

Despite its apparent objectivity, concrete design was una-

1909. In 1914 Jeanneret conceived

voidably animated by national characteristics.

relying on columns and horizontal slabs to generate a poten-

It was soon in

a construction


use all over Europe, as in the stunning seaplane hangars 49

tially infinite number of conligurations

built in 1917 by the engineers S. Schultz and K. N. Hbjgaard,

The Dom-ino House 50 - its name combines

and H. Forschammer

the words domus (house) and innovation and also evokes the

for the Danish firm Christian & Nielsen

in Reval (now Tallinn), Estonia.

est conception

-> 24

Though French in its earli-

- a product of the research 01 Joseph Monier,

whose name was long attached to the material in early German

of plans and facades.

references to

game of dominoes - was the most striking example 01 an arcnitecture based on the building skeleton.

-> 26

In just a few decades this material born of the research 01

literature - and claimed by France for decades, concrete sub-

chemists and engineers radically altered building practices and

sequently came to be considered

the conception


by conserva-

01 civil engineering

works. It also changed the

tive critics who interpreted the "brutality" 01 certain buildings


as an expression 01Teutonic hardness. In tact, the Germans

partitions, and the exterior 01 the building, leading to a break

developed their own technologies.

with the principies of both stone or brick masonry and wood or

pany devised techniques

The Wayss & Freytag com-

based on the Monier system, placing

between the load-bearing

iron structures. Though they only partially met Viollet-Ie-Duc's

so much emphasis on methods 01 calculation that Hennebique


declared his "horror at this hodgepodge

mental constructions

of science" and his

preference for the "plain old recipes" 01 the first concrete formulas.

-> 25

The most spectacular

concrete building erected in

the German empire was Max Berg's Jahrhunderthalle

in what is

regarding the "truth" 01 the structure, the experipoured in concrete promised a new tec-

tonic expression, in the sense given that term by Gottfried

Semper, who saw tectonics as "a conscious attempt by the artisan to express cosmic laws and cosmic order when molding

now Wroctaw (Centenary Hall; 1912-13),51 which for a time was


the most voluminous

Kernform and Kunstform

structure in the world. With a 65-meter

(213-100t) diameter, the Jahrhunderthalle

structure, the internal

-> 27

The tectonics of concrete heralded the fusion 01

01 which Semper had dreamed.

was the lirst building

to outdo the Roman Pantheon's 43 meters (141 leet). The structure consisted of four large arches bearing thirty-two radial ribs
plus additional concentric

ones. Its exterior, with rather static

stacks 01 window strips, did not hint at the spectacular, almost

Piranesian space inside.
The ideas of the young Swiss architect Charles-douard
Jeanneret - later to be known as Le Corbusier - had roots in
both Germany and France. A lriend 01 the engineer

Max Du



tall and wide

In Oemocracy

in America

(1835), Alexis de Tocqueville

solely concerned


complex of large buildings

with classical exteriors. These

as being

inspired its nickname, the White City. The primary exception to

with "the present moment": "They quickly

the dominant classicism was the entrance to the Transportation

acterized the most ambitious men in democracies

achieve many endeavors,
durable monuments."

-> 1

rather than erect a few particularly

For many decades this was exactly

how Europeans perceived American architecture. Less impressed

Building, 56 designed by Louis Sullivan, which displayed an


use of Turkish ornaments. Certain pavilions, such

as the Japanese


aroused visitors' curiosity. Yet for

with grand public buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C.,

many travelers, the ultimate impression of Chicago was not that

than with the nation's bridges, factories, and skyscrapers,

of Burnham's monumental

saw the latter as expressions of a technological

to the New World's economic


-> 2


sublime linked

At the time, John and

yet ephemeral city, but the "black

city" that had arisen since the great fire of 1871.


giant slaughterhouses,

most especially its conveyor-

Washington Roebling's Brooklyn Bridge (1867-82) was prob-

belt system, conceived for the dismembering

ably the most renowned structure in the United States. After

served as models for many subsequent factories.

the U.S. census bureau officially confirmed the closing of the

more vivid were Chicago's commercial

American frontier in 1890, a new epoch began that combined

steel frames. People referred to them interchangeably

the end of westward territorial expansion


thrust overseas. The development

tation companies

with an imperialist

of great steel and transpor-

gave rise to projects of unprecedented


and "sky-scrapers,"

of carcasses,
-> 3

But even

buildings with their

as both

the latter name borrowed

from that given to the tallest sail on a ship. The Parisian novelist
Paul Bourget described these structures ayear after the fair in

The architect Henry Hobson Richardson, who died in 1886, had

his book Outre-Mer: Impressions


"simple power of necessity is to a certain degree a principie

such grand projects. He left an imaginative body

of work that brilliantly deployed Romanesque

models, as in his

beauty; and these structures

of America, noting that the .

Trinity Church in Boston (1872-7). Richardson also recycled the

that you feel a strange emotion in contemplating

tectonics of the Renaissance

first draught of a new sort of art - an art of democracy

palazzo, as in his Marshall Field

Warehouse in Chicago (1885-7, demolished

1930), with its

by the masses and for the masses."

The buildings

austere stone walls.


so plainly manifest this necessity

them. It is the

-> 4

had begun to appear in Chicago's downtown

Loop during the 1880s in response to the fourfold effect of urban

Chicago in white and black


the development

of the steel frame, the elevator,

and the telephone. William Le Baron Jenney built the Home

The 1893 World's Columbian

Exposition 55 held in Chicago

introduced American architecture

both to a national audi-

Insurance Building (1885-6,

ond Leiter Building (1889-91)

ence and to the fair's many foreign visitors. Built under the



made John Wellborn


of Daniel H. Burnham, with gardens


by Frederick Law Olmsted, the fair centered on a

Chapter 04

America rediscovered,

tall and wide


1931) 52 and the sec-

using a steel skeleton and partly

facades. Efficient organization

and management

Root and Daniel H. Burnham's


tectural firm the most modern in the world, to the point that the


53 Auditorium


. 1" 11
m ~~


Dankmar Adler and Louis

Sullivan, Chicago, IIlinois, USA, 1886-9, section


Building, Dankmar Adler and Louis

Sullivan, Chicago, IIlinois, USA, 1886-9, interior 01

opera house

55 ~

World's Columbian

Home Insurance


Daniel H.

Chicago, IIlinois, USA, 1893


Building, William Le Baron

ey, Chicago, IIlinois, USA, 1885-6,

::=-:lOlished 1931

:: an 01 its offices was published


in the European press,

-> 5

rnham and Root built the Rookery (1886-7), whose great

courtyard covered in glass was clad in marble and reminiscent


ichardson's work; the Monadnock

een stories constituted

Building (1889-92), whose

the culminating

wall construction;



the Masonic Temple (1890-2),

suspended within its metal skeleton with a hotel and offices.

Its use 01 electricity was advanced, its ornamentation
restrained. In 1892 Sullivan pronounced

dense yet

himsell in favor 01 a

moratorium on ornament, "in order that our thought might concentrate acutely upon the production 01 buildings well lormed
and comely in the nude." Yet this nudity was not to be total, and

:: iefly the tallest building in the world at twenty-two stories;

his "strong, athletic and simple lorms" would be hall-concealed

= d the Reliance Building (1890-4), whose terra-cotta lacades

"in a garment 01 poetic imagery."

ere, tor the first time in architectural

history, entirely sus-

aended trorn the steel skeleton rather than carrying their own
ad. These structures and those by the prolilic lirm 01 William

Ruskin and Viollet-Ie-Duc,

whereas his partner Adler knew

tect Victor Ruprich-Robert's

Flore ornementale

Flora; 1876), and he conceived

888) and the Old Colony Building (1894), were largely clus-

on vegetal rnotits, according


vhere the final break with the "dry goods box style" occurred
as a result 01 the need lar the best possible lighting tor the
ices. The first buildings were heterogeneous,

with the street

Sullivan was a reader 01

Semper well. Sullivan was al so familiar with the French archi-

olabird and Martin Roche, such as the Tacoma Building

:ered on LaSalle Street, a cradle 01 unprecedented

-> 7


his system 01 decoration, based

to a metapharical

principie 01

growth. Sullivan continued to rellect on the theme 01 germination and prolileration

until the end 01 his lile.

-> 8

In an 1896 essay Sullivan proposed to examine the question

01 the tall office building "artistically


Some 01 his

"acades more elaborate than the side elevations, which were

statements would imprint themselves

upon the minds 01 his

oarely decorated. Alter Chicago promulgated


law 01 all things organic

hich limited buildings

its 1892 code,

heights to 150 leet (45.7 meters),

uildings with tour identical lacades beca me the rule. In any

event, the economic crisis 01 the lollowing years would stall
eir lurther rise.


"It is the pervading

and inorganic, 01 all things physical and metaphysical,

things human and all things superhuman,

01 all true maniles-

tations 01 the head, 01 the heart, 01 the soul, that the lile is

01 all

in its expression, that torrn lollows lunction. This

is the law." Relerring to the "tall building," he wondered

how to

Sullivan's inventions


trorn the dizzy height 01 this strange, weird, modern

One 01 the structures rnost admired by visitors lo Chicago

01 a higher lile?" The solution was simple: "It must be tall, every

housetop the peacelul evangel 01 sentiment, 01 beauty, the cult

in 1893 was Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan's Audilorium

inch 01 it tall. The toree and power 01 altitude must be in it, the

3uilding (1886-9). 53,54 Covered in stone cladding that echoed

glory and pride 01 exaltation must be in it. It must be every inch

the arches and rusticaled walls 01 the Marshall Field Slore

a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exultation that trorn

and embellished

wilh an almost symphonic



decorative surlaces and details, it combined an opera house

bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line." He

rejected the column as a uselul model, with "the moulded [sic]





Building, World's Columbian



Louis Sullivan,


& Meyer Department

Store), Louis Sullivan, Chicago,

Chicago, IIlinois, USA, 1891-3




Store (Carson, Pirie & Scott ,

IIlinois, USA, 1899-1904

Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, Buffalo,

New York, USA, 1894-6

base of the column typical of the lower stories of our build-

while employed in his office: part of the Auditorium

ing, the plain or fluted shaft suggesting the monotonous,

and the Charnley House (1892), which featured remarkably



terrupted series of office-tiers, and the capital the completing

playful interior volumes. But Wright was also taken by-all things

power and luxuriance of the attic," counterposing

Japanese, particularly admiring the Pavilion of the Empire at the

the lessons of

nature to the tyranny of the existing codeso . 9

1893 world's fair. Through his contacts with the Japan scholar

With the Wainwright Building in Saint Louis (1890-1), the

Ernest Fenollosa, he discovered the writings of Edward Morse

Guaranty Building in Buffalo (1894-6),58

and Arthur Dow ..

and the Bayard


For Wright, this culture offered a lesson

Building in New York (1897-9), Sullivan put his theories to the

in architecture, particularly with respect to the clear separa-

test. Perfectly legible in their vertical stacking, his structures read

tion between the floor and the roof and the central place of

as prismatic volumes crowned with a thin cornice. The principal

the tokonoma - a niche for flower arrangements,

elements of their geometry were visible on their planar facades,

replaced in his houses by the hearth or fireplace. Japan also

which were covered in organic motifs. As autonomous

provided lessons in graphics and in landscape. This would lead


which Wright

tu res, these buildings tended to fulfill the Neo-Grec ideal of the

him from the gardens he saw on his first trip there in 1905 to the

primitive temple ..

design of his Taliesin estate in Wisconsin in subsequent years.


At the turn of the century, after the depres-

sion of the 1890s interrupted the construction

of skyscrapers,

Wright established

himself in the wealthy Protestant neighbor-

Sullivan designed the Schlesinger & Meyer Department Store

hood of Oak Park, which he described as "a suburb which denies


Chicago." . 12 There, influenced by social movements that

renamed Carson, Pirie & Scott) 57 in Chicago,

establishing a new equilibrium

between the composite build-

ing's overall volume and the modular grid of the facade, which


the reform of domestic space as a way to reform

moral behavior, he built his own house (1889-98).

-> 13 59


featured large rectangular bay windows. The repetitive nature

symmetrical on the outside, the house has an interior that plays

of the rectilinear windows contrasted powerfully with the flo-

on the oppositions

ral explosion of the cast-iron canopy at the building's corner. In


Owatonna, Minnesota, where he built the National Farmers Bank

"inglenooks," a private gathering place for the family. The house's

(1906-7), and elsewhere in the Midwest, Sullivan subsequently

collective aspect, reinforcing the importance

designed boxlike structures clad in brick, the luxuriant deco-

shared dinners, prevails over its individual spaces. Establishing

ration of which seemed to be compressed

but barely contained

between two centers: the vaulted music room,

Oak Park's communal

his studio on the premises, Wright appended

a square office and an octagonal

by their geometric frames.

added complexity

Wright and prairie architecture


His success was rapid - he


two designs for his lieber Meister (beloved master) Sullivan

an article in Boston's Architectural

America rediscovered,

tall and wide

to the house

reading room (1895), which

and fluidity to the overall structure.

Frank Lloyd Wright, another great American iconoelast, drafted

of sociability and

His houses in Oak Park and nearby River Forest reveal Wright's

Chapter 04

life, and the fireplace with

ninety buildings

between 1901 and 1909. In 1900,

Review referred to Wright's


Frank Lloyd Wright House and Studio, Frank Lloyd Wright, Oak Park, IIlinois,


William H. Winslow House and Stables, Frank Lloyd Wright, River Forest,

IIlinois, USA, 1893-4


"perpetual inspiration," contrasting


usines d'architecture,"

American architecture

it with the wark 01 the "Great

the typical large tactorv-like

offices; the 'author declared that "tew

and created a system based on a logic 01 growth and variation using a square-room

architects have given us more poetic translations 01 materi-


als into structure."

tal juxtaposition

-> 14

Inlluenced by relormers such as William


the house and the landscape


-> 17

The continuity


was made more intimate by the

roots, the low ceilings, and the horizon-

01 the windows. Wright's other realized pro-

C. Gannett, whose sermon "The House Beautilul" was typeset

jects 01 this period ranged Irom vast residences

like the

and reprinted by Wright in collabaration

Susan L. Dana House (1902-4)

IlIinois; the

with his client William


in Springlield,

H. Winslow in 1897, the architect aimed lar his houses, in

Darwin D. Martin House (1904) in Buffalo, New York; and the

Gannetl's words, to serve the purpose 01 "dear togetherness,"

Avery Coonley House (1908) in Riverside, Illinois; to more

being "Iike a constant love-song without words, whose mean-

modest buildings

ing is 'we are glad that we are alive together.' "

houses in Oak Park (1901 and 1904) and the Isabel Roberts

upper band 01 windows and overhanging

-> 15

With its

root, Winslow's house

like the Frank Thomas and Edwin H. Cheney

House in River Farest (1908). Certain houses were located on

(1893-4) 60 in River Forest initiated Wrighl's exploration 01 hor-


izontally extended lorms. Though its relatively orderly, even

in Racine, Wisconsin. Among all 01 these, the Martin House is

terrain, like the Hardy House (1905), built on a clitt

solemn, street-side lacade contrasts with the Ireer nature 01


the back, the entire building

ing walls and its use 01 Iree-standing

is striated with clearly articulated

horizontal bands. The lireplace is the pivot 01the structure. Here


not only tor its almost absolute absence 01 dividsupports, but also lar the

01 its geometry, which extends Irom objects and fur-

the housewile was to preside over a real m that extended to the

niture to the rooms themselves and out into the garden. The

entire interior. In 1901 Wright devised theoretical projects like

continuity between the library, the living room, and the dining

"A Home in a Prairie Town" and "A Small House with 'Lots 01

room is maintained by interstitial spaces that are like walls 01 air.

Room in 11'" lar the Ladies Home Journa/, positioning

Wright remained unlucky with his projects lor major American


as the theorist 01 a new domestic architecture.


The architecture

the house he designed

he elabarated

wide plains surrounding

Cause 01 Architecture,"

was made to measure lar the

Chicago. In his 1908 article "In the

he wrote, "The Prairie has a beauty

01 its own, and we should recognize and accentuate



His lormer assistant Marion Mahony completed



him with an opportunity

spatial and technological

low proportions,


quiet skylines, suppressed


ing walls sequestering

private gardens."

Ward Willits House in Highland

-> 16

Starting with the

Park (1902), Wright developed

ideas he had previously lormulated

Chapter 04

heavyset chim-

low terraces and outreach-

lor the Winslow House

America rediscovered, tall and wide

in Lake Forest (1907-9) was

turned down. Yet the Frederick C. Robie House (1906-8)

natural beauty, its quiet level. Hence, gently sloping rools,

neys and sheltering

lar Henry Ford, and the project he

to Harold McCormick

-> 18

62 in

to build a kind 01

manilesto, as Reyner Banham has

The elongated house, extending along the street,

is protected lrom rain and the noonday sun by projecting

eaves. In the summer it is shaded by a courtyard on the north,
which serves as a cool-air tan k, while its horizontal windows
help ventilate it. Inside, the passages are fl.uid between the

63 ~

Frederick C. Rabie Hause, Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago, IIlinois, USA, 1906-8,


made in the 1920s

Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright, Oak Park, IlIinois, USA, 1905-8

Susan L. Dana House, Frank Lloyd Wright,

3:: -ngfield, Illinois, USA, 1902-4


living room and the dining room, which are sepa-

rated by the chimney, and between the ground-floor


-30m and the children's game room. Radiators, heating tubes,


Sunday school interact with one another like the formal components of Wright's domestic designs. The concrete mass of the
walls, into which all the ducts and pipes were integrated, recalls

d lighting devices are built into the walls. Unlike Sullivan,

the sol id envelopes of Richardson's

right had no interest in purely rational construction;

instead he

interior recaptures the warm centrality of Wright's houses.

ade ornament the starting point 01 his architectural


Wright carefully studied the path leading into the house 01 wor-

ns and adapted the structure to achieve his design goals. For

sxample, the nearly 30-loot (10-meter) I-beams bearing the root
- the Robie House were installed lengthwise, once other motifs
e the repetitive rhythm 01 the ornamented
~een determined,

without any reservations

windows) had
about this seem-

houses, while the church's

ship from the street, and in his eyes it too became a "meeting
place." The articulation

of the basic structure and of the sec-

ondary elements, more complex than that in Buffalo, was part

of a search for design unity that seemed to constitute a metaphor of the building's purpose ..


gly illogical solution.

::AJmmissioned by Darwin Martin's brother John, the adminis-

Wright and Europe

'8. ive building 01 the Larkin soap lactory in Buffalo (1902-6,

cernolished 1950) 64 extended the principies 01 Wright's Prairie

Wright's principies

-ouses to an office scheme. Despite its lortress-like


ance, the building was naturally illuminated

- courtyard

by a glassed-

similar to the one at the Rookery, whose lobby

right was remodeling

at the time. He later described

s rnple cliff 01 brick hermetically

- nditioned'



it as "a

sealed (one of the lirst 'air-

in the country) to keep the interior space

were carried forward by a group of

led by William Drummond,

John Van Bergen,

Marion Mahony, and Walter Burley Griffin and known collectively as the Prairie School. Their form of homage or excessive
imitation aroused Wright's pique. Their inspirer spent 1909 and
1910 in Europe, having Iled there with his client (and lover)
Mamah Cheney. He visited Josef Hoffmann's and Joseph Maria

:: ear of the poisonous gases in the smoke Irom the New York

Olbrich's buildings, which he already knew from photographs.

8entral trains that puffed along beside it." . 19 The result 01

He also studied architectural

:::areful analysis of the building's

in the work of Franz Metzner, who was responsible for the sculp-

intended use, Larkin com-

-ned Sullivan's organic conception

s: ct orthogonal

01 architecture with a

geometry. Most significantly,

c. new type of open workplace,

it represented

with steel furniture and light-

,g designed as integral to the whole and in keeping with the


vision 01 the company.

oon alter this commission,

tural figures at Bruno Schmitz's Vblkerschlachtdenkmal

and Joze Plenik's Zacherlhaus.
Wright developed

extension of the prin-

cipies of his houses. The square masses of the church and the

From observing

in Leipzig


a theory of "conventionalization,"

or the trans-

formation of natural forms into abstract shapes, which he later

used in his concrete construction

Wright built Unity Temple in Oak

?ark (1905-8), 63 another monumental

sculpture, taking particular interest

units, or "textile blocks."

Europe not only gave Wright an important geometry lesson in

the interlocking

squares and circles of the late Secession, but

al so led him to discover pre-Columbian

America ..





Larkin Company


Building, Frank Lloyd Wright, Buffalo,

New York, USA, 1902-6


Javid B. Gamble House, Charles S. Greene and Henry M. Greene, Pasadena,

ia, USA, 1908


First Church 01 Christ Scientist, Bernard Maybeck,

Berkeley, California,



buildings he designed upon his return to the United States,

as Midway Gardens in Chicago (1914, demolished

~'e visibly


shaped by these discoveries.

with pergolas, it combines

Wright in Chicago as early as 1900, but it was in Germany

industrial steel sash lor the glass wall in a manner reminiscent

was now most recognized.

He gave a lecture in

of Viollet-Ie-Duc's

a wood and concrete structure with

theoretical projects.

in at Bruno M6hring's invitation, and he saw his reputation

greatly when the Wasmuth publishing

A large room on a square plan that extends to the outside

right. The British architect Charles Robert Ashbee had



in San Diego were also

inlormed by the Arts and Crafts, while in Berkeley, Bernard

Maybeck built the First Church 01 Christ Scientist (1910). 66

=::; versely, Europeans were becoming increasingly interested


lirst houses that Irving Gill designed

house released a

The skyscraper migrates to New York

nograph on his buildings in 1911; this followed the release

=" a limited-edition

large-size portfolio 01 his works and pro-

scts the year belore.



22 Richardson

erican architect recognized


had long been the only

in the Old World (notably in the

height 01 new construction.


in Europe almost exactly as in the model

';:,~ ory built by Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer lor the Cologne
erkbund Exhibition 01 1914.


23 California, though, remained

ely unknown to Europeans, despite the signilicant


ing the 1870s for newspapers,

ished 1955).


24 Beginning with the construction

(1901) had served to dis-

inate. In Pasadena, the work of the brothers Charles S. and

-enry M. Greene was best exemplilied

by their house lor David

01 the Tower

the steel skeleton became the rule tor skyscrapers. The cornpletion 01 the Flatiron Building

The Craftsman

Richard Morris

Building by Bradlord Lee Gilbert (1888-9, demolished





was built dur-

Hunt's building lor the New York Tribune (1873-5, demol-

-e Arts and Cralts movement, which cabinetmaker



In fact, vertical competition

The lirst batch 01 skyscrapers

::~-lt there. It proved fertile ground for American lollowers 01



Chicago, New York did not pass any regulations limiting the

took center stage in accounts by visitors to the United

e reproduced

01 East Coast architects focused on

lactories, silos, and, most conspicuously,

erlands, Germany, and Finland), but Sullivan and Wright

=:a es such as Hendrik Petrus Berlage. At times their designs


Alter 1900 the experiments

(1901-2) 69 - built lor Chicago

George A. Fuller by Daniel H. Burnham - was an


milestone. A 22-story vertical extrusion 01 its tri-

angular site, the building was topped with a cornice evoking

the capital 01 a column as in the ideal scheme contested by

3_ Gamble (1908),65 heir of a leading soap manulacturer - a

Sullivan. It could be the tip 01 a potentially gigantic imaginary

s -lHul composition


of sol id wood elements on a masonry loun-

block. Elevators and services were grouped

-~ ion. Like Wright's houses, but designed lor a gentler climate,

in the building's core, allowing the window-lit areas 01 each

-e Gamble House is largely open to the outdoors through a

tloor to be entirely devoted to offices. Standing at the intersec-

~- ies 01 porches. The Greenes devoted the utmost care to

tion 01 Broadway and Filth Avenue, the Flatiron had such iconic

--e assembly 01 the wood Irame and walls, using visible dow-

power that the magazine Camera Work saw in it the promise

01 a new aesthetic, and one 01 its admirers, the photographer

hat evoked the techniques

of Japanese builders. The




Flatiron Building, Daniel H.

Burnham, New York City, USA,

1901-2, photograph


Alfred Slieglitz

67 Woolworth Building,


Cass Gilbert, New York City,

New York City, USA, 1913-15


Building, Graham, Anderson

and Probst,


Allred Stieglitz, responded to the detractors 01 this "monster

buildings between eleven and twenty stories high, and the

ocean steamer" that "it is not hideous, but the new America.

problem 01 sunlight reaching the streets was much discussed.

The Flat lron is to the United States what the Parthenon was

In 1916 the "menace" posed by the skyscraper was remedied by

lo Greece." . 25 Other buildings, including the New York Times

a zoning regulation that controlled the bulk 01 the tall building but

Building by Eidlitz and McKenzie (1903-5), soon lurther mined

did not restrict its height on up to 25 percent 01 the site. The new

the potential 01 rare triangular sites in Manhattan's grid.

code also established sophisticated

regulations to ensure ample

With the 47-story, 594-loot (181-meter) Singer Building (1906-8,

light by requiring terraces and setbacks 01 upper Iloors. New


York was therelore able to remain the "standing city" - as the


1968), Ernest Flagg responded

explicit commission

to the Singer

to create a delinitive verti-

cal structure. It was soon lollowed by the Metropolitan


Insurance Company tower by Pierre L. Lebrun (1907-9), which

was grafted to a larger block and made conscious


novelist Louis-Ferdinand

Cline put it . 27

that would make

such a strong impression on visitors between the world wars.

Though his 1920 book L'architecture aux tats-Unis (Architecture
in the United States) included reproductions

01 these buildings,

to the campanile 01 Saint Mark's in Venice. Next came the

Jacques Grber persisted in seeing American architecture

Municipal Building by McKim, Mead and White (1909-14),

little more than a rellection 01 French "genius." His younger

which was likened to a modern Colossus of Rhodes in its

colleagues did not suffer Irom this superiority complex. On


of Chambers

the contrary, they lound the cross-Atlantic scene lascinating


Building symbolized


Street. Built on an open U-plan, the

the modernization

01 the city's

Popular Neo-Gothic themes found their place

in the next victor in the ongoing race for height, the Woolworth


enough to launch a new path of migration, reversing that of the

Americans still coming to Paris to study at the cole des BeauxArts. The departure tor Chicago 01 the Viennese architect Rudoll

Building (1910-13) 67 by Cass Gilbert. Though Frank W.

Schindler and his Prague colleague Antonin Raymond heralded

Woolworth, lounder 01 the dime-store

a radical geographic shift in the centers of architecture.

chain, had insisted that

his building be fifty leet taller than the Metropolitan

ing, the structure is remarkable

Lile build-

primarily lor the relinement

01 its elevators and interior circulation and the splendor 01 an

entrance hall given a Byzantine atmosphere
The skyscraper's

soaring appearance

Gothic decor 01 its terra-cotta

by gilt mosaics.

and the Ilamboyant Neo-

exterior quickly led the public to

refer to it as the "cathedral 01 commerce."

. 26

Construction of the Equitable Building (1913-15) 68 by Burnham's


Graham, Anderson and Probst served to crystallize

gathering lears about the unrestrained


of high-

rise structures. By 1913 Manhattan contained about a thousand

Chapter 04

America rediscovered,

tall and wide

The challenge
of the metropolis

In 1908 architect August Endell, a major proponent

01 the

German Jugendstil torrns, published a small book entitled Die

der grossen Stadt (The Beauty 01 the Metropolis).


services. The resulting need to design dozens of new types

of buildings, from suburban train stations to clinics and public
baths, stimulated the architectural

imagination ..

Though he did not turn a blind eye to urban problems such

The dizzying growth in the populations

as poverty and congestion,

the housing crisis, which was already so serious in London,

Endell discovered

a new aes-

thetic potential in the industrial landscape, transportation

tems, and smoky city skies, much as the Impressionists
lound inspiration in the Gare Saint-Lazare


in Paris in the 1870s.

Unlike Friedrich Nietzsche, who invited Zarathustra to "spit on

of large cities deepened

Paris, Berlin, and New York that it was becoming a threat to the
social arder. 70 Urban relorms related to housing, transportation,
hygiene, education, and leisure were put in place during the
last decade of the nineteenth century. During this era, munici-

the great city, which is the great swill room where all the swill

palities became essential torees behind building projects that, in

spumes together,"

turn, reflected on a wide range of public policies and coopera-

Endell believed that the city "gathered in

-> 1

its streets a thousand beautilul things, innumerable marvels,

tive programs. Architects

and engineers

saw vast public com-

inlinite riches, accessible to all but seen by very lew." . 2 Though

missions take shape. Meanwhile the nascent social sciences

he regretted the absence 01 an elusive "intellectual

lound the city to be an irresistible subject. Thewritings



with which scientilic thinking might have endowed the city, he

sociologists such as Max Weber and Georg Simmel in Germany

praised the beauty created by human organization

and Maurice Halbwachs in France and the research of their

and labor.

counterparts at the University 01 Chicago laid the loundations far

a new critical approach to the study 01 social relationships based

An explosion without precedent

on systematic research and veriliable tacts ..

The urban development

that translormed

much 01 the Western

warld had no precedent. It resulted in (and from) increasing

raised by physicians


Paris during the mid-eighteenth

mass exodus Irom the countryside,


emigration to the Americas and the colonies. It also disrupted

feudal institutions and encouraged

the emergence

01 new

Problems of hygiene were of primary significance.

place in philanthropic

and scientists carrying

An issue first

out studies in

century, hygiene took a central

activities lollowing devastating cholera

a century later. The paradigm 01 the healthy city was

forms of national citizenship. Vast territories were newly urban-

applied not only to strategies related to urban design, but also

ized, and existing cities became denser, pushing municipal

to the design 01 individual structures. It would dominate architec-

outward. The process 01 Eingemeindung



tural thought until almost the last third 01 the twentieth century .. 5

pal integration) that ariginated in German urban areas became

Concern for hygiene - initially focused on improving the

an international phenomenon with the creation in 1889 of the


London County Council, the first metropolitan

materials that would not deteriorate and facades that could be

authority in warld

01 air, then on sunlight, and finally on construction

all 01 the thinking behind housing and

histary, and in 1898 of Greater New York. As cities expanded,

washed - transformed

they were equipped

public buildings. The low-cost Paris apartments

Chapter 05

with communication

The challenge

of the metropolis

networks and public





...L_ . K....-li.

n. __


Street layout, from Town-Planning



in Practice,

Unwin, 1909




I&"'- __

.. ,....

._. a..,..Do ~

. r. ,..-.

Streets in Bruges, from City Planning According

lo Artistic
73 ~



Camilla SitIe, 1889


housing, Henri Sauvage

and Charles Sarrasin, Paris, France, 1912




growth of big cities c. 1910, from Der

(Town Planning), Werner Hegemann,

Henri Sauvage and Charles Sarrasin



represent one exarn-

In just a lew years, urban planning became a world rnove-

pie; they were advertised as "hygienic," even "athletic," thanks

ment. The year 1910 witnessed the nearly simultaneous

to their plans as well as to the white tiling 01 their lacades and


the provision 01 recreational areas lar their users ... 6 Elsewhere,


the concern to provide middle- and lower-class

Berlin, during which large cities had an opportunity

housing with

adequate ventilation and access to sunlight led to the expan-


in London and the AlIgemeine

(General Urban-Planning

pare their plans 01 action ... 9 The challenge

Exhibition) in

pate growth and to regulate it not only by understanding

sion and opening up 01 building courtyards.

estate and technical systems but also by imagining


The planners' toolbox

used by architects, planners, and policy

makers to calibrate the extension and modernization

were translormed

01 cities

by inputs Irom the natural and social sciences.



a collective,


through lield trips, conlerences,

Periodicals such as Oer Stdiebeu

and The Town-Planning

began appearing, joining the handbooks

and advanced the emerging notion 01 "collective"

needs. As a

result, the discipline known in its parallel versions as Stadtebau

in Germany, town planning in Great Britain, and urbanisme


edited by Josel

as the basis 01 a library lor

prolession ... 10


France took on new importance ... 7 The old method 01 creating

roads and subdividing

and exhibitions.

Review (Iounded in London in 1909)

Stbben and Raymond Unwin

an emergent international


(Iounded in Berlin in 1904)

Pressure Irom unions and political movements intensilied the



think tan k, bringing together policy makers, intellectuals,

demands lar a more democratic

process 01 providing


the luture

01 large cities. Global networks 01 communica-

tion lacilitated
The very instruments

to com-

now was to antici-

Town, square, and monument

the land into lots without dilferentiating

their use or their density was replaced by a complex approach

Yet the seeming unanimity 01 relormers and technicians

to regulation and planning based on statistical data and public

shattered the moment it came to putting a specilic lace on the

supervision 01 specialized stages 01 conception and construc-

cities of the luture. Should the modern metropolis be designed

tion. Planning became future oriented and prescriptive.

by reinterpreting the picturesque

The notion 01 the urban plan became lundamental,

expanding on the classical principies of monumentality,

ing the hopes of professionals


lar the rational modernization


beauty 01 historical sites; by

as rep-

resented by the Beaux-Arts obsession with axiality, hierarchy,

and extension of cities. In the early twentieth century, expan-

and historicism; ar by avoiding all nostalgia and designing

sion and beautilication

new Iramework far the future inspired by a modern mechanized

plans that had evolved over decades

were replaced by regulations based on new, "scientific"


and rationalized economy? The first position was fueled by the

odologies, including measures to divide cities into zones - the

theories proposed

term zone in both French and German was derived Irom military

Sitte in his book Oer Steoiebeu nach seinen knstlerischen

usage - and the elaboration


01 building regulations ... 8

in 1889 by the Viennese architect Camillo

(City Planning according to Artistic Principies),





Plan 01 Chicago,

Daniel H. Burnham

and Edward H. Bennett, Chicago,


World City, project, Ernest Hbrard, 1912


Future New York, Harvey Wiley Corbett, 1913



which attracted a growing number 01 lollowers. Focusing on

the Progressive Era.



As one 01 its most active agents,

the city in its "Sunday best" - that is, on the city center -

Burnham provided the movement with emblematic

Sitte advocated studying the streets and squares of medieval

such as the Natianal Mall in Washington,

and Renaissance

renovated on the basis of his 1902 plan, and his plan lar San

tawns as a basis for turning modern urban

into "total warks 01 art" on the model of the


Wagnerian opera he admired.

-> 11

An immediate


D.C., which was

Francisco, which remained unrealized after the 1906 earth-


Sitte's book remained the bible of urban planners for decades,

quake despite, or perhaps because 01, its arnbitious scope.

Even though the 1909 plan far Chicago 74 that he and Edward

although they often reduced it to caricatural formulas based

H. Bennett prepared at the request al local business associa-

an imitatian al medieval cities. No less successful,

tians was only partially implemented,


Platz und

(City Square and Manument), published

historian Albert Erich Brinckmann

by the art

in 1908, reserved its praise

tor the Baroque and classical squares 01 Rome and Paris.

The principies

put forward far transforming

Vienna were applied throughout

-> 12

Berlin, Paris, and

the rest of Europe as new

it remained ane al the

most resonant images al the era. Its visian was

divided into lunctional zones, crisscrossed

al a large

with new streets and

railways, refreshed by a system of parks linking

it with the lake and surrounding

crowned with a monumental

prairies, and, most especially,

city center that would have made it

nation-states like Italy and Romania were established. They also

into a "Paris on Lake Michigan."

found application

also adopted tor certain projects with more humanistic

in independent

Latin American countries,


-> 14

Burnham's vocabulary



including Brazil and Argentina; in Meiji Japan; in late Ottoman

tions, such as the Cit Mondiale (World City)

Turkey as it underwent modernization;

1912 by the French architect Ernest Hbrard for the Norwegian

territories. Unlike the picturesque,

and linally in' colonial


lorms to which

sculptor and philanthropist


designed in

Hendrik Christian Andersen.



Sitte was attracted, the massive schemes at the heart of these

During this same briel but fertile period extending fram 1890

cities leatured long axes and perspectives

to World War 1, engineers, architects, landscape designers, and



esplanades dominated by colon nades and domes. Such "artis-

social relormers who were committed to solving the problems

tic" principies applied the Beaux-Arts model at the expanded

01 the big city put lorward a third set 01 principies that avoided

scale 01 the grand urban structure. Daniel H. Burnham had

both backward-Iooking

used these principies

rapid spread 01 the automobile

in Chicago in 1893 to layout his "White

City," which was imitated at the International Exposition 01 1900

in Paris and elsewhere.
The classicizing

imitation and grandiose

rhetoric. The

and the development

01 met-

ropolitan railroads spurred a vis ion of the city as a gigantic

machine lar traffic. The architect Euqene Hnard's "Street al the


of Chicago and other warld's



presented at the London Town-Planning


01 Europe's historical

in 1910, elabarated

the ideas he had outlined in his tudes sur

cities provided the model far countless projects by American

les transformations

de Paris (Studies on the Translormations 01

fairs and the grand urban compasitions

urban planners, wha were committed to making the metrop-

Paris; 1903), in which he proposed to set buildings back from the

olis a "city beautiful," giving spatial lorm to the ideals of

street through a system 01 redents (alternating indents). Hnard's

Chapter 05

The challenge

01 the metropolis



C'I11' .ur C/J


78 Vienna as an unlimited metropolis, from Die GroBstadt, eine Studie ber diese
(The Development 01 a Great City), Otto Wagner, 1911


Street 01 the Future, Eugne Hnard, 1910

future street was entirely determined

by traffic - whether auto-

Law Olmsted in Boston and other American


found European advocates

uments surrounded

Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier and the German architect Fritz

by roads. The streets had multiple levels,


allowing for the stacking of mass transit, automobiles, and

pedestrians ..


In 1913 Hnard's New York counterpart


in the French landscape


mobile or airplane - and amounted to a series of great mon-


creator of Hamburg's Stadtpark - were deemed

insufficient sources of fresh air. The Spanish engineer Arturo

Wiley Corbett took the fantasy a step further and imagined the

Soria y Mata's project of 1894 for a ciudad lineal (linear city) 79

streets of a future New York

suggested an alternative pattern for the growth of Madrid. The


as a network of dizzying can-

yons lined with fast lanes and suspended

tating subways connecting
Widely reproduced

sidewalks, with levi-

to skyscrapers

at the fortieth floor.

in popular newspapers, these images soon

new suburbs were to extend longitudinally

along either side of

a streetcar making a loop around the city, Only a segment was

built, but Soria expanded the concept to the regional scale

fascinated the Italian Futurists.

with a scheme of continuous

Not every city-planning

The German architect Theodor Fritsch and the British social

proposal was so enthusiastic for the

mechanical. Otto Wagner accepted the fact that the modern

metropolis was no longer defined by its principal monuments

scale decentralization.

tile to the city, encompassing


not be confused with the traffic systems serving it. In Moderne

of the theories of the Americans

he wrote that a city where anonymity was the rule

onous repetition. Speculating

of cells" governed by monot-

on Vienna's future, he proposed

in 1911 a new GroBstadt (metropolis) 780f potentially unlimited

Bellamy. He didactically

for broad-

Rousseau and

Thomas Jefferson, . 20 Howard had developed

would become a "conglomerate

his ideas out

Henry George and Edward

expressed his opposition to both the

malevolent "magnet" of the big city and the debilitating

of the countryside


The latest in a long line of writers hos-

cable to the cities of antiquity. But he argued that the city must

cities ..

reformer Ebenezer Howard reacted with proposals

or by the visual rules of the picturesque

that had been appli-

ribbons connecting


in a triangular diagram, touting instead the

atlraction of the "garden city." 80 This last would combine the

growth, meant to spread out like a spider's web. Composed of

advantages of the two other alternatives to become, in his view,


the type of habitat most likely to appeal to people. In his 1898


in compact orthogonal

was to be arranged in a checkerboard

blocks, it

pattern around evenly

distributed public spaces and services ..


book To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, he described

the broad outlines of a program intended to replace the creeping metropolis with a cluster of garden cities linked to the city

The idyll of the garden city

center by railroad, each with a population whose size would be

strictly limited ..


Meant to be funded by philanthropic

The "tentacular cities" that the Belgian poet mile Verhaeren

capitalists or cooperatives,



in apocalyptic

verses in 1895 seemed to many

the garden city drew on American

such as Olmsted's Garden Suburb in Riverside,

reformers to be places of perdition from which nothing good

near Chicago, where Howard had lived. His clever oxymo-

could come ..

ron "garden city" - which for several decades

Chapter 05


Even the park systems designed by Frederick

The challenge 01 the metropolis

had been one




T9 . Linear City, Arturo Soria y Mata, 1894



Garden Suburb, Raymond

London, United Kingdom,

82 ~



Page from Une Cit Industrielle,

Tony Garnier,

France, 1917


The Three Magnets, from To-Morrow:

A Peaceful

Path to Real Reform, Ebenezer Howard, 1902

of Chicago's


vanized associations,

- quickly became a slogan that gal-




and al so real-estate speculators

around the world. Following

the founding


01 the Garden-City

in Great Britain

in 1901, similar organizations devoted to promoting such exper-

architect Tony Garnier, designs 01 which were published

1917. ->


An autonomous

entity in opposition

it was secular and progressive,


to the big city,

a more modern version of a

1901 sketch Garnier had based on a plan described

in mile

Zola's novel Travail (Work).

imental ventures cropped up in Germany and France and

reached all the way to Russia. Articles on the subject were

as far away as Japan.

-> 22

Zoning for the colonies and for

Europe's metropoles

The garden city quickly became more than a slogan. Expanding

on the principies developed by Camillo Sitte, Raymond Unwin

The reform of existing cities was another goal. Alongside

gave it canonical form with his designs for the first English

attempts to improve the appearance

garden-city, which was sponsored

ing more visually harmonious

by Howard himself, built in

Letchworth I;leginning in 1903; and for Hampstead

Suburb (1905-7),81

a private commission


in London for Dame

Henrietta Barnett. These refined urban compositions


of city centers by creat-

streets, such as the Boulevard

Raspail in Paris and the southern extension of Seventh Avenue

in New York, programs were implemented

based on Unwin's observations of English and Norman villages.

launched in London at the municipality's

Soon after, Richard Riemerschmid

lollowed. In Paris "insalubrious


and Heinrich Tessenow

the garden city of Hellerau around the Deutsche

to replace slums with

hygienic housing. The first attempts at urban renovation were

initiative. Berlin soon

blocks" were earmarked

and included in the Extension Commission

in 1913

Report written that

Werkstatten factory near Dresden (1909-12). Meanwhile, ground

year by the architect Louis Bonnier and the historian Marcel

was broken on the largest garden city in Europe, Wekerle in


Budapest (1909-26). In Russia, Vladimir Semyonov adopted the


British experiments

was influenced by sociology and turned to a career as an urban

in his design for the city 01 Prozorovskoe

(1913), while Georges Benoit-Lvy drummed

up interest in the

-> 25

To a certain extent the "conservative


by Patrick Geddes, a visionary Scottish biologist who

planner, was somewhat similar to these projects in its carelul

movement in France. None of these projects fully met Howard's

atlention to social transformations

requirements; they contributed

in most cases to the spread of

ships between "place, work, and folk," illustrated in his diagram

in the city and to the relation-

nostalgic regionalist forms and responded to different political

01the "Valley Section." 83 Geddes differentiated between what

agendas, ranging from the paternalistic to the Social Democratic.

he saw as the "Utopa" of the garden cities and a "Eutopia" that

By imitating the space of the village, they counterposed

could result from patient modification 01 existing cities.

reassuring context 01 the small community


to the threats posed



Geddes tried but failed to apply his ideas in lndia, at a time

by modern society, following the arguments made by the German

when the colonized territories were becoming


planners to experiment. In 1914 the European empires were

Ferdinand Tbnnies in 1887.

to this rule was the Cit Industrielle

-> 23

A rare exception

project 82 of the Lyons

places for urban

at the height 01 their power, and the dominant nations set about




The "Valley Section,'

Patrick Geddes,




plan for Berlin competition



Bruno Mhring, Rudolf Eberstadt and Richard

Plan far Rabat, Henri Prost, Rabat,



Petersen, 1910

creating new capitals. These were sometimes

a new architecture could appear. Echoing Max Weber's socio-

situated near

historical urban areas, as was the case with Edwin Lutyens

logical analysis 01 bureaucracy,

and Herbert Baker's New Delhi, which began to be planned in

increasing degree 01 organization

he linked the metropolis to the

in society, with the clearest

1912 lollowing Baker's design 01the Union buildings in the South

example being the American skyscraper stacking up thousands

Alrican capital 01 Pretoria (1909-13). It evolved into a scheme

01 clerical workers ..


and New York were now points 01 relerence as pertinent as

major roads and a hexagonal plan that culminated

in Luytens's Viceroy's Palace ..

27 86

In Rabat, the political capi-


For German urban planners, Chicago

London and Paris had been tor previous generations. Site 01 the

tal 01 the French protectorate in Morocco, the Beaux-Arts grad-

mass production

uate Henri Prost designed an administrative

centration 01 service jobs and services, the metropolis was more

applied the characteristics


01 the garden city.



Other capitals

01 manulactured

goods but also 01 the con-

than a technical challenge tor urban planners. As Endell had

were erected on new sites, such as Australia's Canberra. The

already sensed, the urban landscape,

1911 international competition

ized by the arrival 01 the automobile, was also becoming the

to build Canberra resulted in the

selection 01 the American Walter Burley Griffin over the Finnish

architect Eliel Saarinen and the French planner Donat-Allred
Agache. In Griffin's winning scheme, 87 the city encroached
the. surrounding


areas, making repeated use 01 elements bor-

rowed Irom the Prairie Houses that Griffin had drafted as an

employee in Frank Lloyd Wright's office ..
Following the competition


lor the expansion 01 Barcelona - won

in 1905 by the French architect Lon Jaussely, one 01 the lirst

advocates 01 zoning - the 1910 competition

lor Greater Berlin

yielded what were probably the most complex strategies 01 the

day. The submitted proposals spanned the entire gamut 01 ideas
then being discussed on both sides 01 the Atlantic. Grandiose
monumental avenues, giant train stations, and garden cities were
the basic building blocks advanced by Ihe competitors.
proposals were truly revolutionary:
grated the surrounding
01 vegetation


Bruno Mbhring's tea m inte-

region with the city through great cones

reaching into the city center,

later met with considerable


an approach that

success. In 1912 the Berlin critic

Karl Scheffler, asking what "the architeclure

01 the metropolis"

should be, determined that it was only in the very large city Ihat



The challenge of the metropolis

having been revolution-

milieu and the raw material ter the avant-gardes

01 modernismo


<::.ITY A~D






Viceroy Palace and its surroundings,

Plan lar Canberra, Walter Burley Griffin, Canberra, Australia,


Edwin Lutyens, New Delhi, India, 1912-31

080 I 081

New production,
new aesthetic

With the invention 01 the automobile,

the spread 01 electricity,

character of Dr. Arnheim in Robert Musil's novel The Man with-

advances in scientilic research - especially in chemistry and

out Qualities is based, eventually succeeded

physics - and the increasing unilication 01 the world's markets,

played a leading role in German public life. The Rathenaus

his father and


became both a factor for increasing industrial

retained Peter Behrens, whose fame had spread lollowing


and a key component

the design of his own house in Darmstadt as well as of his


of new visual strategies

by big business. Concurrently, and to a certain

Exhibition Pavilion in Oldenburg

degree in response, artists and architects devoted themselves

to interpreting a new stage in the machine age's evolutionary

Patrick Geddes and Lewis Mumlord described

as "neotechnic"

in opposition

and steam power ..


to the "paleotechnic"

A variety 01 relationships

(1905) and the Crematorium

(1906-7) 88 that he designed in a Florentine manner in' Hagen.

The large design oflice Behrens established

age 01 coal


and industry began taking shape, ranging from the

quickly became

involved in all the AEG's activities. It created electric products

tor mass consumption

- fans, toasters, teakettles, and other

devices - with designs so definitive that they remain practically unchanged to this day. The company's visual communi-

01 architects into major corporations, to

architects' eflorts to promote the creative coordination 01 art

cations, from posters to all types 01 printed matter, were carried

and industry at all levels, to - last but not least - architects'

mental scale, Behrens was involved in the design of all the AEG


buildings throughout



and at times critical activities within building

out according to Behrens's specifications ..

At a more monu-

Berlin, from factories to housing estates.

programs and cultural institutions.

Indeed, each product line called for a specific building, partic-

The AEG model in Berlin

The lirst building to be constructed

ularly if its components

required highly specialized


was the Turbine Factory

(1908-9), 89 which Behrens designed with the engineer Karl

The emerging power and imperialism 01 Wilhelmine Germany,

Bernhard. Its great form resembles a temple, as if to maintain

where industrialization had taken hold later than in Great Britain

a link between the industry-minded

and France, found its economic strength in the rapid development

which Rathenau saw as replacing the Prussian monarchs' art-

01 giant companies in the fields of steel, chemistry, and electric-

oriented "Athens on the Spree" - and the models 01 antiquity .. 3

ity. At a time when Britain dominated world commerce, the "made

Flanked by a lower building with a wall consisting of a large

in Germany" label was seen as second-rate

German companies

and derivative.

were thus driven to technical and aes-

"Chicago on the Spree" -

plane 01 glass rhythmically divided by steel frames, the factory

features a 25-meter (82-foot) triple-hinged

frame, beneath which

thetic innovation in order to improve the image of their products

a crane moved the rnassive rotors and stators. On the front

at home and abroad. The most remarkable example of such

facade, the polygonal shape 01 the pediment evokes the contour

a strategy was that 01 the Allgemeine


of a bolt head at giant scale. Most interesting, Behrns played

(General Electricity Company, known as AEG), founded by Emil

with a paradoxical

Rathenau in Berlin. Rathenau's son Walther, on whom the

ency. The corner pylons, which look like stone piers, are made

Chapter 06

New production,

new aesthetic

contrast between mass and transpar-


Peter Behrens, Hagen, Germany,



Turbine Factary, Peter Behrens and Kari



Berlin, Germany, 1908-9

f concrete yet carry only their own weight, leaning inward as

The staf al Ihe Behrens affice, Neubabelsberg,

Germany, 1910

which he referred to in discussions 01the designo


In Saint

tney rise. The glass plane, on the other hand, tips at an angle

Petersburg, Behrens enlisted Mies to help him build the German

:0 the

embassy (1912), a palace with a red granite colonnade rerninis-

exterior edge of the frame, as il bearing the heavy load

01 the giant rool, which in lact is supported

by the underlying

steel-trarne structure.

cent of the Kleinmotorenfabrik

lor the AEG but with a far more

luxurious interior featuring black Doric columns.

3ehrens also built the Kleinmotorenlabrik

(Small Motor Factory;

910-13), the lront 01 which is distinguished

by a series 01

Factory as inspiration

ark brick columns without capitals standing five stories tall.

The Hochspannungswerk

(High Voltage Factory; 1909-10) is

a more complex structure, in which the main halls were sandiched between two taller volumes containing additional work
areas. Here the study, coordination,

and control 01 production

clearly were integral to the manulacturing

process: the era of

Walter Gropius and Adoll Meyer strove to lollow the example

set by their mentor, Behrens, in building the Fagus Factory in
Alfeld an der Leine (1911-13).


Designed to produce beech-

wood shoe lasts, the factory was begun by the architect Eduard
Werner in a Neo-Gothic

style. Gropius and Meyer preserved

organization was at hand. Like Charles Garnier's firm during the

Werner's masonry foundations,

design 01 the Paris Opra in the previous century, Behrens's

Irame lor a light steel-and-glass

firm attracted ambitious young architects from all over Germany

to the piers at Behrens's Turbine Factory, Gropius and Meyer's

and neighboring




From 1908 to 1911 he recruited

corners contributed

but used them as the base and


lacade. In contrast

to dematerializing

the building,

Walter Gropius, Adolf Meyer, Ludwig Mies (Iater known as Mies

and the image of a modular structure with razor-sharp

van der Rohe), and Charles-douard

echoed the processes taking place inside the building. This

Jeanneret (Iater known as

Le Corbusier), who constantly complained

about the tyrannical

rule of the "bear Behrens." Having recently read Thus Spake

heralded a new era in industrial architecture:

longer reminiscent


lactories were no

01 castles and temples; instead, their design

Zarathustra tor the lirst time, Jeanneret identified Behrens with

became an allusion to the precise handling of materials and to

the formidable

the sleekness

Nietzschean superman.

-> 4

Behrens's success as the AEG's lead architect

projects lor other industrialists

braught him

and lor the state, in which

he explored the archetype 01 the Renaissance

palace. In

of the products


within them.

The owner 01 the Fagus Factory, Carl Benscheid,

Gropius photographs


01 another industrial world, North

America, and in a 1913 essay, "The Development

Industrial Architecture,"

lacturing firm Mannesmann

sented the grain silos and factories built in the "motherland

(1911-12), an ally of AEG, basing

he entire complex, with its repetitive, apparently modular lacade

92 Gropius enthusiastically

01 Modern

Dsseldorf he built the administrative affices 01the steel rnanu-

industry." In his eyes, "The compelling




01 the

bays, on the basic unit 01the office. With its metal structure cov-

Canadian and South American grain silos, the coal silos built

ered in stone, the building rellected Behrens's interest in Jacob

for the large railway companies,

Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860),

shops of the North American lirms almost bear comparison

and the totally modern work-




Factory, Walter Gropius

-~olf Meyer, Alfeld an der Leine,





Page from "The Development


in the Deutscher

01 Modern Industrial



Walter Gropius, 1913


the buildings of ancient Egypt. Their individuality

is so

The Deutscher Werkbund

r rnistakable that the meaning of the structure becomes over~elmingly clear to the passer-by."

Other connections

-> 6

Gropius and his successors knew little of the techniques

existing within institutional

alleled personal relationships

networks par-

between architects and indus-

.3ad to operate silos, structures deeply rooted in the American

trial figures. Early twentieth-century

German art reformers

=.;;ricultural economy, they grasped the aesthetic qualities

seeking an aesthetic translormation

of daily lile longed for

-= those concrete cylinders

a mutually beneficial alliance with industry. To this end,

and boxes. The automobile facto-

es of Detroit also captivated Gropius. There is no doubt that

-8 studied them while preparing


his project tor Fagus. Albert

had erected a large concrete frame building in Highland

=>ark ter the Ford Motor Company, achieving the ideal of the
oaylight lactory."


More than the skyscraper, which was

they lounded the Verband des deutschen



01 German Arts and Crafts), presided over by

Hermann Muthesius. The movement's

journal Oer Kunstwart
what nationalistic

central organ was the

(The Guardian of Art), which was some-

in its orientation.

-> 9

The success of the

sll beyond the reach 01 German designers, these lactories

1906 Kunstgewerbeausstellung

seemed to open the way to an architecture 01 pure economic

Dresden led to the creation in MiJnich the lollowing

(Arts and Crafts Exhibition)

aiionality. Not all German architects were ready to embrace

Deutscher Werkbund

.nern, though. Paul Bonatz, a student of Theodor Fischer's stu-


:Jio in Munich, chose to evoke a Roman basilica in his Stuttgart

the positions within this organization

'1ailway Station (1912-30), 94 a reinlorced-concrete

the architect Fritz Schumacher,


lad in stone, implicitly asserting that modern networks like railroads demanded

a monumentality

that went beyond a rather


the alienation


then a prolessor

prominent Berlin architect Hans Poelzig adopted a sig-


in Dresden,

in his inaugural speech as

between the executive and the

inventive spirit, in order to bridge the existing divide."

=etishistic reliance on steel and glass.


(German Work Union), a lederation

state officials, architects, artists, and critics. While

delined the Werkbund's



year 01 the

-> 10

Unlike their British predecessors in the Arts and Crafts movement;

01 the Kunstgewerbe

nificantly different approach to building lorm and design dur-

with whom the supporters

ing the same periodo His Chemical Factory (1911-12) 95 in Luban

lounders 01 the Werkbund were not opposed to the leading

identilied, the

(Lubor), near Poznan in Silesia, evoked the brick attics 01 build-

capitalist lirms 01 the day. Instead, they tried to ligure out a way

ings in Hanseatic cities like Bremen and Hamburg in the north 01

to cooperate with industry so as to achieve the desired reform

Germany as well as medieval lortilications and Roman aqueducts.

01 material culture. The inspiration tor the organization came

Far removed from Behrens's rhetoric 01 transparency in struc-

primarily lrom Muthesius, who had become a professor of archi-

~res like the Turbine Factory, these buildings Ilaunted their

tecture at the Handelshochschule

(Higher Trade School) in

physical mass while their richly patterned brick surfaces revealed . Berlin, and Irom the relormer Friedrich Naumann, an advocate
to the attentive observer the difference between the supporting
and supported

parts 01 the masonry.


01 Christian Socialism and a deputy in the Reichstag. In 1908

Naumann outlined a theory advocating

quality production











Railway Station, Paul Bonatz, Stuttgart, Germany, 1912-30



Aesthetics), Joseph August Lux, 1910

Factory, Hans Poelzig, Luban (Lubor), Germany

well as durability and premised on class collabaration:


(Poland), 1911-12

"taste." . 14 They portrayed French culture as a holdover Irom an

social needs of the working class can be united with the need

outdated Zivilisation that stood in opposition to the progressive

lar art 01 the progressive

Kultur 01 industry. This distinction operated on many levels.

part 01 the population

by replacing a

theary based on attrition with one based on durability."




-> 15

The extent 01 the Werkbund's success may be gauged by its

same year Naumann drew up most of the Werkbund statutes.

1914 exhibition in Cologne. The decision to hold the exhibition

The organization

in a city so close to France was indicative 01 the association's

grew quickly. By the time it moved its head-

quarters to Berlin in 1912, it had nearly a thousand members,


nationalistic stance. At this point the Werkbund had

among them a growing number of businesses. Its activi-

1,870 members and a constantly growing number 01 industrial

ties expanded lurther with the spread of local groups (torty-

sponsors. Yet the exhibition buildings hardly conveyed a sense

five by 1914), the publication


01 its Jahrbcher


and exhibitions. The Werkbund worked indi-

01 unanimity . .., 16 Van de Velde pursued his ideal 01 linear lorm

with a theater whose principal innovation was a tripartite stage.

rectly through the Deutsches Museum fr Kunst in Handel

Gropius and Meyer's administration

und Gewerbe (German Museum for Art in Trade and Industry),

experiments they had initiated in Alfeld, with exterior staircases


housed in glass cylinders. Their building was also reminiscent

in Hagen by Karl Ernst Osthaus, another of its princi-

building continued the

pal leaders, who organized many traveling exhibitions. At the

in many ways of the City National Bank and Hotel built by Frank

instigation of the Werkbund and in imitation of the AEG model,

Lloyd Wright in Mason City, lowa (1909), particularly


metrical composition

recruited architects to design their office buildings

and manufacturing

facilities. The Norddeutsche

Lloyd hired Paul

and overhanging

in its sym-


In July 1914 the Werkbund organized a conference to coincide

Ludwig Troost and Bruno Paul, who designed tour ships, while

with the exhibition. It was marked by a heated conlrontation

the Hamburg-Amerika-Line

over the notion 01 Typisierung - the creation of type, or

Though the Werkbund's

worked with Muthesius . ..,12

primary goals were to raise the "artis-

tic" level of German industrial production

consumer taste, the organization

also devoted itself to promot-

ing a form of aesthetic expression

and civil engineering

and to modernize

unique to technical objects

structures. This ingenieur-aesthetik

aesthetics), opposed to both classicism and Art


objects. Muthesius believed that standardization

was inevitable: "More than any other art, architecture strives

toward the typical. Only in this can it find fullillment. Only in the

and continuous

pursuit of this aim can it regain

that effectiveness and undoubted assurance that we admire in

the works of past times that marched along the road of

Nouveau, provided the title lar a 1910 book by Joseph August



opposed to the notion of Typisierung, just as he was hostile

-> 13 93

who described the aesthetic effects 01 machines in



Van de Velde, on the other hand, was strictly

a discourse similar to that of Paul Souriau in France. While try-

to any Kulturpolitik

ing to dispel the German inferiority complex with respect to

cal stance given that he was in the employ 01 the Grand Duke

British industrial production,

of Saxony - and he was supported

Lux and his acolytes also sought to

combat German anxieties regarding the domination

Chapter 06

New production,

new aesthetic

of French

(cultural policy) - a somewhat paradoxi-

and by the individualistic

in his argument by Gropius

positions of August Endell and


Glass Pavilion at the Werkbund


Bruno Taut, Cologne, Germany,


Glass Pavilion at the Werkbund


1914, exterior

1914, interior

Hermann Obrist. The conllict revealed an inherent contradiction


within the Werkbund between the upholders 01 Kunstgewerbe,

both relorm and redemption.

Bruno Taut, Cologne, Germany,

open to daydreams, with glass as an instrument 01

or the applied arts, and those who wished to place design in the
service 01 production, a concept at the heart 01 industrial designo

Futurist mechanization

The most original building at the Cologne exhibition was by

Bruno Taut, one 01 the young Werkbund
Muthesius. A prismatic polyhedral
his Glass Pavilion

rebels hostile to

dome on a circular base,

aimed to demonstrate


ties 01 glass by incorporating

The Italian Futurists based their efforts to lound a new artistic

all the possibili-

this material in the lorm 01 win-

dows, glass bricks, and polychrome

glass mosaics ..

Irieze running around the building's lourteen-Iacet

was inscribed with slogans such as "Happiness



and a new architectural

tance himsell lrom the Jugendstil

01 a Behrensstil


style on the sensations

- even il critics still spoke

(Behrens style) - and Perret trorn the Art

Nouveau, so the artists gathered around the poet and provo-

without glass,

cateur Filippo Tommaso Marinetti revolted against the Stile

how crass!"; "Colo red glass destroys hatred"; "Glass opens

Liberty, the Italian version 01 Art Nouveau (also known as

up a new age"; and "Brick building only does harm." Their

Floreale). This literary and artistic uprising was a response

author was the poet and novelist Paul Scheerbart, whom Taut

to the translormations


had belriended

growth 01 metropoles

such as Milan and Turin. Marinetti's

in 1913 ..

entitled G/asarchitektur
lar ideas, enumerating


In an aphorism-lilled

(1914), Scheerbart


expressed simi-


potential types 01 glass buildings while

a new world based on colored-glass


duced by motion and speed. Just as Behrens came to dis-

sensations and

by industrialization

and the

01 Futurism" appeared in the Paris daily Le Figaro

in 1909. Declaring war on historical cities, Marinetti wrote: "We

will sing 01 the multicolored

and polyphonic

tides 01 revolution

declaring that glass had the potential to be the salvation 01

in the modern capitals; we will sing 01 the vibrant nightly fervor

society and individuals.

01 arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons;

In his novel Das graue Tuch (The Gray Cloth), published


greedy stations that devour smoke-plumed

serpents; lactories

same year, Scheerbart related the exploits 01 a demiurge archi-

hung on clouds by the crooked

tect Ilying over the world in an airship, building observatories

that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, Ilashing in the sun

on glaciers and glass sanatoriums

with a glitter 01 knives." . 21

nature 01 the relationship

on lakeshores ..



between architects and glass, which

lines 01 their smoke; bridges

In 1910 the painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni


01 urban events,

in the nineteenth century had centered on train stations and


exhibition halts, and more recently on model lactories like the

exalting the movement 01 crowds ano the agitation 01 the

Fagus, now shifted. By celebrating the utopian possibilities

glass, Scheerbart and Taut emphasized
ised by an architecture

the experiences



no longer obsessed with structure and


or with its place in stone cities. They heralded an

Chapter 06

New production,

new aesthetic

in his paintings the simultaneity

streets. In his unpublished

"Architettura futurista, manifesto"

(1914), he evoked the possibility

sionism," an architecture

01 an "architectural


01 pure necessity, in which "the

spaces 01 an edilice would provide the maximum



The New City, project, Antonio Sant'Elia, 1914

e a motor." He announced
sm lile will necessarily

that the "dynamic

needs 01 mod-

give rise to an evolving architecture"

- ey have encountered,
e expression."

their architecture

by mechanics

in the construction

in August 1914, Sant'Elia

made 01 "cement, glass, and iron, without painting and without

sculpture, rich only in the innate beauty 01 its lines and reliels."

the more they have gained in artis-

lorrned as those employed

he published

and railroad

Regrettably, in his view, "Processes

letely neglected

In the manilesto

described the Futurist house as "similar to a gigantic machine"

to the needs

:: d noted that "the more ships, automobiles,

s.ations have subordinated

Electric Power Plant, project, Antonio Sant'Elia, 1914

as deeply

have been com-

01 housing, roads, etc."

He called tor a radical alteration 01 the organization

01 build-

ings: "Elevators must not be hidden in stair corners like solitary worms; rather, having become useless, staircases must be
abolished, and elevators must climb like iron and glass snakes

"he elevator, lollowed by the airplane, allowed lor the con-

along the Ironts 01 buildings."

quest 01 the vertical dimension:

in watercolor drawings tor La Citte Nuova (The New City), 98

crease the architectural

"The luture will progressively


with regard to height

and depth. Thus lile will slice through the age-old

e 01 the terrestrial surface, the inlinite verticality

would long remain unknown.

01 the eleva-

nying his manilesto,

:or ... and the spirals 01 the airplane and the dirigible."

-> 22



<esto "L'architettura

almost literally in his July 1914 maniluturista."

ebbia, the artist Leonardo

ario Chiattone

A colounder

the Famiglia Artistica

its work two months earlier at

gallery in Milan, Sant'Elia had previ-

ously been inspired by the aesthetics



tion. Alter the Second World War, the Communist

Antonio Gramsci described


in Lacerba, had wide circulaphilosopher

Futurism, by then discredited

by its alliance with Fascism, as nothing more than a kind of

"Fordist lanlare" based on the "exaltation 01 big cities."




milieu of modernization


a precedent

without which the most relined new architecture

of the 1920s

would not have emerged.

01 Otto Wagner. He had

a series 01 theoretical

ments and industrial


Yet these ideas

Only the illustrations


his ideas

Yet the attention the Futurists drew to machines and to the

and the architect

01 the Nuove Tendenze (New Tendencies)

group, which had exhibited

also undertaken

with the critic Ugo

He also expressed

shown in the Nuove Tendenze exhibition.


"he young architect Antonio Sant'Elia repeated Boccioni's

-> 23

projects lor monu-

like electric power plants. 99

by images 01 such American


as the

Bridge and Grand Central Station, and even more

by Harvey Wiley Corbett's


"Future New York" - which was

in L'illustrazione

cities designed

italiana in 1913 - he imagined

like an "immense,

building site, dynamic

must be exploited,


agile, mobile

in every part," and proclaimed:


utilized, the importance



facades diminished."

088 I 089

In search
of a language:
from Classicism
to Cubism

Some architects sought a source 01 renewal not in new tech-



nologies and responses to industrial production but rather in the

discipline 01 architecture itsell. Their prelerences ranged lrom nos-

The center 01 gravity 01 monumental classicism had largely

talgia tor the classical to a radical rupture with all existing codes

shifted trorn Paris to the United States by the end 01 the nine-

and torrns al representation, even those locused on the machine,

teenth century. The scale 01 American commissions,

in order to return to the more abstract dimensions 01 designo Yet

lunded by big business, the government, or philanthropists,

despite many attempts to overturn it, the architecture taught at the

resulted in buildings - and architectural lirms - 01 unprecedenteo


cole des Beaux-Arts in Paris remained the dominant paradigm

size. For instance, the development 01 railroads and 01 alliances

tor the first two decades 01 the twentieth century. In tact, the cole

among rail companies led Daniel H. Burnham to build Union

was responsible ter the spread 01 a genuine "international style"

Station in Washington, D.C., as a marble edilice that could be

years belore this term was coined.

visually identilied with the Capitol and the White House. In New


Its dissemination was a

belated expression 01 French dominance in matters al taste, con-

York, Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore with Charles Reed

tinuing a pattern that had developed in the eighteenth century and

and Allen Stern built Grand Central Station (1903-13). Based

was reinlorced by the school's location in a city that was still the

on a spatial concept evoking the Roman baths, its giant con-

cultural capital 01 the world.

course was erected over a network 01 underground tracks while


The growing number 01 loreign

students enrolling at the Beaux-Arts beginning in the last third al

a neighborhood

the nineteenth century, the international activities al major French

Gare d'Orsay in Paris, built on an identical principie, was the

took shape on top 01 these sunken spaces. The

academics and prolessionals, and the emigration 01 Beaux-Arts

work al Victor Laloux, the Beaux-Arts prolessor who, not coinci-

instructors also helped propagate the school's curriculum.

dentally, was the mentor to most 01 the school's American stu-

The ongoing success 01 the Beaux-Arts method was due largely

dents. Another monumental New York train station was designec

to its ability to integrate the lunctional requirements 01 moderni-

by the lirm 01 Charles F. McKim, William R. Mead, and Stanlord

zation. The analytical approach taught in Julien-Azais Guadet's

White: Pennsylvania Station (1905-10, demolished

lments et thorie de I'architecture

leatured a waiting room inspired by Rome's Baths 01 Caracalla

(Elements and Theory 01

1964), which

Architecture; 1905), the school's principal design treatise, pre-

and remarkable tor its powerlul exposed steel structure.

pared students to evaluate new types 01 buildings that were more

McKim and White had previously worked with Henry Hobson

complex and less grandiloquent than the great palaces studied in

Richardson. In tact, their lirst significant commission

pursuit 01 the Grand Prix de Rome,

the Boston Public Library (1885-95), which stood across the


with which the Beaux-Arts

curriculum has toa often been associated.

ments applied to nineteenth-century


3 The historicist ele-

buildings slowly disappeared,

had been

street frorn their mentor's Trinity Church. Between 1870 and

1919 their lirm constructed

nearly a thousand

buildings. They

while the principies 01 symmetry and hierarchy were adjusted to

explored the principie 01 the Italian Renaissance

new lunctional and symbolic requirements - sometimes with a

a variety 01 New York buildings, including the University Club

great deal 01 imagination - until the late 1940s.

(1900), a grandiose

Chapter 07

In search of a language: from classicism lo Cubism

palazzo in

pile on Fifth Avenue, and the more delicate

Grand Prix de Rome project at the cole des Beaux-Arts,

Charles Lemaresquier,

Paris, France, 1900



Edwin Lutyens, Ikley, United Kingdom,



Page from Um 1800 (Around 1800),

Paul Mebes, 1908

Morgan Library (1906). On an urban scale, they designed the

with Paul Wallot on the Reichstag in Berlin, invented new forms

campus of Columbia University in upper Manhattan, an axial

by using concrete in buildings such as the Garrison Church in


Ulm (1905-10).




by the dome of Low Memorial Library

Following in the footsteps of several hundred


Fischer taught Camillo Sitte's picturesque

urban precepts along with his own reflections on new build-

other architects, John M. Carrete and Thomas Hastings did their

ing types, first in Stuttgart and later in Munich. Some archi-

professional apprenticeship

tects diverged from the prevailing fixation on antiquity and,

having previously

in McKim, Mead and White's office,

studied in Paris. They went on to design

hotels and homes from Florida to the New York


area, as well as the New York Public Library

(1897-1911), an example of civic magnificence

in the service

even more often, the Renaissance,

idealizing instead other

moments in the history of architecture.

was Um 1800 (Around 1800)


Mebes . ..,5 In this popular collection

A classical



was al so underway in England.

in 1904, Edwin Lutyens set about countering

vanity of "villa-dom,"


launching what he referred to, with char-

acteristic humor, as a "Wrenaissance,"

a return to Christopher

prior to 1914

by the Berlin architect Paul

of delivering culture to the masses.


One of the books most

widely used by German and Austrian designers

of nostalgic images of

building types, Mebes celebrated the hon-

esty and formal restraint found in Germany's rural and bourgeois constructions

at the turn of the previous century. He


the harmony between buildings and

Wren. But Lutyens's frame of reference extended beyond the

their gardens, as well as the stylistic unity of architectural

architect who had rebuilt Saint Paul's. A self-conscious

ments, decoration,


ence to Andrea Palladio - "Palladio is the game," he wrote

In some ways this vernacular

in 1903 ..,4

an expression of the GroBstadtfeind/ichkeit

was evident in his designs for houses such as

Heathcote (1906)


in IIkley, Yorkshire and Nashdom, the res-

idence of Prince and Princess Alexis Dolgorouki



in Taplow,

Erected on a terraced site, the lat-

el e-

and furniture.
and bourgeois traditionalism


(hostility toward

the big city) that took hold among the German intelligentsia
distressed about the erosion of cultural values brought on by

and internationalization.

This anxiety led to the

ter had two different facades - one in exposed stone, the other

idealization of a carefully edited past. The tendency was exem-

in stuccoed

plified by Julius Langbehn's

brick - creating contrasts of rhythm and texture

that extended the sense of counterpoint

he had previously dis-

played, but now within less of a classical straitjacket.

book Rembrandt

a/s Erzieher

(Rembrandt as Educator; 1890), which the author published


Its purpose was to denounce the problems

affecting modern Germany and proclaim art the only possible force for resistance and renewal. The Drerbund

German nostalgia

There was no shortage of proponents

of classicism



organized by the publisher and critic Ferdinand

Avenarius (1902), and the Bund deutscher


Germany, though some slowly freed themselves from its ten-

(Society for the Preservation of the German Homeland),

ets. The Munich architect Theodor Fischer, who had worked

founded in 1904 by the teacher Ernst Rudorff, became the

Chapter 07

In search of a language: from classicism to Cubism








._ ...... _ .._ ..". _ .. ////






Scce Franco ..Autrichienne

industritb __



poUf [os uls



School 01 Rhythmical





Dresden, Germany, 1910-12



__ _.""





105 Drawing Irom Hausbau und Dergleichen


WIEN, L Kmnuslrassc 55,




Socit Franco,..Autrichienne


Building and the Like), Heinrich Tessenow, 1916

106 Cover 01 Das Andere (The Other),

Adoll Loos, 1903

:: incipal mediators between these ideas and architecture.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

- e Bund fought not only for the preservation

Swiss musician mile Jacques-Dalcroze

z: dscapes,

of endangered

but al so for farms that were altogether mod-

(1910-12), 104 which was built tor the

yet infarmed by tradition. It worked far the conservation


onuments as well as of rural structures, plant and animal life,

to his poetic pen-and-ink

- e architect Paul Schultze-Naumburg


r to Der Kunstwart, a journal founded by Ferdinand Avenarius

1887 - was the most effective propagandist


house. Thanks

drawings, Tessenow's architectural

language became widely accessible

- a frequent contri bu-

melded the arche-

types of the classical temple and the bourgeois

a: d traditional practices, customs, holidays, and dress.

es of Heimatschutz.

and the reformer

Wolf Dohrn. Here, Tessenow successfully

in books such as Der

(Building Houses; 1909) and Hausbau und

(House Building and the Like; 1916).

-> 7 105

for the princi-

After the success of his book Hausliche

Loos and the lure of "Western culture"

(Domestic Artistic Care; 1898), in which he argued

. r a refined and traditionalist

culture of domestic architecture,

- e nine volumes of his Kulturarbeiten

(Culture Works), pub-

Adolf Loos was another architect focused on the early architecture of the nineteenth century, particularly on the Viennese

shed from 1901 to 1917, presented a binary vision of German

buildings of Joseph Kornhusel. Praising American technical

ousing, urban landscapes, and gardens, opposing

objects he had discovered

and "counterexamples."


This editorial device, which the radical

oderns would later put to good use, butlressed his argument

States, and combating


both the outdated approaches

Loos set about introducing

considered the only legitimate answer to the question of rnet-

clothing and plumbing,

-opotan expansion. It is telling that Schultze-Naumburg

the ephemeral

among the many members of the Bund deutscher Heimatschutz

stay in the United

and the arbitrary aestheticism

for a thoughtful replication of small, preindustrial cities, which he


on a three-year

of his

of the Secession,

"Western culture," especially


into Vienna. As publisher and author of

broadsheet Das Andere (The Other; 1903), 106

he wrote essays in the spirit of the satirist Karl Kraus. Das Andere

ho went on to found the Deutscher Werkbund: in his eyes and

offered a radical critique of the Potemkin city erected around

ose of his colleagues, there was no contradiction

Vienna's RingstraBe in the 1860s, which Loos considered a


he fight for good industrial farm and ataste for harmony.

-> 6


lie, and bitingly atlacked the fashionable


The most elegant yet rigorous reading of the traditional German

of Joseph Maria Olbrich and Henry van de Velde.


Despite the title of his famous lecture "Ornament and Crime"

produced during the period "around 1800" was

provided by Heinrich Tessenow. In the garden city of Hellerau,

(delivered in 1908, but first published

which was closely associated with the Werkbund, he built sev-

was not categorically

eral sets of houses that achieved an ideal of functionality


through a geometric


8 Loos


he espoused an appropriate, judicious use of ornament in which

and abstract rendition of tradi-

each material was used for what it was, without pretense. In an

ional house types. He also provided Hellerau with its


in 1913 in Paris),

opposed to decoration. On the contrary,

and central edifice, the School for

earlier article, "Das Prinzip der Bekleidung"

(The Principie of

Cladding; 1898), he used metaphors barrowed from fashion to




Garrison Church, Theodor

Fischer, Ulm, Germany,




't .



Chapter 07

and Salatsch Department

Store, Adolf Loos, Vienna, Austria, 1909-11

In search 01 a language: lrom classicism to Cubism





Krntner Bar, Adolf Loos, Vienna, Austria, 1907

ciscuss architecture, and in "Damenmode"

(Ladies' Fashion;

-898), asserting that women were less attractive when they


naked, he praised the anonymous

qualities of English


Steiner House, Adolf Loos, Vienna, Austria, 1910

Everything else, everything which serves a purpose, should be

excluded Irom the realm 01 art."

-> 10

Many of Loos's houses, which often consist 01 cubic volumes

~shion, the ideal of which was to make the wearer totally invis-

with white surfaces and understated

Die in the middle of Piccadilly Circus.

been inspired by houses in London. They were embodiments


-> 9

attachment to certain classical themes was clear in his

-1Seof Doric columns at the entry of the Villa Karma in Montreux,



and the Goldmann

Store (1909-11)


and Salatsch

on the Michaelerplatz

in Vienna.

openings, appear to have

the argument in his essay "Heimatkunst"


(Homeland Art; 1914):

"The building should be dumb on the outside and reveal its

wealth only on the inside."



The exterior, in otherwords,

was meant to belong to society and the interior to the individual.

The latter building provoked a scandal because of the bareness

Differentiating the height of rooms according to their function and

of its lacade on the upper levels, a quality all the more striking

creating complex interpenetrations

since it was located across Irom the entrance to the Imperial

invented the Raumplan, or spatial plan, which revolutionized the

=>alaceand Saint Michael's Church. Soon nicknamed the

conventional vertical superimposition

"Looshaus," the building has a lacade that is divided into three

House (1910)

bands beneath its cornice line: the upper stories, containing

a single story on the street, so he developed the house toward

apartments, are based on a principie of sobriety and anonyrn-

the garden, deeming its centrifugal aspect "Japanese." Also

i1y; the two lower levels, easily visible to passersby, are clad

in Vienna, his house lor Dr. Gustav Scheu (1911-13) seemed to

in green marble. The Doric columns, also in green marble, do

conlirm the analysis 01 his work by another Viennese artist, the

not actually bear the weight of the lacade. This differentiation


on the lacade echoes Louis Sullivan's similar treatment at the

ite, immediate, three-dimensional

Carson, Pirie & Scott Department

thing is thought out, imagined, composed and molded in space

an architectural

primarily of fitting out residential and

interiors. The Karntner Bar (1907)


of floors. In the Steiner

in Vienna, local regulations limited Loos to only

Arnold Schonberq,

who saw it as "a non-cornposconception,"

in which "every-

without any expedient, without auxiliary plans, without interrup-

dialogue with Gottlried Semper.

Loos's work consisted


Store, and it also continues


of levels and split-Ievels, Loos

in Vienna

s a boxlike space just 7 meters deep, 3.5 meters tall, and

tions and breaks; directly, as if all the structures were transparent; as if the eye 01 the spirit were conlronted
parts and as a totality simultaneously."

by space in all its

-> 12

_5 wide (23 by 11 by 11 leet). Loos combined Skyros marble,

~ yx, and wood with mirrors intended to enlarge the sense 01 the

Berlage and the question of proportions

space; the effect was also meant to intensily customers' sense 01

.snsion and disorientation. Loos became involved in designing

Trained at the Zurich Polytechnic Institute, the Dutch archi-

lOuses. Yet he did not consider the house to qualily as "art."

tect Hendrik Petrus Berlage was a reader 01 Viollet-Ie-Duc

11 his essay "Architektur"

(1910), he wrote: "Only a very small

oart of architecture belongs to art: the tomb and the monument.

and Semper, in whom he found the basis for a practical aesthetic: the only aesthetic capable 01 yielding style as such,




Stock Exchange,

Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Amsterdam,





Stock Exchange,

Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Amsterdam,




Chapter 07

In search of a language: from classicism to Cubism


Sint Hubertus Hunting Lodge, Hendrik Petrus Berlage and Bart Van der Leck,


to the many styles of the past, In this, Berlage

in opposition



the principal facade on the Damrak, the eastern facade is more

was quite close to such French architects as Frantz Jourdain.

sedate and respects the scale of the neighboring

Visiting North America fifteen years after Loos, he returned to

principal room is the commodity

Europe full of enthusiasm for Louis Sullivan's and Frank L10yd

large steel structural frame. The grain exchange is topped by

Wright's buildings. Like his Viennese contemporary

horizontal beams, while the stock exchange, at the rear of the

rejected the ephemerality

Loos, he

of fashion, borrowing an aphorism

blocks. The

exchange, which features a

building, has lighter trusses. The difference in the spatial quali-

from Thomas Sheraton's 1794 Cabinet Maker: "Time alters

ties of these three rooms expressed Berlage's belief that archi-

fashion ... but what is founded on geometry and real science

tecture "resides in the creation of spaces, not in the design of

will remain unalterable."


After constructing

-> 13

his first buildings in a Neo-Renaissance

Berlage began to explore systems of proportions


in the Henny

-> 15

The rooms were enclosed by walls whose solid-

ity was punctuated

by the indispensable

structural bracing ele-

ments of brackets, keystones, and lintels.

House in The Hague (1898) - in this case, square propor-

The principal quality of the Stock Exchange is its serenity.

tions. His major project at this date, his third project overall, was

Berlage said that he aimed to achieve an effect of "repose,"

the Amsterdam

Stock Exchange,


designed with a Neo-

Gothic plan in 1885 and built in 1896-1903.



This enormous

edifice was based entirely

on a modular grid and the "Egyptian triangle" system of propor-

by which he meant both serenity and rest: "In the smaller works
of the ancients [there) is a charming repose. In contrast, our
present-day architecture gives a very restless impression.
I would almost say that the two words 'style' and 'repose' are

tions, with a height-to-base

ratio of eight to five. He drew on the

synonymous; that repose is the same as style and style the same

research of his compatriots

Jan H. de Groot, J. L. M. Lauweriks,

as repose."

-> 16

The Italian architect Aldo Rossi stressed that

and K. P. C. de Bazel, who had developed this system three

the Stock Exchange "does not seem to have the typical appear-


ance of the cathedral of capital, of the temple of cash, which its


in competition

proposals that Berlage had the

to study. He asserted: "1 have become convinced

that geometry, the mathematical

science, is not only of great

usefulness in the creation of artistic form but is also an absolute

necessity." He hazarded a comparison:

"Why should architec-

ture - the art most frequently compared to music - something

that led Schlegel to the well-known
- be composed

-> 14

expression 'frozen music'

without rhythmic, that is to say, geometrical

In keeping with the rationalist credo that the plan

name calls to mind," and that strangely, in its mysterious richness, it "seems instead like a market, a store, a gymnasium;
it is devoid of the glorification
building had considerable

of bourgeois wealth."

impact throughout

-> 17


Europe, notably

on the young Berlin architect Ludwig Mies, who was in competition with Berlage for the commission

for the Krbller-Mller

House. Though the Dutch architect failed to realize that project,

he would design others for this rich family from The Hague: the

should determine the elevation, the silhouelte and especially

Sint Hubertus Hunting Lodge (1914-19)

the fenestration paltern of the Stock Exchange reveal the build-

the Holland House in London (1914). In the latter he most ciearly

ing's interior organization. While there is a rhythmic quality to

put his observations


in Hoenderloo and

of Sullivan's work to use.




"Cubist House" at the Salon d'Automne,



Paris, France, 1912

the Auguste Rodin exhibition in 1902 - a prime example of

Cubism and cubistics

Prague's focus on Paris. As a student of Wagner, Kotra favored

Certain opponents to the idea of renewing architecture by means

linear patterns, as in his designs for the Urbnek Buildinq in

of its own linguistic codes turned in the direction of new art

Prague (1911-13) and the house of the music publisher Jan



the geometric

which for a time seemed to promise

rationality sought by Berlage and others. Initial

attempts at incorporating

the devices of early Cubist paint-

Laichter (1908-9). He displayed a more dynamic conception of space in the Hradec Krlov Museum (1909-12). His

Pavel Jank found a different precedent for Czech

ing into architecture were rather ineffective, though. In 1912,

Cubism in the sculptural forms of the Bohemian Baroque,

the sculptor Raymond Duchamp-Villon

which he updated in his work. In 1910 Jank criticized Wagner:

exhibited the facade

and ground floor of a rather strange "Cubist House"


at the

Salon d'Automne in Paris. Its floor plan was conventional

its Cubist touches mostly ornamental.




Yet Duchamp-Villon

"It is possible to predict the future direction of architecture:

ation. Artistic thinking and abstraction
of the plastic realization of architectural

establish a new decor of architecture, not only in the character-

to the fore."

istic lines of our times, which would be but a transposition



Jank proposed

renewal of architecture

concepts, will come

a complete

and particularly

program for the

of the facade, pro-

pounding the idea that a building should look like the result of a

Rather, we must penetrate the relation of these objects among

process of crystallization.

themselves, in order to interpret, in lines, planes, and synthetic

Groups in Prague such as the Association

of Visual Artists and

volumes, which are balanced, in their place, in rhythms analo-

the Mnes Society carried on heated architectural

gous to those of the life surrounding

this idea. Jank's ideas were realized by Josef Gor,



His ensemble at


practicality, which will recede, and the pursuit of plastic form,

had major ambitions, if a 1916 letter is any evidence: "We must

these lines and forms in other materials, and which is an error.

will predominate


debates over

the Salon, undertaken on the initiative of the painter Andr Mare,

in his orthogonal glass facade for the Wenke Depattment Store

essentially remained a showcase for his own work and that of

in .larornf (1909-10) and the House ofthe Black Madonna in

his brother, Marcel Duchamp, as well as of his friends Roger

Prague (1912), 115 whose facade combines

de La Fresnaye, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Fernand Lger,

its structural members with the crystalline prisms of its win-

the dark solids of

and Marie Laurencin. Cubism here was used not to challenge

dows. The house introduced

the spatiality of the living room or bedroom, but to create cor-

a break with the existing codes of eclecticism

into Prague's old city the idea that

and the Czech

nices and pediments whose polygonal shapes were essentially

Sezession could lead to a unified aesthetic capable of rivaling

just an ornamental theme.

the Gothic or the Bohemian Baroque. Gor's

The most fruitful encounter between architecture and Cubism

radicalized by Josef Chochol with a house in thePrague

took place in Prague. At the time, Czech architectural

of vvsehrad

ture was dominated


Chapter 07


by atto Wagner, whose message was

by Jan Kotra, the designer of a pavilion built for

In search of a language: from classicism to Cubism



approach was

and a building on Neklanova Street

in the same city (1913). Both were angular structures in which

the building's entire volume contributed to highly contrasting



House of the Black Madonna, Josef Gocr,

Prague, Bohemia

House in Vysehrad, Josef Chochol, Prague, Bohemia (Czech Republic),


(Czech Republic), 1912

prismatic effects. Chochol displayed almost Futurist leanings

in his declarations

regarding an architecture

of connections

with daily life: "We first and always demand and need the fresh
excitement of new artistic intensities, springing from the tumultuous and glowing mass of contemporary
In 1930 the functionalist

basic, almost absurd misunderstanding

specific postulates of architecture"
Czech buildings.


-> 21

critic Karel Teige denounced




of the fundamental


they constituted


by these

an original and

intense effort to replace classical certainties with the search for

a new code, using Cubism as a formula in a paradoxical


to distinguish the individual work.




and its
side effects

Instead of disrupting

the pattern of transformation

was engaged worldwide,

in which

whose watercolors

the first industrial war

in history had the opposite effect: by accelerating

tion, World War I revealed and challenged

depicted the operations

French team of camoufleurs.


the nationalist lean-


of their own

The second, more indirect mobilization

was that of architec-

ture itself, which was called upon to give shape to construc-

ings that had characterized the emerging architectural cultures.

tion programs for a war that had quickly become "total." Though

Some reformers of the prewar era had indeed expressed a

the design of fortifications,

certain admiration for aesthetic aspects of the technology of

expanses of territory, remained essentially a military task, pro-

which spread across unprecedented

war. Members of the Deutscher Werkbund, whose buildings

grams related to aerial forces, the war's great novelty, were

in Cologne were promptly converted into barracks in 1914,

sometimes conceived

were attracted to the extraordinary

Perret designed concrete and steel airplane hangars and shelters

rial navy vessels.

-> 1

rationality of German impe-

The Italian Futurists, for their part, hoped

by architects or civil engineers. Auguste

for dirigibles, while Euqene Freyssinet built airship hangars in

Italy would enter the war on the side of the Allies. As early as

Avord and Istres in 1916 and 1917. Continuing on from his war

his 1909 manifesto Marinetti had declared,

work after peace came, Freyssinet built gigantic parabolic dirig-

"We will glorify war

- the only true hygiene of the world - militarism,

the destructive

-> 2


ible hangars at Orly Airfield (1921-3, bombed 1944).

gesture of anarchists, the beautiful ideas which

Several members


the movement joined the Lombard

Battalion of Volunteer Cyclists and Automobilists.

They would


and 50-meter-high



(985-foot by 364-foot) vaults

were made rigid by the wavelike configuration

of their arches,

which were built from precast components.

paya heavy price in the war: Umberto Boccioni died in 1916

The third mobilization was even more diffuse: it had to do with

after falling off a horse, and Antonio Sant'Elia was killed the

the industrial nature of a total war, in which human and material

same year by a bullet to the head.

resources are deployed under the direction of state organizations

A triple mobilization

socialists like Albert Thomas in France. Throughout

run by industrialists - men like Walther Rathenau in Germany and

Europe and

the United States, the creation of major munitions and aviation

At first, architects were mobilized only for battle. The time they
spent in the trenches would be the determining
a generation


of young European architects, shaping their view

of the world for decades to come.

Erich Mendelsohn
an architecture



On the Russian front,

filled his sketchbooks


with visions of

that would express the dynamism

of industry.

and painters on the front lines were enlisted in the

earliest efforts to create camouflage.

Among those invotved in

this effort were Franz Marc, Fernand Lger, and Andr Mare,

Chapter 08

The Great War and its side effects

factories and shipyards necessitated the hasty construction of

housing developments

to shelter thegrowing

workforce. Archi-

tects took advantage of such projects to continue their pre-war

research. Paul Schmitthenner's Staaken Garden City (1914-18)


near the munitions factor y in Spandau, west of Berlin, realized

the village ideal of Heimatschutz

by using the architectural

guage of the eighteenth-century

Dutch quarter in Potsdam.


Schmitthenner organized the houses according to five given types

and standardized elements like doors and windows.


119 ~


Garden City, Paul Schmitthenner,

Industrial Building, from a sketchbook,


Dirigible Hangars, Eugne Freyssinet, Orly, France, 1921-3, demolished

Staaken, Germany, 1914-18

concept after 1918 by politicians

The spread of Taylorism

In all the warring nations, production

was transformed

new concepts related to the scientific organization


Erich Mendelsohn,

and economists,

and its

use byarchitects.



of labor.

and reconstruction

in the United States by the engineer Frederick

Winslow Taylor and described


(1911), ->

The first effect of the war, even before it was over, was an unprec-

in his Principies of Scientific

these concepts were known in Europe

edented increase in the number and size of military cemeteries.

even before the war, At the time, socialist critics had denounced

Groups such as the Deutscher Werkbund set to work designing

the "organization

them, playing a role in shaping a genuine cult of the warrior.

of overwork."

But the war-driven

need to

-> 9

make do with a reduced workforce and to incorporate women

In Great Britain, the Imperial War Graves Commission, founded

into industrial production

in 1917 by Fabian Ware, developed burial places in France and

archy orrnanaqernent
workers' movements.

led to the introduction

of a rigid hier-

in"fhe factory and to strict control over



products, particularly

Belgium for the bodies of soldiers left on the battlefield. To assist

him, Ware hired the writer Rudyard Kipling and the architects

munitions, had to meet new standards of quality, reliability, con-

Reginald Blomfield and Edwin Lutyens. They designed many

sistency, and compatibility.



which had been

projects, including the cemetery of taples,

initiated during the American Civil War, became a general

overlooking the English Channel near Le Touquet (1918-20),

requirement and soon permeated architecture.

and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme

the engineer Heinrich Schaechterle,


In Germany

(1927-32) 120 - a giant brick and stone arch that is supported by

head of the Kbnigliche

(Royal Manufacturing

Office), known as Fabo,

prompted the founding of the Deutsche Industrie-Normen,


several similar arches and suggests a type of classical abstraetion.

-> 10

In contrast to these serene memorial landscapes, the

ossuary built in Douaumont by Lon Azma to commemorate

DIN (German Industrial Norms), which eventually regulated


the entirety of production. The Americans also intensified their

bloody battle of Verdun (1920-32),122 featuring a long concrete

efforts to make manufacturing

vault, resembles a military structure grafted onto a neo-Roman-

processes as rational as possi-

ble. After the war, French architects studied their approach

order to make reconstruction
The degree of organization

more efficient.


The conduct of military operations

industrial production
the transformation
moting planning

esque steeple. There was no shortage of references to the architectural past in memorials such as Tannenberg (1924-7) 121 in

-> 8

needed to conduct a war that

millions of combatants

to the widespread


Hohenstein, Eastern Prussia; its series of towers arranged in a

and even more workers led

circle, built by Johannes and Walter Krger, evoke the Castel

of the concept of "planning."

del Monte built by the Hohenstaufens

and the organization

required a continuous


effort to prepare

of the territory. Wartime propaganda

led to the nearly universal adoption


of this

in Apulia. One excep-

tion to this nostalgic approach was the Monumento ai Caduti

(Monument to the Fallen; 1932-3) in Como, built by Giuseppe
Terragni, which took an aerodynamic

form basedon

a Futurist

sketch made by Sant'Elia twenty years earlier.





Memorial, Johannes

Krger and Walter Krger, Hohenstein,

Germany, 1924-7, destroyed




to the Missing 01 the Somme, Edwin Lutyens, Thiepval,

France, 1927-32


Ossuary, Lon Azma, Fleury-devant-Douaumont,

France, 1920-32

Even cities lar Irom the lront lines lelt the weight 01 a war that

inhabitants' desire far recognizable

turned them into arsenals and impoverished them.

mon concern among the rebuilders, it led them to propase


-> 11


01 destroyed urban areas soon became a high-


torrns was certainly a com-

that were lar from literal. These were occasiorially

stakes enterprise. Urban planners and architects rallied to rebuild

combined with authentic technological

even belore the hostilities had come to an end, sometimes work-

tion. Notwithstanding

revolutions in construc-

the fact that iconoclastic systems such as

ing in an international context. In France the American reliel

Le Corbusier's Dom-ino project had little success, the immedi-

elfart was not just military and economic. Beginning in 1917, the

ate postwar period saw the triumph of reinforced concrete in

American urban planner Gearge Burdett Ford assisted the as so-

northeast France, particularly for industrial structures and civil-

ciation La Renaissance des Cits (The Renascence of the Cities)

ian buildings. At the same time, certain impressive structural

in the reconstruction

leats, such as the rebuilding

of Rheims,


a city considered


01 the concrete frame 01 Rheims

since the German shelling of its cathedral in 1914. Ford's zoning-


based plan lar that city would be the first reconstruction

preserve an idealized vision of "reconstitution."

approved in France after the war.

-> 12


While the most advanced

by Henri Deneux (1924-6), had to be clad in stone to

tainly al so the case with the Grand'Place

This was cer-

in Arras, which was

French and Belgian urban planners were involved in projects lar

re-created from scratch.

re-creating destroyed cities, their realizations were lar more con-

A careful look at complexes such as the garden cities 01


servative. In many cases they represented the triumph 01 region-

Rheims and the railroad towns 01 Lille-Dlivrance,

alist ideals. The sale reconstruction

Tergniers, built for the Compagnie

effort in Germany - where

Douai, and

du Nord under the direction

innovative architects were careful to adhere to the principies of

of the engineer Raoul Dautry, reveals that regionalism


- was in western Prussia. The showcase of this

hand in hand with standardization


was the city 01 Goldap, rebuilt by Fritz Schophol

In addition to these projects in areas affected by combat,

in 1919-21.

-> 13

Prussian urban centers seemed to lollow to

the letter the traditionalist recommendations

Paul Schultze-Naumburg,

which were codified in the work 01the

architect Friedrich Ostendarf.

(The Reconstituted

studies 01 village buildings


the exhibition

La Cit

in 1917 - in which


in the regions ruined by the war

were exhibited alongside Tony Garnier's Cit Industrielle

the torrns 01 traditional

rural architecture

as a basis for reconstructing

and rationalization.

postwar programs included housing for veterans, who soon

became a considerable

lorce on the European political scene.

In German cities, housing developments

for veterans figured

into urban expansion plans. In Great Britain, the government's

-> 14

On the other side of the front, lollowing


of Paul Mebes and


-> 15

specific goal of providing "homes fit far heroes to live in."

-> 16

were widely used

urban areas.

interventions during the war years in the sphere of social policy

continued with the British Housing Act of 1919, which had the

Postwar recomposition

But to see

these rebuilt structures as no more than an expression of con-

Though the damage caused by World War I was unprecedented,

servative taste would be an oversimplification.

the consequences

Chapter 08

The Great War and its side effects

Though the

of war went lar beyond mere destruction.


Plan lor the reconstruction


01 Rheims, George Burdett Ford, Rheims,

France, 1917

Farm buildings

shown at the La Cit Reconstitue



France, 1917

The new political geography

that took shape had a direct

impact on urban planning and architecture,

the intense exchanges

that developed


New architects between science

and propaganda


among the defeated

nations and lasted until the early 1930s. The relationships

After being "under fire" and experiencing

between Weimar Germany and the Soviet Union and between

- to borrow the titles of firsthand accounts of the front lines by

Germany and Turkey were as significant

Henri Barbusse (1916) and Ernst Jnger (1920) ~ 17

of Americanization

as the initial inroads

in Germany. During this same period,

forced migrations,

ing generation was faced with contradictory

such as that of one million Greeks evicted

from Turkey, had drastic effects on cities, quadrupling

the "storm of steel"


the ris-

aspirations. The

aspiration to a classical "return to order," as announced

in Jean

Cocteau's pamphlet Le coq et /'arlequn (Cock and Harlequin;

of Athens in just a few years. After the collapse

1918), reflected an anxiety stemming from the loss of cultural

of the German and Austrian empires, Czarist Russia and the

reference points. This anxiety was the basis of Oswald Spengler's

Ottoman Empire gave way to new nationalist divisions and



Decline of the West; 1917-22), which became compulsory


such as Czechoslovakia,

and Turkey, which used architecture


to affirm their identities.

diatribe Oer Untergang

architects such disquietude

Middle East - Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq - were transformed



modern plans and construction.

As nations dissolved

and re-formed,


reading for many architects. ~ 18 For many intellectuals and

Territories placed under French and British mandates in the

tions were al so transformed

des Abendlandes

coexisted with the desire for an

modernity, to be achieved through a radical

break with the outdated world that had led to the war. Faith in


and relocated according

to new

the potential of science to enable humanity to transcend conflict led to the notion of experimental, scientific, or "Iaboratory"

political borders. They were run by men who had been pro-

architecture of the 1920s and 1930s. In this work the authority

foundly changed

accorded to the natural sciences was evident.

The emigration

by war, and in some cases even displaced.

of thousands

neers as a consequence
figured professional

of Russian architects

of the Bolshevik

and engi-



circles in parts of Europe, while other

During the decade between the armistice of 1918 and the stock
market crash of 1929, a postwar economy boosted by the spread
of Fordism seemed to promise both affordable,

durable con-

groups were faced with forced relocation. Above all, their

sumer goods and high wages. The rise of newly founded



on the front lines made young architects


eager to

to building a different society. Shortly after returning

like the League of Nations and the International

Labour Organization

promised to ensure a peaceful world. The

to civilian life, architects

in Germany and Russia established


utopian work collectives

and devoted themselves

to translating

try, and the grand spectacles


ground for the activities of the professional elites. Like political

the need for social change into new experimental

of the illustrated press, the motion picture indusof the world's fairs provided fertile

groups - but also in imitation of the strategies of public relations

and advertising firms, whose growth accompanied

Chapter 08

The Great War and its side effects

the spread



Arras, France, rebuilt 1919-34


Portrait 01 an Architect,


01 Fordism and consumerism


- architects


01 using slogans to sum up their working

and, more often, their aesthetic positions.



The Architect,

Maria Sironi, 1922


to the

-> 19

Le Corbusier thus identilied his "Cinq points d'une architecture

moderne" (Five Points 01 a Modern Architecture;

1927), while

Hitchcock and Philip Johnson enumerated the

"three principies"

01 the International Style (1932). In Athens the

Conqres internationaux


moderne (International

Congresses 01 Modern Architecture), or CIAM, boiled down

urban planning to "Iour lunctions"
such quantiliable
tectural periodicals


(1933). The predilection

and the prolileration

revealed to what extent architecture

become a mass medium in its own right, particularly




01 archihad

now that

had become easier to achieve and


Architects became the heroes 01 modern times in paintings by

Wilhelm Schnarrenberger

126 and Mario Sironi. 127 The strug-

gles and passions 01 the interwar architect later inspired Ayn

Rand's 1943 novel The Fountainhead,

whose protagonist was

played by Gary Cooper in King Vidor's lilm adaptation. In 1924

the Dada artist Hans Richter described

in an "internationally

the "new architect"



space. According

Richter he had to possess both a "new sensuousness"


and the

ability to respond to a society that was "more practical and less


in a world 01 "rapid mobility" and "precise calcu-


The architect attuned to his era soon became, as

-> 21

the Russian Constructivist architect Moisei Ginzburg noted two

years later with respect to Le Corbusier, "the very ligure 01 the
new man, lull 01 energy and perseverance
which he deploys in delense 01 his ideas."

in the propaganda




in Weimar
the Netherlands

No nation was more deeply affected by the trauma of World War I

- and a majority of artists - including

than Germany. The caste-bound

Meidner, Max Pechstein, and Karl Schmitt-Rottluff

society of the Hohenzollern

Empire was replaced by the democratic

its highly decentralized

Weimar Republic and

political structure. Architectural

cies began to be shaped principally

by municipal adminis-

trations, though some national organizations






put forward the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk


Written by Bruno Taut, this programmatic

Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg in 1919 and the repres-

shall no longer be the enjoyment


Social Democratic-dominated

The Arbeitsrat

serious or radicalattempt


to transform the modes of produc-


laid out the new republic's

by insisting on the "public character

the "unitary supervision



where the

of the few but the life and

of the masses." .., 1

tion. This left on the agenda only the utopia of a progressive

notably in the field of construction,

statement featured

slogans such as "Art and people must form a unity" and "Art

sion of the Spartacist League, their revolutionary party, the new


- the for-

mer were clearly in control. In its "Architektur-Program,"

total work of art - "under the wing of a great architecture."

them. After the assassination of the leftist leaders


Georg Kolbe, Ludwig

of all building activity,"

of whole urban districts, streets, and

estates," and the creation of "permanent

model of the Bauhtte - or medieval guild - proved seductive.

mental sites for testing and perfecting

For a few years the unions considered

having the Bauhtten

effects." It demanded

participate directly in the reconstruction

of the war-damaged

of all monuments,


the dissolution



new architectural
of all academies

war memorials,


that required an

north of France as part of reparations. These political and eco-

excessive quantity of materials, as well as the creation of a

nomic strateqiestound


a cultural and architectural response in

center to ensure the fostering of the arts within the

Expressionism, an aesthetic orientation born in poetry and in


painting, which favored dynamic forms that embodied

In April 1919 members of the Arbeitsrat


the psy-

torment of wartime Germany.

of future law-making."

tellung fr unbekannte


organized the Auss-

(Exhibition for Unknown

In the catalog Gropius wrote that archltecture

was "the crystalline

The Arbeitsrat fr Kunst



of man's noblest thoughts,

his ardor, his humanity, his faith, his religion! ... There are no
Following the empire's collapse,



events intended to reveal new conceptions


space. In late 1918, with a growing

workers' and soldiers'


being organized,

that means, lord of art, who will build gardens out of deserts

the Arbeitsrat

and pile up wonders to the sky. [italics in original]"

in Berlin

of Walter Gropius, Cesar Klein, and Adolf

Behne. Though the council was composed

of a minority of

architects - including Otto Bartning, and Bruno and Max Taut

Chapter 09


the way for

him who will once again deserve the name of architect, for

number of

fr Kunst (Work Council for the Arts) was established

under the direction

architects today, we are all of us merely preparing


in Weimar Germany and the Netherlands

..,3 Taut

affirmed in the same leaflet that the desire for the future was

in the making: "One day there will be a Weltan[world-view],

crystal - architecture."

and then there will al so be its sign, its












IIlustration from Architekturentwrfe


Projects), Hermann

Finsterlin, 1919-20


Illustration from Die Auflsung

der Stiidte, oder

die Erde eine gute Wohnung (The Dissolution of Cities,

130 ~

Plate from Alpine Architektur

(Alpine Architecture),

Bruno Taut, 1919

or the Earth as a Good Dwelling), Bruno Taut, 1920

h a crystalline architecture

had been prophesied


adopting as his own the anti-urban arguments 01 Piotr Kropotkin

-",ul 8cheerbart, to whom the Arbeitsrat's manilesto Ruf zum

and other anarchist and socialist theorists. Taut also lounded

=-a.uen (Call to Build; 1920) was dedicated. In 1919 Taut pub-

the periodical

shed his book Die Stadtkrone

(The City Crown), 131 an urban

ion lull 01 relerences to pagodas and temples, pro pos~

to place at the center 01 the luture city a soaring tower that


(Dawn) and from 1921 to 1923 devoted

his services to the city 01 Magdeburg

the social program prescribed
Sorne 01 the participants

in an effort to bring about

by the Arbeitsral.

in the Glserne Kette exchanges



uld embody its spiritual aspirations. The stunning plates

-" his Alpine Architektur,

130 published

the same year, pro-

ed the most systematic expression 01the new architecture

ing site. This was the case with Hablik and with Hermann
Finsterlin, whose projects, despite their apparently

- which the Arbeitsrat aspired, while expressing the ideal 01

programs, were mainly situated in an imaginary

::;otherhood among the peoples 01 Europe. Indeed, his depic-


;;ons of the multicolored

of pyramidal

glass cupolas 01 this architecture

suspended above the Alps seemed a response to the paci-

were unmistakably

n 01 his German compatriot Thomas Mann's 1924 novel Der




;; t texts by the French writer Romain Rolland and an anticipazauberberg

dently avoided putting their words into action on the buildrealistic

world. Hablik's


1921) consisted

01 prisms, while Finsterlin's


Projects; 1919-20)


evoking snails, seashells,

and sea urchins.

(The Magic Mountain). The origins of these images

both in 8cheerbart's

writings and in the plates published

y Ernst Haeckel in his Kunstformen

ature) and Kristallseelen

Dynamism in architecture

der Natur (Art Forms in

(Crystal Souls) ... 5

The fluid and indeed elusive Expressionist

=rom late 1919 to late 1920, in another exaltation 01 crystal-


ine transparency, the utopian correspondence


known as the

Glseme Kette (Glass chain) brought together the Taut broth-

that was embodied

pictorial experiments

Behrens, who designed

Scharoun. The pseudonyms


several new structures

his lormer architectural


a world of fractured

dynamic lorms. It also attracted older architects

ers, Wenzel Hablik, Hans and Wassili Luckhardt, and Hans

adopted by the authors 01 this


in these projects shared with


like Peter
that trans-

language ... 6 His headquar-

series of chain letters - among them Anlang (beginning), Mass,

ters for Hbchst in Franklurt am Main (1920-4)

was a more

Stellarius, Prometh, and Angkor - allude to the reconciliation

Iyrical version 01 his classic prewar buildings.

By rellecting

01 man and the cosmos, an aspiration typical 01 the immediate

the vertical light coming through glass rools onto multicolored

postwar periodo Bruno Taut rounded out this series 01 utopian



with Die Auflosung



oder die Erde

eine gute Wohnung (The Dissolution of Cities, or the Earth as a

Good Dwelling; 1920),128

in which he imagined a great migra-

tion lrom the corrupted cities to the redemptive countryside,

walls, he created one 01 the most striking

interiors associated

with Expressionism.

Hans Poelzig's new projects responded to Taut's call tor transparency by playing with sol id masses. In his contribution
the competition

tor the Haus der Freundschaft


(House 01



















Great Playhouse, Hans

Poelzig, Berlin, Germany, 1918-19


Illustration from Die Stadtkrone

(The City Crown), Bruno Taut, 1919

Friendship; 1916) in Constantinople;

the magical grotto he

devised within the GroBe Schauspielhaus




(Great Playhouse;

in Berlin, where Max Reinhardt staged his musical

and the successive

variants 01 his Festspielhaus

In 1919 Erich Mendelsohn

exhibited his wartime sketches trorn

the tront lines at the Paul Cassirer Gallery in Berlin. These consisted 01 very small India-ink perspectives
houses, and hangars. He associated

01 tactories, ware-

the dynamism

01 their

(Festival Hall; 1920-1) in Salzburg, he introduced a new world

strikingly sculptural torrns, which appeared to be lrozen in motion,

01 imposing and mysterious lorms. In 1919, apropos 01 the post-

with the "elastic qualities" 01 new materials: "The living qual-

war resurrection 01 the German Werkbund, Poelzig declared:

ity 01 architecture depends upon sensuous seizure by means

"True understanding

01 touch and sight: upon the terrestrial cohesion 01 mass, upon

01 architecture is so unspeakably important

because it determines the appearance

has been so disligured

01 our homeland, which

by the hall-hearted

architecture 01 recent

the super-terrestrial

liberty 01 light. ... Out 01 its own laws,

lays down the conditions that govern its active

decades .... But it is not possible to reinstate architecture as a


major art overnight. This will be possible only when a coherent

geois Jewish establishment allowed him to put his ideas into

major revolution 01 souls has taken place, when the conviction

action more quickly than other architects, and his projects had

that we must create things tor eternity has gained general rec-

an impact in the United States as early as 1921.


newspaper publisher Rudoll Mosse, Mendelsohn,


As an architect with close ties to film and theater,

Poelzig designed the set representing

medieval Prague in Paul


Mendelsohn's social connections in Berlin's bour-

the young Viennese architect Richard Neutra,


For the

assisted by

built a super-

Wegener's The Golem (1923), creating an atmosphere as dis-

structure on top 01 the Berliner Tageblatt Building

turbing as that in lilms like Robert Wiene's Cabinet of Doctor


Caligari (1920) and Friedrich Murnau's Nosferatu (1922). Poelzig

with torceful horizontal lines that overpowered the original

continued to use his Expressionist

lacade. His Hat Factory complex in Luckenwalde, Germany,



language 01 stalactites and

the 1920s, including

in his studies 01


the corner 01 the block into a kind 01 ship's prow,

(1923) leatured concrete buildings with oblique roots that

permanent buildings or the Berlin Fair 01 1928.

resembled tolds 01 paper, creating a spectacular

The Expressionist aesthetic 01 the immediate postwar period also



affected young architects whose initial works had been 01 a more


rationalist bent. Gropius, for instance, echoed the engravings 01

tor Albert Einstein within the compound

Max Pechstein and Lyonel Feininger in his Mrzqefllenen-


Denkmal (Monument to the March Dead; 1920-1) in Weimar,

solar spectrum,

with its jagged thrust to the sky. Gropius designed Adoll

a tower topped by a cupola, and a horizontal volume into


which light beams trorn above were guided and collected tor

wooden house in Berlin-Steglitz

the same realm 01 angles and interrupted

lines, but with a

calmer symmetry. The house's construction


Chapter 09

business as a commercial


(1920-1), in

was expedited by

dealer in lumber.

in Weimar Germany and the Netherlands

most powerlul building was the laboratory erected



01 the Potsdam

Intended lor experiments with the

the lab combined

two distinct elements:

analysis. The two elements were integrated in a plastic sculptural mass whose continuous

surtace made it look as if it were

made 01 concrete rather than stuccoed brick. Though the name



135 Garkau Farm, Hugo Hiiring, Scharbeutz-Klingberg,

Germany, 1922-6
Einstein Tower, Erich Mendelsohn,


Potsdam, Germany, 1919-21

steinturm (Einstein Tower) is an unmistakable

-~ series of Bismarcktrme

reference to

(Bismarck Towers) built in many

=-'es throughout Germany before 1914, this structure erected

- scientific purposes high above the city was intended, more

oundly, as a kind of urban crown, responding to Taut's ideas.


forward motion that this brick sphinx seems to imply

- ght be a materialization

of the lan vital described

the Glaserne Kette, took part in the reconstruction


.::'" gson in his L'volution cratrice (Creative Evolution; 1907),

-'ch was translated into German in 1912. In any case, it sug-

- founded in 1918 by Bruno Beye, Cesar

Klein, Moritz Meltzer, Max Pechstein, and Heinrich Richter built the Garkau Farm in Scharbeutz-Klingberg,

by Henri

of west-

ern Prussia until 1925. Hugo Hrinq, a member of the

near Lbeck

The barn and cowshed leatur~d both angu-

lar and curved shapes, adhering to the Expressionist


01 dynamic formo They were covered in exposed brick and

boards, concealing

their concrete structure and latticelike wood

;38tS a completely different approach to organic form than the

Iraming, which bore a striking modernity

little visible lrom the


outside. The larm's plan was determined

by its utilitarian pur-

shapes Finsterlin was drawing at the time.

- 1924 Mendelsohn

crossed the ocean with the filmmaker

and discovered

the United States. The experience



_ ionized his way of thinking. He visited Frank l.loyd Wright


d, most importantly, absorbed a new visual culture that he

ould report on in Amerika, das Bilderbuch
erica, an Architect's

Picture Book; 1926).

eines Architekten
-> 10

After con-

="onting the spectacle of the streets and skyscrapers

ork and Chicago, Mendelsohn


the Schocken department

of New

his own archi-

sto res he built in Chemnitz

134 and Stuttgart (1929) took on almost aerodynamic

ms and accentuated

the play of light. In Berlin, the WOGA

-Bisure Complex on the Kufrstendamm

(1928-9), dominated

~ the Universum Movie Theater, integrated contradictory


pose - to house and feed cattle - and laithfully



The Hanseatic cities of northern Germany were particularly

fertile ground for architectural

research; their Gothic brick

seemed to anticipate

the vertical

Fritz Hger designed the Chilehaus (1922-3), 138 a large

block with curved, surging facades clad in dark brick and

with medieval motils. The acute angle of the build-

ing's prow seemed a response to New York's Flatiron Building,

toward which the vessels 01 the Hamburg-Amerika
Reflecting Hamburg's dominion
architect Robert Natus replicated

the Chilehaus


associated with Hger in the construction

-> 11


Line sailed.

over the Baltic, the Estonian

in Tallinn in 1936.

urban design, the absence of which Mendelsohn

massing 01 the

shipping company offices built in the 1920s. In Hamburg,

;;;'ams into a single aesthetic entity, reflecting an aspiration to

-ad deplored in the United States.

respected the

that its Iyrical exterior seemed to deny.

12 The brothers

in miniature

Hans and Oskar Gerson,

of the Sprinkenhol

(1926-9), built the Ballinhaus Office Building (1926-9)

more conventionally


using a

geometry. Bernhard Hoetger's

Hanseatic Expressionism

designs broke loose lrom the constraints of the office build-

"he young Expressionists

ony lor radical artists, revisited the vocabulary

ing. His houses (1922) and cal (1924-5) in Worpswede, a colore episodically,

alternated between theorizing and,

building. Hans Scharoun, a contributor to

rural architecture.

of the north's

Perhaps most notable were his buildings




De Dageraad


Hendrik Petrus Berlage, 1914-17

Plan lar Amsterdam-Sauth,

on BttcherstraBe


in Bremen, which resembled sculptural

Hausing, Michel de Klerk and Piet Kramer, Amsterdam,



Fritz Hoqer, Hamburg,

Germany, 1922-3

language, also seems to anticipate Hoetger's buildings 01the

collages. These, particularly the house lor the painter Paula

1920s. Among the assistants on the Scheepvaarthuis



the young de Klerk, who designed many competition




where a rough exterior accorn-

panied an oneiric layout 01 oddly convoluted

rooms, lully

belore building the Hillehuis (1912), an apartment house echo-

exploited the resources 01 brick.

ing the complex vertical organization 01 Van der Mey's building.

Most signilicantly,

De Klerk and the Amsterdam

de Klerk's three projects Ior the Eigen Haard

(Own Hearth) cooperative


in Amsterdam,

to 1926, created a neighborhood

built Irom 1922

in which urban lorm was

The obvious parallels between these buildings in Hamburg and

absorbed into a continuum

Bremen and those erected in Amsterdam

play 01the bricks' colors, which range rom crimson to orange;


in 1915 were not coincidental.

by Michel de Klerk
Though partly attribut-

able to a shared culture 01 brick construction,

the correspond-

01 interrelated sculptural effects. The

the way they are laid both horizontally and vertically; and their
diverse shapes, which vary Irom rectilinear to convex to con-

ences went deeper. To some extent, Weimar policies were a

cave, combine to create a rich world in which the modest size

continuation 01 Dutch housing legislation, notably the Woningwet

01 the housing units is partly compensated

011901, which had guaranteed

public linancing

lor working-

ings' sensuous opulence. The lacade is an undulating spec-

class housing. Regulated by a system 01 controls and standards,

tacle with unusual-shaped

Dutch housing was built through municipal or cooperative

and embroidered


lor by the build-

openings that call to mind woven

textiles. For the third building,


grams. The neutrality 01 the Netherlands during the war allowed

"The Ship," (1917-21)

the country to launch programs more advanced than those 01

with a mechanical

the combatant

in which the meeting hall plays the role 01 rural church while the

nations. While German cities were struggling to

reactivate their construction

industry, Amsterdam

was already

Ilush with building sites .. 13


de Klerk combined

a village theme

motil. The housing wraps around a courtyard

post office serves as a locomotive pulling the entire complex,

which in lact stood alongside the city's main railroad tracks.

But the German and Dutch projects also originated in a shared

Next de Klerk collaborated


scheme 01 De Dageraad (The Dawn; 1918-23),

matrix that incorporated

the Theosophical


ries 01J. L. M. Lauweriks and the teaching 01 Hendrik Petrus

ative built as a component

Berlage, which had widely circulated in Germany. Meetings 01

South (1914-17).


image 01 low-income

et amicitia (Architecture and Friendship), a soci-

ety 01 Amsterdam



in 1855, hosted an


with Piet Kramer on the housing


a cooper-

01 Berlage's plan tor Amsterdam-

Here de Klerk presented a clear, open

housing. He aligned the houses along

the street in a continuous

wave in which each unit appears to

intense debate on the question 01 Gemeenschapkunst,

or social

be woven together with its neighbor. Once again he created

art. . 14 Johan Melchior van der Mey's Scheepvaarthuis


the illusion 01 a village community

01 Shipping Companies;

1911-16) in Amsterdam, which decon-

structed and recomposed

Chapter 09


elements 01 traditional architectural

in Weimar Germany and the Netherlands

by grouping the units two

by two on a central square to lorm large houses separated

tall chimneys ..




Caver of Wendingen

cover designed

(Turning Points), Issue 2,


"The Ship,' Eigen Haard Housing Cooperative,


Paula Modersohn-Becker

142 ~

Secand Goetheanum,

De Klerk was the most brilliant member of a group that included

Dirk Greiner, Margaret Kropholler, and Jan Frederik Staal, all of
whom were committed to the genuinely collective effort required
to realize the different stages of Berlage's plan. The main activist
behind what would soon come to be known as the Amsterdam
School, Hendricus Theodorus Wijdeveld, was responsible for its
publicity organ, Wendingen (Turning Points), 139 a large-format

magazine. He edited the magazine from 1918 to

1931, opening it to both experiments

that had taken place in

Russia since 1917 and new directions in Frank Lloyd Wright's

work. In combination

with the Expressionist accents latent in de

Klerk's work, Wright's forms were sometimes


in the

new buildings in Amsterdam.

Like many of the Dutch architects, the Austrian Rudolf Steiner
had a background

in the Theosophical

founded the Anthroposophical


Society, formulating

In 1912 he
a secular

doctrine inspired by Nietzsche and Goethe. For the community

he established

in Dornach, near Basel, he erected the Goethe-

anum (1913-20), a building with two wood domes surrounded

by houses in the shape of rocks. This edifice burned down
and was replaced by the second Goetheanum
a sculptural


concrete volume that held an auditorium,

a library,

and meeting rooms. The large faceted volume inserted into the
pastoral Swiss landscape


conveyed the aspiration

to the total work of art that was one of the founding


of Expressionism.

Chapter 09

Michel de Klerk, Amsterdam,

by Michel de Klerk, 1918


in Weimar Germany and the Netherlands

House, Bernard Hoetger, Bremen, Germany, 1923-7

Rudol! Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland,




Return to
order in Paris

In 1924, seven years alter his permanent move to Paris, Le

In 1918 Jeanneret and Ozenlant published their Purist manilesto

Corbusier diagnosed a case 01 "acute neurasthenia" and the

Apres le cubisme (Alter Cubism). It rellected their equal interest in

symptoms 01 a "breakdown"

Greek temples and in the machines introduced into everyday lile

in the drawings that Bruno Taut

had published tour years earlier in his book Die Auflosung der

by the war. The new term "purism" was intended to "express in an

Stiidte ..

intelligible word the character 01 the modern spirit." In stressinq the

Well inlormed about the art and architecture 01 impe-

rial Germany, Le Corbusier had turned his back on his youthlul

"invariable," Jeanneret and Ozenlant were not "unmoved by the

experiences there in the lirst months 01 World War 1. French art-

intelligence that governs certain machines." . 5 L'Esprit nouveau

ists, though strongly in support 01 the war effort against Germany,

likewise displayed a keen sense 01 history and an acute attention

had generally resisted the condemnations

to the products 01 technology. It described itselt as an "illustrated

01 Cubism voiced

in more chauvinist circles in Paris, where the style had become

international review 01 contemporary activity," open to experimen-

associated with certain important German-owned

tal psychology, psychoanalysis, and economics. Politically, it sup-

collections and

galleries and branded a boche ("kraut") art lorm. Yet they also

ported Bolshevik Russia and Franco-German reconciliation .. 6

sought during these years to rediscover the threads 01 a national

In a series 01 controversial essays Le Corbusier reminded

tradition olten identilied with classicism, whether rendered liter-

"Messrs. les architectes" to "open eyes that do not see" to

ally or as a guiding principie open to multiple interpretations.

-> 2

ships, cars, and airplanes. These provocative articles became

the chapters 01 the book Vers une architecture

Purist forms and urban compositions

(Toward an

Architecture; 1923) 143, a manilesto that celebrated mechanization, affirmed the necessity 01 using "regulating lines" to propor-

In 1913, in his book Les peintres cubistes, Guillaume Apollinaire

tion buildings, and advised the study 01 ancient and Baroque

challenged architects to reclaim the torch 01 innovation lrom art-

architecture in order to absorb the "Iesson 01 Rome." . 7 The

ists and to "construct with sublime intentions." . 3 In 1917 a lellow

impact 01 Le Corbusier's writings was reinlorced by the power 01

poet, Pierre Reverdy, published an essay by yet another poet Paul

his theoretical projects. His Contemporary

Derme in the lirst issue 01 his periodical Nord-Sud (North-South).

Inhabitants, exhibited at the Salon d'Automne (1922), and his Plan

In it Derme wrote, "Alter a period 01 exuberance and toree must

Voisin lor Paris 144, shown at the Exposition Internationale des

lollow a period 01 organization, 01 arrangement,

Arts Dcoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition

is to say, a classic age."

-> 4

01 science - that

Such calls to order were heard all the

City lor Three Million

01 Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts, 1925), described a new

way to the Netherlands and Russia, and they were also picked

metropolitan organism crisscrossed

up by Le Corbusier (still known at this time as Charles-douard

by the glass towers 01 a "city 01 business" - a capitalist version 01

Jeanneret) and the painter Amde Ozenlant. In 1920, together

Taut's Stadtkrone. Le Corbusier surrounded the city with redent

with Derme, Jeanneret and Ozenlant lounded L'Esprit nouveau

housing inspired by Euqene Hnard and with immeuble-villas

(The New Spirit), a multidisciplinary journal that served as the

(villa apartments) consisting 01 double-height

major platform lor their theories and critiques until 1925.

individual gardens, creating a radically new urban landscape.

Chapter 10

Return to arder in Paris

by highways and dominated

dwellings with




Page from Vers une architecture

an Architecture),


Le Corbusier,

La Roche House, Le Corbusier



Plan Voisin, project, Le Corbusier,

Paris, France, 1925


and Pierre Jeanneret,

Paris, France, 1923-4












Workers' Houses





and Pierre Jeanneret,

Jessac, France, 1924-6


Stein/de Monzie House, Le Corbusier

and Pierre Jeanneret,

skeletal system and the Maison Citrohan three-story

Le Corbusier and the modern house

the double-height
During this period Le Corbusier


living room 01 the lalter was inspired by Paris

artists' studios, For the Parisian elite he designed large houses,

injected the latest develop-

ments in painting into two domestic

Garches, France, 1926-7

the most complex 01which was built in the suburb of Garches

projects: a studio lor

Ozenlant (1922-3) and, particularly, a house lor the Basel-

lar Michael Stein (brother 01 the writer Gertrude Stein), his wife

born banker Raoul La Roche (1923-4) 145. In the lalter he

Sarah Stein, and Gabrielle de Monzie (1926-7)

radically modified his design alter seeing an exhibition 01 archi-

house's interplay 01 planar elements and cylindrical

lecture by the De Stijl group at a Paris gallery, which caused

seems to transpose the geometry 01 Purist paintings into space,

im to reconfigure the conventional

on the facade as a composition


Inside, he conceived




as a


lines" 01 the lacade draw on the ancient

Colin Rowe found another precedent, detecting

a sirnilarity between the proportions

01 the villa's plan and those

01 Palladio's villas, which Le Carbusier knew well,

in ancient Greece that Auguste



of the golden section. Twenty years later, the





The weekend house that Le Corbusier built in 1929-31 far Pierre

governs the entire interior 01 the house

Savoye, a client in the insurance business, in Poissy, near Paris,

Choisy had recounted in his 1899 Histoire de I'architecture.



01 opaque planes and glass

the house's circulation

inspired by the descriptions

on tfie Acropolis

while the "regulating

of windows

147, -79

from the entrance hall to the painting gallery, which he hung

is one 01 the canonical

with Cubist canvases that he purchased

villa sits in the middle 01 a meadow like a Ilying machine that

lor La Roche at sales

01 the Kahnweiler and Uhde collections. Around the same time,

buildings of the twentieth century, The

has just barely touched down, The boxlike structure leatures three

he built a home tor.his parents in the Swiss village 01 Corseaux

levels interconnected

on the shore 01 Lake Geneva (1923-6), A single horizontal win-


dow provides this modest dwelling with a view 01 the moun-

through which automobiles

inside the residence differs Irom the chiaroscuro

pilotis (stilts),

could slip in and out, and the top-

floor solarium is the main level, an L-shaped Iloor built around a

ains and access to the light 01 the lake. The unshadowed


by a ramp that guides the promenade

Wedged between the ground-Iloor


patio and illuminated by a horizontal strip 01 windows overlook-

typical interiors just as the brightness of lactories differs lrom

ing the landscape, The vast living room is basically doubled

the hall-light 01 churches.

surface by the patio, while the bedrooms and bathroom echo

Despite his tireless courting 01 automobile

and aviation industri-

the Iloor plans 01 eighteenth-century

alists, Le Corbusier, who established a prolessional partnership

These houses demonstrated

with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret in 1922, succeeded


in build-


Paris apartments.

the "Five Points" with which Le

up his contribution

to a new architecture

ing only a single workers' housing complex. 146 This was real-

1927, alluding transparently

ized in 1924-6 in Pessac, near Bordeaux, lor the industrialist

pilotis, freeing up the ground plane; rool terrace, affording

Henri Fruqes. Here he brought together the theoretical

sunlight and commLinion

he had been working on lor ten years, inciuding


the Dom-ino

ing the "paralyzed


to Vignola's live classical



with the skyline; Iree plan, replac-

plan" 01 load-bearing






League 01 Nations competition

Geneva, Switzerland,

project, Le Corbusier

and Pierre Jeanneret,


window, offering horizontal vistas; and Iree lacade, whose


were no longer dependent


on traditional

AII these points were made possible




Le Corbusier

by the use 01

(Central Union 01 Consumer

and Pierre Jeanneret,


ground floor punctuated by pilotis. As in his League 01 Nations

project, the building combined
with orthogonal

a curvilinear auditorium volume

office wings. But the innovative project - which

included a lorerunner 01 central air conditioning

-> 11


Moscow, USSR (Russia), 1928-36

based on a

system 01 "neutralizing walls" and "exact respiration" - was too

Grand vessels in Paris and Geneva


But domestic programs did not satisly Le Corbusier's ambitions;

shortages caused the building's construction

many years. -> t4

he aimed for more important commissions.

1927 competition
in Geneva


tor the headquarters

His lailure to win the

01the League 01 Nations

was a personal trauma. His project elevated the

advanced tor the Soviet Union at this date. Material

to drag on tor

In the meantime, the Salvation Army commissioned

Le Corbusier

to design its City 01 Reluge in Paris. Realized in 1929-31, the

building is a large concrete vessel whose purpose is to house

principie 01 pilotis and terraces to the scale 01 a grand pub-

the homeless. With this project, Le Corbusier was linally able

lic edilice, making the site seem to Ilow beneath the building

to incorporate

and merge with the Alpine landscape.

ture: he placed the apartment 01 the project's American patron,

ity campaign

-> 12

Despite the public-

mounted by his Iriends throughout

Europe to pro-

his lascination

Winaretta Singer-Polignac,

with ships into his architec-

at the top 01 the building and

test the rejection 01 his project, the conservative jury remained

arranged the communal spaces on the ground Iloor like the

unswayed. Le Corbusier was also thwarted in his efforts to erect


a Mundanum,

piration" system ter circulating air was rendered. totally ineffec-

or World City, in Geneva; a cultural complex in

lounges of a transatlantic

liner. Though his "exact res-

the spirit 01 Hendrik Christian Andersen's World City, the project

tual by the lack of any device to extract the used air Irom the

was designed lor the philanthropist Paul Otlet using a plan based

building, the Salvation Army hostel remained a didactic exam-

on the golden section. Le Corbusier's

proportions and his ziggurat-shaped

invocation 01 classical

pie 01 Le Corbusier's

museum - to be the cen-

did another important

terpiece 01 the project - spurred attacks Irom radical architects

precepts 01 large-scale



in Paris 01 this period, the

Swiss Pavilion at the Cit Universitaire (1929-33).

like the Russian El Lissitzky. Lissitzky's criticism 01 Le Corbusier's

excessive historicism and monumentality

was echoed by the

Perret and the "sovereign shelter"

Prague critic Karel Teige, who scorned the "puzzling, archaic


made by this "metaphysical


-> 13

No other architect on the Paris scene was able to scandal-

Nonetheless, it was in Moscow that Le Corbusier won his lirst

ize people with innovations as much as Le Corbusier, although

major commission,

others tried. In a city where architects Irequently lormulated


tor the Centrosoyuz (1928-36)

149, the

01 the Central Union 01 Consumer Cooperatives.

and implemented

their modern ideals in direct competition

Here he greatly amplilied the principie 01 the promenade

with one another, there was no such thing as a united front.


Le Corbusier's

Chapter 10


ramps that rose six stories above a

Return to arder in Paris

mentor, Auguste Perret, opposed the younger

Pavilion 01 L'Esprit nouveau, Le Corbusier and


::;ere Jeanneret, Paris, Franee, 1924-5

Study lor a Freneh Embassy, projeet, Pierre

Chareau, Paris, Franee, 1925


Cortot Hall, cole Normale de Musique,


architect's use of the ribbon window, insisting that only "the

Perret, Paris, Franee, 1928-9

Paris Art Deco

ertical window Irames man [and] agrees with his silhou-' S." -> 15 In Le Raincy, east of Paris, Perret built Notre-Dame

The 1925 exposition

::e la Consolation (1922)

build his Pavilion 01 L'Esprit nouveau.


a church commemorating


ar I fighters. Its vaulted nave of reinforced concrete he Id up

ramas 01 his Ville Contemporaine

slender columns is illuminated by walls of concrete-Iramed

staned glass. Perret's application

gave Le Corbusier the opportun ity to


of methods developed lor

In it he displayed



and Plan Voisin and, most

a unit of his immeuble-villas

furniture bought Irom manufacturers'

outfitted with typical

catalogs and a prototype

"actories and other secular structures to a religious edifice

of his standard cabinets. The pavilion was an implicit critique

caused critics to describe it as "the holy chapel of reinforced

of the program 01 the exposition, whose directors, Charles

:::oncrete" and scorn it as a vulgar "prayer hangar." At the time,

Plumet and Louis Bonnier, sought to reassert French suprem-

::lerret's thinking was close to that of the poet Paul Valry, whose

acy in the applied arts in the face of prewar competition

Socratic dialogue Eupalinos, ou I'architecte

Germany. The latter's belated invitation to participate

(Eupalinos, or the

Architect; 1921), suggested a revived classicism with national-

tacto exclusion .

. t accents.

Organized by the Union centrale des arts dcoratils

-> 16


Using the concrete skeleton to emulate Greek

in his public commissions,

Perret tirelessly

Socit des artistes dcorateurs,

sought to implement his delinition 01 the large building as "a

its unity the variety 01 organs necessary to fulfill its lunction."


designed the "ensembles"


In 1924 Perret opened an off-site studio 01 the cole des Beaux-

rts near the Bois de Boulogne. It was known as the Palais de

Bois (Wood Palace). Contradicting
e encouraged

the school's official stance,

his followers - including

Paul Nelson, Ernb

ment stores as well as to theinterior

of finishes. In 1925 he designed

he Exposition Internationale

the theater at

des Arts Ocoratifs et Industriels

its three-part stage recalled the one built by Henry

van de Velde in Cologne eleven years before. Next he built the

stunning Cortot Hall (1928-9)


a dizzyingly steep concert hall


Ruhlmann and

Two designers stood

cautiously modern: Francis Jourdain, who carefully created




out Irom the crowd for work that was as elegant as it was


by the interplay of light and shadow and the dif-

with depart-

designers who merged art

the team 01 Louis Se and Andr Mare.

an architecture

interior decorators who

01 furniture associated

and commerce. They included mile-Jacques

Goldlinger, Oscar Nitzchk, and Denis Honegger - to practice

leaturing exposed structural elements made

and the

or SAD, the 1925 exposition

gave pride of place to the successful

ressel, a framework, a sovereign shelter capable of housing in


was a de

interiors that were in the spirit 01 Adolf Loos but

to all


and Pierre Chareau, whose convertible fur-

niture pieces - notably his cylindrical


for the

SAD pavilion's exhibit "A French Embassy"

151 -

the static nature of the main contributions.

In the same pavilion

Robert (Rob) Mallet-Stevens

contrasted with

designed a lobby with a linear,

abstract geometry that was similar in spirit to his Tourism

Pavilion, also at the exposition. Four years later, he, Jourdain,

that, by using concrete cantilevers, he was able to squeeze into

and Chareau were among the founders of the Union des

the middle of a tight Paris block.

artistes modernes, or UAM, a group devoted to applying the





de la Consolation,

Auguste Perret, Le Raincy, France, 1922




- ~






Room lar a French Embassy, project, Francis Jourdain,



Grand Hotel Mtropole,

project, Henri Sauvage, Paris, France, 1928

France, 1925

radical modern aesthetic lavored by the elite to the needs 01 a

Jean Prouv, were involved in building rue Mallet-Stevens. The

larger populace; it held its first exhibition in 1930.

construction site was headed by Gabriel Guevrekian, an Iranian

-> 19

One 01 the most prolific architects involved in the 1925 exhi-

architect 01 Armenian descent trained in Vienna.

bition was Henri Sauvage, who created several pavilions for


In 1923 Mallet-Stevens began working on a large villa in Hyeres

stores. Sauvage had worked on the development


lor the art patrons Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles



setback terraced buildings in Paris since before the war. After

in 1930 would linance Jean Cocteau's lilm Blood of a Poet and

the war he built both a popular version - a low-income

Luis Buuel's L'age d'or. For this house, devoted to pleasure


dence on Rue des Amiraux (1922), with a swimming pool at

and entertainment, he designed a cubic structure hovering above

its center - and a bourgeois version called the Studio Building

the city and extended by terraces. He wrote: "It is no longer just

(1926), inspired by ocean liners. He also designed a megaloma-

some moldings that catch the light, it is the entire lacade. The

niac version for a hotel on the bank of the Seine (1928)

architect sculpts an enormous block, the house."



-> 21


Nantes, Sauvage built the imposing glass structure of the Decr

in sections between 1924 and 1928, the house included a room

Department Sto re (1931, bombed 1944). He also worked on

devoted to flowers, the design 01which was entrusted to Theo

the extension of the Samaritaine Department Store (1928, with

van Doesburg, and it overlooked a Cubist-inspired

Frantz Jourdain) in Paris, where he took a less radical approach

den by Guevrekian. In 1929 the American artist Man Ray declared

since he had to comply with urban-planning

that the "cubic lorms" 01the chteau "brought to mind the title 01


a poem by Mallarm."


-> 22

triangular gar-

He used it as the setting tor his dis-

turbing film Les mystres du chateau du D (TheMysteries

or elegant modernism


Chteau of Dice), a tableau vivant pertormed by masked guests.

In 1927 Robert Mallet-Stevens received a unique honor for a liv-

Having designed the sets for Marcel L'Herbier's L'inhumaine (The

ing architect: he had a Paris street named after him.

Inhuman Woman; 1923-4)



He would

build six houses on the new Rue Mallet-Stevens (1926-7)

His own, featuring a double-height


reception room, stands at the


a lilm intended to promote

French lashion abroad, Mallet-Stevens

began building a cas-

tle in Mzy for the couturier Paul Poiret (1921-3), but the project

entry to the street. Next to it is the studio and residence 01 sculp-

was never completed.

tors Jan and Joel Martel, whose quarters are clustered around

on Rue Marbeul (1927), which has a structure supported

the vertical cylinder of a staircase that leads to a belvedere topped

concrete arches reminiscent 01 those in Perret's Thtre

by a circular "lid." Also on the street is a town house with a 150-


In Paris he built the Alfa Romeo Garage


and an apartment building on Rue Mchain

seat screening room, built lor the lilm director Eric Allatini, and a

(1928-9), which is a kind of vertical extrusion of the Rue Mallet-

house tor Madame Reilenberg, a pianist, featuring open living

Stevens massing system. His largest project was a casino in

spaces extended by terraces, which offer a lull panorama of the

Saint-Jean de Luz on the Basque coast (1927-8), a large rein-

other cubistic houses on the block. Many artists and craftsmen,


including the glass artist Louis Barillet and the young ironsmith

first seen at the 1925 exposition.

Chapter 10

Return to order in Paris

building with interiors that make use of motifs


Villa de Noailles, Robert Mallet-Stevens,

Hyeres, France, 1923-8



film set, Robert Mallet-Stevens,


for Marcel ~ Herbier (director)

159 ~

Houses on Rue Mallet-Stevens,

Robert M'allet-Stevens,

Hotel Nord-Sud,

Andr l.urcat, Calvi, France, 1929-30

Paris, France, 1926-7







E 1027, Eileen Gray, Roquebrune




Paris, France, 1925-8

France, 1929

The extent of French modernism

lor the Radical-Socialist mayor 01 Lyons, douard Herriot. ..,24 Alter

completing the La Mouche Cattle Market and Slaughterhouse

Having made his reputation as a member 01 Mallet-Stevens's

(1906-14), which leatured a great market hall constructed 01 steel

circle, Gabriel Guevrekian received a commission through the

trusses and inspired by the Galerie des Machines, Garnier contin-

painter Sonia Delaunay to design a town house lor the couturier

ued his work in Lyons with the tats-Unis low-income housing

Jacques Heim in Neuilly (1927), reinlorcing the signilicant link

development (1921-34), a suburban complex 01 airy concrete

between architecture and lashion. No less close to Mallet-Stevens

blocks, and the Grange-Blanche

was the engineer and architect Georges-Henri Pingusson, who

pavilions connected by a network 01 underground passages. The

remodelled the lacade and neo n marquee 01 the Thtre des

structural clarity 01 Garnier's work was increasingly inllected by

hospital (1910-34), a series 01

Menus-Plaisirs (1926-9) and built the Paul Arrighi power plant in

cla,ssical nostalgia, however. A more monumental aspect 01 his

Vitry-sur-Seine (1926-32), a rare French example 01 modern aes-

work was visible in his many designs lor memorials, while Mediter-

thetics intersecting with a lull-Iledged industrial programo

ranean accents surlaced in his more intimate patio houses.

At the initiative 01 his brother Jean, at that time a painter with ties to

Trained in Lyons as part 01 Garnier's circle, Michel Roux-Spitz com-

Surrealism, Andr Lurcat built the Villa Seurat (1925-7), an alley 01

bined the smooth geometry 01 the moderns with more static

artist studios in Paris begun two years belore Rue Mallet-Stevens.

modes 01 composition in his Paris apartment buildings, such as

The scheme consists 01 a sequence 01 six buildings made 01 cubic

the ones on Rue Guynemer (1925-8)

volumes with corner window openings. There are clear Loosian

(1930-1). In the latter he incorporated leatures borrowed Irom

accents and above all a play with the continuity 01 the street wall.


and Avenue Henri Martin

. naval architecture, with a certain heaviness. Poi Abraham and

Across lrom Parc Montsouris, l.urcat built a house lor the painter

Charles Siclis provided their own interpretations, whether more tec-

Walter Guggenbhl (1927). A cube set on a trapezoidal base

tonic or more spectacular, 01 the passion lor structural expression

extended by a bow window and a pergola, its simplilied geometry

that had spread in the 1920s. Eileen Gray, an Irish designer active

and the repetitive conliguration 01 openings on its planar surlaces

in Paris, was the only woman to see her contribution acknowl-

had nothing to do with the underlying structural skeleton. This led

edged, with E 1027 (1929), 160a villa she built on the Riviera tor

the critic Marie Dormoy justly to contrast turcat's "Iake concrete" to

and with Jean Badovici, the editor 01 L'Architecture vivante. While

Perret's use 01 the material. ..,23 The purest expression 01 l.urcat's

the end 01 the decade saw an international alliance 01 radical

approach may be seen in the linear and prismatic architecture 01

architects throughout Europe, French architecture seemed to have

the small Hotel Nord-Sud (1929-30)

two laces. The lirst was embodied in the experimental, sometimes


near the Corsican city 01

Calvi, which resembles a ship run aground on a reef.

provocative work that came out 01 the circle around Le Corbusier.

While the most radical laction 01 French architecture managed to

Also innovative but more commercial, the second lace, initially

consolidate its positions during the 1920s, it occupied a small lield.

revealed in the Exposition Internationale des Arts Ocoratits et

Large public and private projects continued to be awarded to more

Industriels Modernes, produced reverberations that would be lelt in

conservative lirms. One notable exception was Tony Garnier's work

North America and Britain as well as in colonial settings.

Chapter 10 [ Return lO order in Paris

Dada, De Stijl,
and Mies: from
to elementarism

By the final months of World War I there were already con-

well developed, although they had a longstanding

flicting attempts to overthrow the dominant forces in art and

"machine art" announced by Vladimir Tatlin's first eonstructions in

architecture. Among the new movements,


interest in the


Russia. From Berlin, Dada seattered to Cologne with Arp and Max

roots in prewar Europe, but other contenders, which appeared

Ernst, and to Hanover with Kurt Schwitters, until Pieabia and Tzara

even before the German surrender, lacked such antecedents,

linally shifted the movement's eenter 01 gravity to Paris, where it

instead emerging from the deep crisis provoked by battles

led to the birth 01 Surrealism in 1924. The legaey 01these intense

among intellectuals

years was a vigorous impulse to challenge thetraditional eatego-

and artists.

ries 01 art and architecture. It would have widespread and lasting

effeets, espeeially in Weimar Germany. The network connect-

The Dada blast

ing the members of the Dada galaxy to architectural movements

Dada, the most destructive of these movements, had its moment

branched out across the map; artists and architects at the edges

between 1915 and 1923. It was characterized by the subversion

01the movement went on to play important roles in less radical

01traditional representation, a prelerence tor the new technique

groups like the Arbeitsrat fr Kunst and the German Werkbund.

01 montage, and a bluntly asserted nihilism. A nomadic phenomenon that changed aceording to its setting, it was lounded in

The new forms of De Stijl

Zurich, then gravitated to New York and Germany, and linally

settled in Paris ..

The evenings organized at Zurieh's Cabaret

In the Netherlands,

the Expressionism

01 the Amsterdam

Voltaire by the Germans Hugo Ball, Hans Richter, and Richard

School was still the dominant force. But beginning

Huelsenbeck; the Alsatian Hans (Jean) Arp; and the Romanians

a radical movement took shape under the name De Stijl, a

Tristan Tzara and Mareel Janco were the opening act of a eollee-

term that may be traced back to both Gottfried Semper's trea-

tive revolt against the very concept 01art. The arrival 01 Francis

ti se Der Stil (Style) and Viollet-Ie-Duc's

Picabia and Marcel Duchamp in New York marked another dis-

define "the" style for modern architecture

tinctive Dada phase, particularly alter they met Man Ray. Picabia's


to choosing

in 1916

call to architects to
and eonstruction

among a range 01 competing

collages 01 mechanical parts and Duehamp's Fountain, a uri-

styles). Hendrik Petrus Berlage advanced

nal that served as a "ready-made"

the Dutch context. De Stijl never became a structured

art objeet, exhibited in 1917,



both these ideas in


signaled the Dadaists' interest in anonymous production and

ment; its unstable and dynamic sphere 01 inlluenee was een-

maehines, which they derisively parodied and destroyed.

tered around a monthly journal and a slogan. This irregularity

Leaving Zurieh for Berlin, Ball and Huelsenbeck expanded their

seemed to contradict

aetivities alter meeting George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann

nect visual experience


its main objective: for the artist to conto metaphysical

ideas, thereby creating

and John Heartfield, combining an ironic play on the icons 01

harmonic works 01 art and reclaiming

a central place in soci-

American eivilization with an exploration 01 photomontage tech-

ety. The search for a nieuwe beelding

or neue Gestaltung

niques. The Dadaists' involvement with architeeture was not


Chapter 11

Dada, De Stijl, and Mies: from subversiveness

to elementarism

oa highly metaphysical

- a

order - was at odds

164 ~

Les Architectes

du Groupe

De Stij/, Theo van Doesburg



van Eesteren exhibition,

Galerie de I'effort moderne,


France, 1923


Tatlin at Home, Raoul Hausmann,


Pavilion (Barcelona


Pavilion), Ldwig Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona,

Spain, 1929, rebuilt 1983-6








Factory, project, J. J. P. Oud, Pomerand,



with Dada's biting irony. The members 01 the De Stijl circle

In purely architectural

ultimately aspired to positive creation, even if they tirst had to

distinct palhs, with their production taking very different shapes.

go through a phase 01 deslroying

Van Doesburg was more theoretical and experimental, while


The initial issues 01 the journal De Stijl appeared in mid-1917 in

terms, the lounders 01 De Stijl lollowed

Oud, Wils, and Gerrit Rietveld, an associate 01 the group begin-

Leiden under the editorship 01 the painter Theo van Doesburg.

ning in 1919, were more prolessionally



included the painters Piel Mondrian, Barl van der

in three dimensions,

oriented. Mondrian also

notably on the interior 01 his

Leck, and Gino Severini; the architecl J. J. P. Oud; and Vilmos

studio on Rue du Dpart in Paris (1921-36)

Huszr, who designed Ihe journal's lago. The group Ihat assem-

ject lar the Salan de Madame B. in Dresden (1926).

bled around De Stijl had already shared several experiences.

Van Doesburg's

Van der Leck had collaborated

1917 and developed

with Berlage in building the Sint

involvement in architectural


and on his pro-

projects began in

with the interior 01 the De Ligt House in

Huberlus Hunling Lodge in Hondersloo lar Ihe Krbller-Mller

Katwijk (1919), lurnished by Rietveld. Van Doesburg told Oud that

lamily (19J9). Van Doesburg and Oud had collaborated

the house was Ha painting in three dimensions."

on Ihe

. 4 In 1923 he

creation 01 a colorful, rhylhmic interior lar the De Vonk Vacation


House in Noordwijkerhout

whom he had met in Weimar, on the design 01 a concourse

(1917) and on the Allegonda Villa

with the young architect Cornelis van Eesteren,

lar the University 01 Amsterdam

in Katwijk aan Zee (1917). Oud and Van Doesburg later went

(1923). The stained-glass


their separale ways lollowing disputes over a project lar the

ing and the Ilat planes 01 colors painted on the walls conllicted

Spangen Low-Income

with the orthogonal

Housing Development

in Rotterdam,

where the architect insisted on respecting economic

that the painter could not tolerate.


geometry 01the plan, as il the chromatic

and the spatial aspects 01 the project were totally unconnected.

He al so realized in collaboration

-> 2

with Van Eesteren three mod-

Van Doesburg and Jan Wils together built the De Lange House

els shown in October and November

in Alkmaar (1916-17), and Huszr and P. J. C. Klaarhamer, a

Les Architectes

Iriend 01 Berlage, joined efforts on the De Arendshoeve

moderne in Paris 164. This exhibilion


1923 at the exhibition

du Groupe De Stijl at the Galerie de I'efforl

marked a crucial turning

in Voorburg (1916-19). During this initial phase, each member

point in postwar architecture. The models were genuine three-

01 De Stijl sought to establish his place in a collective endeavor.


But starting in 1921, each participant began trying to achieve his

horizontal planes 01 color entirely dispensed with conventional

own synthesis 01 painting, sculpture, and architecture.

notions 01 the window. The least radical 01the three was a town

new phase, Van Doesburg became so domineering

-> 3

In this

that by the

objects in their own right, but their vertical and

house project supposedly

intended lar Lonce Rosenberg, the

time Mondrian and Oud left the group, he had totally isolated

gallery's owner, which had a realistic-Iooking

himsell. Nonetheless,

ond model, a project lar an artist's house, had welded-Iead

work by associating

he was able to establish a European netwith El Lissitzky and Kurt Schwitters, and

he lived lar a period in Weimar, where he was unsuccesslul

Dada, De Stijl, and Mies: from subversiveness

trames and planar color surlaces and recalled Mondrian's

painted compositions

with black lines. The third, a project lar

a private house 169, was the most complex, and provided the

securing a teaching position at the Bauhaus.

Chapter 11


setting. The sec-

to elementarism



Studio, Piet Mondrian,

Paris, France, 1921-36


The Aubette Cinema and Dance Hall, Theo van Doesburg,

France, 1926-8.
168 ~

basis for Van Doesburg's subsequent "counter-constructions,"





House, Gerrit Rietveld, Utrecht, Netherlands,

elements were based upon orthogonal

which "plane, line, and mass [were] freely arranged in a three-

had to accommodate


to a counter-composition

relationship." . 5 The models offered as synthetic a


of three-dimensional

space as the axonometrics


and 2006-8

relationships, this room

itself to a diagonal arrangement

of colors,

which, by its nature, was to resist all

the tensions of architecture .... If I were asked what I had in

drawn by Auguste Choisy in his 1899 Histoire de /'architecture.

mind when I constructed

They had a strong impact on architects in Paris like Robert

oppose to the material room in three dimensions


terial and pictorial, diagonal space." ..7 The originality of Van

and Le Corbusier. In turn, De. Stijl annexed the

French architects'

work in the issue of its journal published

1927 commemorating


the group's tenth anniversary.

this room, I should be able to reply: to

a superma-

Doesburg's design, which was executed by Oscar Nitzchk and

Denis Honegger, two students of Perret, was reinforced by com-

On the occasion of the 1923 exhibition, Van Doesburg attempted

parisons with the undulating forms of Jean Arp's dance hall in

to provide a theoretical

the Aubette's cellar and Sophie Taueber-Arp's two-dimensional

context for his work with a manifesto

entitled "Vers une construction


(Toward a Collective

work in its tearoom. Van Doesburg ventured into the realm of

Construction). Published the following year, it declared: "The idea

urban planning with his City of Circulation

that art is an illusion divorced from real life must be abandoned.

complex of square eleven-story towers supported

The word 'Art' means nothing to usoWe demand that it be

ners by sturdy piers that opened the ground level to automobiles.

replaced by the construction

of our environment



creative laws derived from well-defined

principies. These laws,

which are akin to those of economics,

mathematics, technology,

hygiene, and so forth, encourage a new plastic unity." ..6

project (1924-9), a
at their cor-

Finally, with the help of the young Dutch architect Abraham

Elzas, he built his own house-studio
of Paris (1927-30).
to accommodate

in Meudon Val-Fleury, south

Both in its details and in the use of pilotis

a small car, it was closer to Le Corbusier's

villas than to his own more geometric

work of 1923. A hyper-

active figure, Van Doesburg used numerous pseudonyms

Van Doesburg builds


cloak his identity, which allowed him both to put forward quasiThe only large-scale
the Aubette


project realized by Van Doesburg was

Klber in Strasbourg

(1926-8, resto red 2008). The diagonal

of his addition totally upturned the orthogonality


Constructivist ideas and to indulge in Dadaist games. He founded

a dance hall, cinema, and restaurant on Place

the Concrete Art movement and later participated

lishing the Abstraction-Cration


in estab-

group, and he continued to pur-

sue a central role on the European scene until he died in 1931.

Blondel's existing building of 1778. The dis-


intensified by the use of color in the University of




the project in Strasbourg

Oud and Rietveld, from furniture to

house design

as well. As Van Doesburg asserted, the principie of diagonal "counter-construction"

called into question the horizontality

and verticality of the architectural

box: "Since the architectonic

At the Paris exhibition of 1923, Oud showed his Purmerend

Factory (1919)


a project that dated from the early, more




Housing Development,

Holland, Nelherlands,

J. J. P. Oud, Hoek van







Private House, project, Theo van Doesburg

Housing Development,


J. J. P. Oud,


House, Gerrit Rietveld, Utrecht,

1924, axonometic

01 the second Iloor


Cornelis van Eesteren, 1923

collective phase of De Stijl and contained echoes of Frank Lloyd

inlinitely expanded on all sides. Tellingly, the church builtin

Wright. In his essay "Kunst en machine" (Art and Machine;

tor the development

1917), Oud denounced

"romantic" approaches,



Other architects

was a rigidly rectangular, factory-like


explored ideas similar to those ol-De Stijl.

as the result of two different trends: "the one, the technically

Robert van't Hoff was the most literal of the many Dutch archi-

industrial, which one might call the positive trend, aims at the

tects who used a vocabulary derived from Frank Lloyd Wright's

aesthetic representation

of products of a technical


houses, notably in his Henny House in Huis ter Heide (1915-19),

The second, which one might, in comparison, call the negative

where he emulated a Prairie House exterior. Wright's hold on

trend (although it is equally positive in its expression!) - i.e., art -

the imagination 01 Dutch architects was equally evident in Wils's

aims to arrive at objectivity by reduction (abstraction). The unity

design for the De Dubbele Sleutel (The Double Key) Restaurant

of these two trends forms the essence of the new style."

(1918), where the exterior of the building clearly expressed its

-> 8

After a series of visually powerful theoretical projects, such as his

interior volumes. The sculptural aspects 01 Wils's Papaverhof

seaside apartments of 1917, Oud built several significant hous-

Residential Development (1919-22) in The Hague contrasted

ing developments. In the design of the Oud-Mathenesse

with the more industrial leanings of Oud's developments.


Suburb in Rotterdam (1922-3) he had to tollow existing design

The cabinetmaker

guidelines, and his contribution was limited to selecting color

ies of Frank Lloyd Wright's furniture for Robert van't Hoff, was

schemes for the doors. Only in the superintendent's

house, with

its vivid colors and orthogonal shapes, was he able to implement

Gerrit Rietveld, who had briefly made cop-

involved with De Stijl's activities lrom the beginning.

He con-

ceived lurniture prototypes composed of basic shapes - wood

the ideal of formal balance prescribed by De Stijl. Two years later

planes and standard proliles - sliced in ways that visually

Oud's facade for the Caf De Unie (1925, bombed 1940) brought

extended the volume 01the objects. His most provocative piece

the new aesthetic to the very heart of Rotterdam.

frorn this period was the Red and Blue Armchair 011918, which

With his next housing developments,

Oud introduced

new ele-

he later explaired "was made to the end of showing that a thing

ments - for instance, the treatment of his buildings' exterior walls

01 beauty, e.g., a spatial object, could be made 01 nothing but

simply as skin rather than as load-bearing

straight, machined materials."

structures. His Hoek

van Holland Housing Development (1924-7)



Rietveld, who rejected the inhibiting patronage 01 Van Doesburg,

is the most

Iyrical. Built near the estuary of the Maas River, the develop-

gave the most convincing

ment has rounded end-units, and the uniform line of balconies

a synthesis of the arts with his Schrbder House (1924)

reflects Oud's interpretation

in Utrecht. Located at the end 01 a row 01 banal brick buildings,

of Le Corbusier's


ocean liners. Though the Kiefhoek Development





of De Stijl's longing tor


the house plays with vertical and horizontal planes in three

in Rotterdam was lar larger, Oud treated it in a more elemen-


tal manner. He abandoned the symmetry still in use in Hoek van

each other. Sliding partitions make it possible to modily the floor

Holland, instead aligning the parallel rectangular blocks 01 the

plans of the two main levels, which are partly lit by a small sky-

two-story houses as if they formed part of a fabric that could be

light. The intersection

Chapter 11

Dada, De Stijl, and Mies: lrom subversiveness

to elementarism

Individually, the rooms are very small but llow into

of planes and linear elements and the

.c r-I T~



Office Building,

Berlin, Germany,

project, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,


Otfice Building,



project, Ludwig Mies van der

Rohe, Berlin, Germany, 1921


Brick Country House, project, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Berlin, Germany, 1923

articulation 01 joints and railings make the house's interior

"Zur elementaren Gestaltung" (On Elemental Farm-Creatian) in G.

spaces as difficult to grasp from the inside as they are trorn the

One 01 the principal supporters 01 and contributors to G was

outside. Walls are no longer the single determining factor 01

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who published his theoretical pro-

space. Actually very compact, the house was not intended to be

ject tor a Concrete Office Building


in the same issue that

a manilesto tor an aesthetic reinterpretation 01 domestic lunc-

carried Van Doesburg's manilesto. It was accompanied

tions but rather, according to Rietveld, to create lormal clarity and

own manilesto "Brohaus"

intensily the experience 01 space.

his theoretical positions, in which he declared that "Architecture

-> 10

Projects by the Vienna-

based artist and architect Friederich Kiesler, invited in 1923 to

by his

(Office Block), a lirst expression 01

will 01 the epoch," drawing an the

is the spatially apprehended

join De Stijl, seem to echo Rietveld's lurniture and to translorm

ideas 01 Berlage, the precursor he most admired, and Behrens,

it into broader, more inclusive spatial systems: the Leger- und

who had considered architecture the "rhythmic incorporation

Tragersystem, a flexible and independent hanging system lor

01 the spirit 01 the time."

gallery displays, and the Raumbhne, or space stage, were con-

invited Mies to participate in the De Stijl exhibiHon at the Galerie

(Exhibition 01

structed at the Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik

-> 13

de l'Effort moderne.

New Theater Technology) in Vienna in 1924; while the "City in


Space" appeared at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts

projects. In a competition

Ocoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris.

on the FriedrichstraBe

-> 11

A lew months later, Van Doesburg

in 1921, Mies conceived

in Berlin, he submitted

glass prism with a triangular

between the Nether-

lands and Germany not only through his presence on the doorstep 01 the Bauhaus but also through his participation

in the

Congress 01 Revolutionary Artists held in Dsseldorl

in 1922.

There he lounded a short-lived "Constructivist

together with Hans Richter and El Lissitzky.
Richter, Lissitzky, and Werner Grff


-> 12

In July 1923

who had attended Van

lectures at the Bauhaus, published the lirst issue

to extend the glazing 01 the nearby train station

Berlin Dadaists had illustrated


world and to pro pose an

or objectivity, 01 con-

struction systems. Van Doesburg published

his own manilesto

Chapter 11 , Dada, De Stijl, and Mies: from subversiveness

to elementarism

in their journal - M.ies's project

sites. Access to the upper Iloors was pravided


a central elevatar care, while narrow canyons lined with glass

allowed light to penetrate to the interior 01 the site. The transparent lacades revealing stacks 01 offices called to mind a
ing in the competition.

based on the Sachlichkeit,

structure. A radi-

seemed to materialize Allred Stieglitz's phatos 01 Manhattan

beehive - a metapharical

Its program was to dis-


cal response to New York's Flatiron Building - which the

(Materials tor Elemental Form-Creation).

seminate images 01 the technological

plan. The angular volume con-

over the entirety 01 its 80-meter

01 the journal G, subtitled Material zur elementare Gestaltung



a design lor a

sisted entirely 01 a curtain wall, without base or cornice, which

Mies van der Rohe's theoretical projects

Van Doesburg lorged a close connection

several iconoclastic

entry lar a glass affice building

-> 14

term Mies used toidentify

In 1922 he elabarated

the build-

a secand

version 01 the project in which the angular lacades gave way

to a more Iluid and sinuous outline, praised by critics lar its
"Gothic power."

-> 15




to Karl Liebknecht

and Rosa Luxemburg,

Rohe, Berlin, Germany, 1926, demolished

Hermann Lange House, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Krefeld, Germany, 1928-9

Ludwig Mies van der


Alter his Concrete Office project, which was an abstract inter-

Country House began to be palpable in this sequence of open

pretation of the palazzo block that Peter Behrens had built ear-

rooms resting on a podium and evoking the garden structures

lier for Mannesmann,

of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, which Mies admired. Its stone and

Mies conceived a concrete "Country

House" (1923), about which he would declare, "We know no

glass partitions defined a free-flowing

forms, only problems of construction."

distinct from the load-bearing

. 16 The house extended

space and were clearly

steel frame - despite a few invis-

horizontally across the site and reflected Mies's awareness of

ible compromises.

Wright's houses. His Brick Country House 173, designed the

onyx, intended as a backdrop for the king of Spain's reception

same year, was more provocative. An assemblage

by German officials. In this space - unregulated

ments, the house consisted of orthogonal



of brick ele-

volumes joined in a

For Mies, this "series of spatial effects"

The dominant element was a wall of golden

by any axial

system, open to diagonal views, and designed to accommodate

visitors' movements - the only perceptible

symmetry was the

was the result of "the wall [Iosing) its enclosing character and

horizontal one between floor and ceiling, making the vertical

[serving) only to articulate the house organism." . 17

space of the pavilion practically reversible ..

Up to this point, Mies's only real commissions

were for bour-

geois houses, for which he employed a traditionalist



The promise of a new type of domestic space first glimpsed in

Barcelona was brought to fruition in the house of Fritz and Grete

He was able to impose more radical views upon his clients

Tugendhat (1928-30)

only alter 1925. Initially, he used brick in an aesthetic, expres-

on a hill overlooking the city, the house reproduced the fluid floor

sive way, as in the Wolf House in Guben and especially

in the

" Monument to Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg (1926)

in Berlin, a sculptural interpretation


of a wall evoking the execu-

tion of the two Spartacist leaders. Beginning with his houses for
the textile industrialists

Hermann Lange (1928-9)


and Josef


in Brno, Czechoslovakia.


plan of the Barcelona Pavilion, but this time areas had welldefined purposes, as if the partitions between rooms had been
erased once the plan was completed. According to the critic Paul
Westheim, Mies conceived the house as "a circulation route leading from room to room according to [the owners') style of living."

Esters (1928) in Krefeld, his use of brick ceased to be load

Westheim continued: "[T)he home must be considered entirely as

bearing. These two opulent hornes, whose facades brought to

a kind of business that, like any other business, is based on the

mind the factories of the neighboring

principie of an articulation of various functions. No room should

Ruhr region, had steel

structures, which made it possible to superimpose

very different

be isolated and cut off from the others. Even more, continuity

floor plans on two different levels: large rooms to display the

between the rooms is to be pursued. The entire space is to be

owners' collections

arranged organically, according to its envisaged uses." . 19 As at

on the ground floor, bedrooms above.

Mies soon applied himself to a more radical annihilation

Barcelona, the living room, which overlooked the city, was backed

of traditional domestic space. The first building to undergo

with an onyx wall. The dining room was defined by a cylindrical

such treatment, the Germany Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona

partition of rosewood. In 1930, thanks to his very public success

International Exposition 163, did not have much of a program

in Barcelona, Mies was named director of the Bauhaus in Dessau,

beyond its ceremonial

where he would radically change the pedagogy of architecture.

Chapter 11

purpose. The latent fluidity of his Brick

Dada, De Stijl, and Mies: from subversiveness

to elementarism




House, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Brno, Czechoslovakia

e eco


(Czech Republic),





education in

World War I had contradictory

effects on architectural


months. Even though Auguste Perret's atelier at the Palais de

A number of innovations shook them to their very core during

Bois was officially associated with the cole des Beaux-Arts,

the 1920s, yet in most countries education

his students consistently received failing grades in the cole's


and the established

remained staunchly

centers did not relinquish their

position. At the same time, students in the postwar

project reviews and sornetirnes even had to disguise their affiliation with the atelier to have any chance of passing. In 1934

era moved more easily between schools, gravitating to the new

Andr Lurcat set up an autonomous

polarities represented

art historian Max Raphal gave a few lectures, but this effort

by pedagogical

programs in Germany,

atelier, where the Marxist

Russia, and America, in search of learning that conveyed both

was also short lived ..

the excitement of modern technologies

In the United States, where the teaching of architecture

and the energy of the

radical movements that had appeared in the wake of the war.


based on the Beaux-Arts

The Beaux-Arts and the alternatives

attempts at modernization


model, teachers who had

been trained in Paris but were aware of new trends initiated

in the early 1920s. Paul Philippe Cret,

who had been a student in Jean-Louis

At the cole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the memorial to hun-

Pascal's atelier at the

Beaux-Arts, became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania

dreds of students who had died in the war served as a power-

in 1903, adjustinq .Julien-Azals Guadet's doctrine of composi-

fui reminder of the recent bloodbath. After the Allied victory, the

tion to modern programs. In 1927 Jean Labatut, one of Victor

school fell back on established

Laloux's former students, began teaching at the American surn-



and attempts at

renewal that had emerged before the war were shelved ..

Nonetheless, the school retained its worldwide

prestige for a

while, and, despite weaker enrollment by students from the

mer school in Fontainebleau,

France, which had been founded

by his master in 1923. The following year Labatut was hired to

teach at Princeton University, where he would remain until the

United States, it continued to attract Latin Americans, including

1960s ..

the Venezuelan Carlos Ral Villanueva, and East Europeans like

tor at Fontainebleau,

Another former student of Laloux and an instrucJacques Carlu, started teaching at the

the Romanian Horia Creanq, A reversal of sorts took place


when French graduates,

there as head professor of architecture


Marcel Chappey, Robert

Camelot, and Raymond Lopez, received the Delano grants

Institute of Technology

in 1924 and remained

until 1933. Jean-

Jacques Haffner, who had been at Harvard since 1922, was

created after the war by the American Institute of Architects to

appointed to Carlu's position in 1938.

draw the most brilliant young professionals to North America,

Yet by the mid-1920s, the French were beginning to lose their

thus inaugurating

a modern grand tour in which Chicago and

New York replaced Athens and Rome ..

In Paris, all alternatives

preeminence in American universities. The 1922 Chicago Tribune

Tower competition

to the official mode of architectural

tia n of academic

brought new design concepts to the atteninstitutions. Eliel Saarinen, winner of the com-

training failed. The atelier opened by Robert Mallet-Stevens in

petition's second prize, was recruited by Emil Lorch to teach

1925 at the cole Spciale d'Architecture

at the University of Michigan Architecture

Chapter 12



in turmoil


closed after a few

School in Ann Arbor.


Grand Prix de Rome project, cole des Beaux-Arts,

Bernard Zehrfuss, 1939


Le Corbusier,

Robert Mallet-Stevens

cole Spciale d'Architecture,

There he implemented

a new curriculum

colleague, Knud Lonberg-Holm,

with his Danish

and Auguste Perret at the

Paris, France, c. 1939

ultimate, if distant aim 01 the Bauhaus is the unilied work

who had designed, but not

01 art - the great building - in which there is no distinction

submitted, a radically modernist entry to the Tribune Tower

between monumental

contest. In 1925 Saarinen designed the campus 01 the Cran-

program was steeped in a mystical, Expressionist

and decorative art."

-> 7

Initially this
mood. The

brook Kingswood School (Iater the Cranbrook Academy

original faculty consisted primarily of artists: Lyonel Feininger,

of Art), and he became director there in 1932.

Johannes Itten, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Oskar

Schlemmer. Within a few years Lszl Moholy-Nagy
IlIen. The Bauhaus curriculum

The Weimar Bauhaus

ductory course developed


began with a Vorkurs, an intro-

by Itten dedicated

to the explora-

The most intense search lar new educational methods took place

tion 01 drawing, color, and materials. It continued

in Germany, often picking up where prewar efforts had left off.

geared to producing

Didactic proqrarns were developed

although not taught as such until 1927, was the ultimate goal

tion 01 architecture

in accord with the concep-

as an experimental


tor which

01 the curriculum,

in workshops

designs tor actual clients. Architecture,

which aimed ter "mutual planning of exten-

knowledge 01 modern art, psychology, and industry was nec-

sive, utopian structural designs - public buildings and build-

essary. Apart Irom art schools like the Kunstschule Debschitz

ings or warship - aimed at the luture."

in Munich, the Franklurter Kunstschule, the Akademie tr Kunst

Europe discovered Gropius's ambitious program at an exhibition

und Kunstgewerbe in Breslau, and the Reimann-Schule

held in Weimar in 1923.

in Berlin,

by lar the most innovative program was launched in Weimar


in 1919.

tive specilically

-> 5

Five years earlier, the B.elgian Henry van de Velde,


-> 8

Its aim was to maintain an ongoing

between the school and the public, an objecset out in the 1919 manilesto. An integral part

who had lounded a school there, had resigned under pres-

01 the exhibition, the Haus am Horn,

sure from nationalist

Muche, provided an idea 01 the Bauhaus's architectural

attacks. He recommended

that it be



by Georg

entrusted to Walter Gropius, August Endell, or Hermann Obrist.

tation. Built on a square plan, this experimental

Though the youngest of the three, Gropius was chosen, and it

central room suggested a family life without any servants; the

was through his initiative that the Kunstgewerbeschule

kitchen was treated as a workstation

Crafts School) and the Hochschule

(Arts and

tr Bildende Kunst (Higher

house with a

and, with its panoptic

view, a site 01 visual control over the household. Bauhaus stu-

School 01 Fine Arts) were united in April 1919 under the name 01

dents, including

the Staatliches Bauhaus (State Bauhaus).

interiors. The exhibit at the Bauhaus, entitled Kunst und Technik

In his lounding

-> 6

program, Gropius described

the goal 01 the

Marcel Breuer, lurnished the Haus am Horn's

- eine neue Einheit (Art and Technology:

A New Unity), made

new school: "to bring together all creative efforts into one

clear the school's new orientation toward industrial produc-

whole, to reunily all the disciplines

tion, while the projects gathered under the title "Internationale

ture, painting, handicrafts,

rable components

01 practical art - sculp-

and the crafts - which are insepa-

01 a new architecture."

He continued,



clearly positioned

of the European avant-garde.

its experiments

at the lorelront




Bauhaus exhibition,



Walter Gropius, Weimar, Germany, 1923

Bauhaus, Walter Gropius, Dessau, Germany, 1925-6




Torten Housing

Estate, Walter Gropius, Dessau, Germany,



Haus am Horn, Georg Muche, Weimar, Germany, 1923

siting 01 buildings became an important component

The Bauhaus in Dessau and Berlin

01 the cur-

riculum. The students built an apartment house in Dessau (1930)

In 1924 the local government

in Saxony rejected Gropius's

during Meyer's tenure, while the school became increasinqly

program, lorcing him to move the school to a new building in



a manulacturing

center closer to Berlin. Opened in

1926, the new lacility, which Gropius designed, exemplilied


01 lunctional

clarity and modularity

now taught in

its studios. Each element 01 the pinwheel-plan



receptive to its director's communist


Meyer's political activism and his conllict-ridden


with many 01 the other Bauhaus Meister (masters) led to his

being lired and replaced by Mies van der Rohe in 1930. With

structure was

to supply the space and light needed lor its spe-

the support 01 his Iriend Lilly Reich, an interiors architect, Mies


cilic lunctions. The workshops, lor example, had glass rools,

the shift 01 the Bauhaus toward architecture

while the students' living quarters had vertical windows and bal-


conies. Gropius al so built houses lor the laculty nearby, pro-


viding his staft

the extended urban labrics that interested Hilberseimer.


with ample dwellings designed lor artistic

work and lor entertaining.

Housing Estate (1926-8),

-> 10

With the experimental




tions at an urban scale. In conceiving

lor working-class


these modest modules

down to his linear organization

assembly line,

01 the construction

built in Tbrten was a prelabricated


houses and studying

-> 13

01 Dessau, which had been taken over

by the Nazis, evicted the Bauhaus. Mies reconstituted the school

as a private institution based in an abandoned

lactory in Berlin-

Steglitz until pressure lrom the Nazis lorced him to close it down

tenants in buildings made 01 precast concrete

components, Gropius emulated the automobile

Exercises ceased to be utopian, and students

instead on designing

In 1932 the municipality

by the municipality

01 Dessau, the school was able to address architectural


had begun under Meyer and strove to make the school more

in the summer 01 1933. This triggered

a diaspora that would


have lasting effects on schools around the world.

site. Also

Steel House by Muche and

The Vkhutemas in Moscow

Richard Paulick, another example 01 the Bauhaus's eftort to

emulate lactory production.

Though its reverberations

-> 11

were lelt less on an international

In 1928 Gropius stepped down as director and was succeeded

scale, an equally signilicant

by Hannes Meyer. Under the left-wing Swiss architect the teach-

during the same years. Like the Bauhaus, it was based on an

ing 01 architecture became more structured. Meyer's lunctionalist

impulse to synthesize art and architecture,

agenda was encapsulated

interaction - at least during the initial phase 01 the curriculum

in a manilesto entitled "bauen" ("to








organization: social, technical, economic,


-> 12





Ludwig Hilberseimer began oftering courses in urban

planning, and preliminary

Chapter 12



research on lunctional data and the


in turmoil



MI L dllU


I ""GI 11IIGdl

experiment took place in Moscow






and therelore on

v r'I.IIUlC;1 J r cr o ,


resulted lrom a merger

in 1920 between the School 01 Painting and Sculpture and the

Stroganov School 01 Applied Arts. The most original 01 the initial two departments

was the Rablak, or Workers' Faculty,

- ------


- -- ------

188 ~


Studio work at Vkhutemas,

Moseow, USSR (Russia), 1928

Bauhaus stall on the rool at the opening 01 Walter Gropius's Bauhaus building, Dessau,

Germany, 1926. From lelt: Josel Albers, Hinnerk Seheper, Georg Muehe, Lszl Moholy-Nagy,
Herbert Bayer, Joost Sehmidt, Walter Gropius, Mareel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee,
Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stlzl and Oskar Sehlemmer.


A studio at the Institut Suprieur

des Arts Deoratils, Abbaye de la Cambre, Brussels, Belgium,





Student project at Vkhutemas,

Moscow, USSR


(Russia), 1923

Lenin Institute, project, Ivan Leonidov, Moscow,

USSR (Russia), 1927

which offered accelerated

remedial classes to workers with-


Student project, Jean de Maisonseul,

Dokuchaev, and Krinsky, and the Constructivists,

out a high school education. At lirst glance the school's toun-

Ladovsky was the most active in developing

dation course appears similar to the Bauhaus's

method 01 teaching through his "psychotechnical

Vorkurs. Its

around Vesnin.

an experimental

students carried out exercises in lour basic disciplines


in which he perfected a battery 01 tests and techniques

by olten ideologically


lrom Hugo Mnsterberg's



instructors: "graphics,"

Vladimir Favorsky and Constructivist




with Alexander Vesnin and Lyubov

Popova, both also active Constructivists;

"volurne," which grad-

ually became little more than an introduction

to sculpture;


Algeria, 1931


research in applied psychology at

Harvard University; his aim was to measure the "psychotechnic qualities 01 architects"

and their ability to perceive lorms

in space. In 1922-3 students al so began to participate

in the

constantly increasing number 01 architecture competitions


and "s pace:' which was devoted to the study and assembly 01

ing place in Moscow.

basic volumes, under the direction 01 Nikolai Ladovsky, Nikolai

projects were included in the "New Moscow" plan designed


In 1924-5 all 01 the school's thesis

Dokuchaev, and Vladimir Krinsky, the luture lounders 01 the

by Shchusev. Students next turned their attention to new pro-

rationalist group ASNOVA ... 14

grams lor stadiums, workers' palaces, and communal

Alter one or two years at the school, students were divided


among faculties specializing

tecture, public buildings, urban planning, and so on - began

in painting, typography, sculp-

tu re, textiles, ceramics, wood, metal, and architecture. In 1923


devoted to music and theater were introduced; in

1924 a department

devoted to literature opened. The vertical


by individual workshops - in residential archi-

to take shape in 1925. During this phase, the school developed

projects lor aviation lactories, industrial lacilities, lilm studios,
and apartment and office buildings.

integration 01 individual disciplines was thus more pronounced

The projects for skyscrapers

than at the Bauhaus, where specialization

were no longer the order 01 the day. Nonetheless, certain thesis

took place later.

that were common belore 1925

Studio work remained central in laculties such as the Metfak,

projects still explored radical hypotheses lor public buildings.

which specialized in metalwork. Inspired by Vladimir Tatlin and

Ivan Leonidov designed a Lenin Institute (1927)

headed by Rodchenko, it emphasized

prophetic structure made 01 cables and luturistic electronic

and lunctional

nature. The school's more politicized, highly


projects 01 a collective

students Irequently came into head-on

with colleagues they considered

to be either



with a

Georgei Krutikov designed a Flying City (1928).

After visiting the Vkhutemas in 1928, Le Corbusier described

the school in his journal as an "extraordinary demonstration


"pure" or decorative artists. Students 01 the Arkhlak, or archi-

the modern credo:' adding: "Here a new world is being rebuilt"

tecture studio, were divided into olear-cut camps: the conserva-

out 01 a "mystique which gives rise to apure

technique." ..15

tives, under prolessors Ivan Zholtovsky and Alexei Shchusev; the

During the 1930s, methods developed in the school's Ioun-

"New Academy," under Ilya Golosov and Konstantin Melnikov;

dation course continued to be used, but traditional methods

and the remainder split between two directly competing

derived lrom the Beaux-Arts were gradually reinstated and the

ments: the "Rationalists,"

Chapter 12



gathered around the trio 01 Ladovsky,

education in turmoil

school's utopian passions died out.


New Bauhaus, Chicago,

lllinois, USA, c. 1938


School 01 Architecture,

Liang Ssu Ch'eng, Nanjing, China, c. 1930

Innovative schools in the new and old worlds

The most consequential

migration was the one that drove

The new schools in Europe at times lavo red conllicting

American students had attended the Bauhaus in Berlin, . 17


but the German experience did not bear fruit in American

many of the Bauhaus teachers to the United States. A lew

In 1927 Henry van de Velde lounded the Institut

Suprieur des Arts Dcoratils at the Abbaye de la Cambre

schools until the wave 01 emigration

in Brussels,

the 1930s. Seven years alter a lirst exhibition organized at


which he would head until 1936, recruiting

the modern architects

Huib Hoste and Victor Bourgeois


provoked by Nazism in

the Chicago Art Club, an exhibition at the Museum 01 Modern

the urban planner Louis Van der Swaelmen. In Italy a national

Art in 1938, Bauhaus 1918-1928, lirmly established

relorm led to the creation in 1924 01 independent

sion 01 the school's history propagated


the ver-

by its founder ..


laculties in the academies 01 line art, but these remained solidly

Gropius had been recruited by Harvard as chair 01 the archi-

under the control 01 conservative

tecture department

architects. In Turkey, Bruno

two years earlier and tasked by the school's

Taut, whe resettled there alter an initial exile in Japan, taught

dean, Joseph Hudnut, with the revision 01 the design curricu-

lrom 1936 until his death in 1938 at the Istanbul Academy 01

lum. Under Gropius the school de-emphasized

Fine Arts, where he pursued the relorm 01 the school's curricu-


history and locused on analytical and collective

lum begun by the Austrian Ernst Egli.


to design as well as on the modernization

The 1930s were characterized

by the establishment

01 a grow-

ing number 01 architecture schools outside Europe. Modest

ateliers were opened in connection
Arts in Algiers by Lon Claro,
Boyer. The Beaux-Arts


01 studio

programs. In 1938 Mies van der Rohe was hired to head the

with the School 01 Fine

the teaching 01

program at the Armour Institute 01 Chicago, which

two years later merged with the Lewis Institute to become the

and in Casablanca by Marius

model, diffracted through the prism

IIlinois Institute 01 Technology ..


Other Bauhaus Meister

also took up places in new institutions. Josel Albers headed

01 Paul Philippe Cret's teaching, served as the loundation for

Chinese schools. The lirst 01 these, largely inspired by the

the program at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, while

Japanese, was lounded in Suzhou in 1923, then taken over by

the Institute of Design, in Chicago.

the Central University in Nanjing

who had been an assistant to Gropius in Dessau, landed in


tour years later and staffed

Lszl Moholy-Nagy

lounded the New Bauhaus, later renamed


In 1933 Richard Paulick,

with professors who had studied with Cret at the University

Shanghai, where he worked as an urban planner and taught

of Pennsylvania. The lollowing

at the university from 1940 to 1949 ..

Mukden (Shenyang)

year a school was opened in

by Liang Ssu Ch'eng, another lormer stu-

dent 01 Cret. . 16 In Rio de Janeiro, Le Corbusier's

1929 lectures

so inspired Lucio Costa that he was moved to modernize



In a single decade the

scattering 01 Beaux-Arts alumni around the world had been

largely superseded

by the diaspora 01 the Bauhaus.


01 a school that had been lounded by the French

in the early nineteenth century.



and revolution
in Russia

During the lifteen years between the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution

councils known as "soviets" changed the circumstances

and Joseph Stalin's 1932 campaign

those who remained - including architects graduating

and artistic organizations

to consolidate


under strict party rule, Russia was a

new schools. The launch 01 a monumental

trorn the



laboratary lar an astonishing range 01 urban and architectural

in 1918 stimulated designs lor the ephemeral translormation

invention. Priar to 1914 the Czarist empire had kept up to date

tain 01 the empire's territories, such as Finland and the Baltic

01 streets and squares as part 01 the celebration 01 the revolution and May Day. Initially limited to a display 01 banners and
the erection 01 isolated sculptures, these spectacles eventu-

states, had developed their own innovative architecture. Western

ally transligured

theories were studied with great attention: John Ruskin's works

Petrograd and provided a glimpse 01 how an "emancipated"

were popular, and Russian readers had access to translations 01

workers' city might look. The most ambitious 01 these projects

books by Auguste Choisy and Heinrich Wblfflin. But develop-

was artist Vladimir Tatlin's Monument to the Third International

with translormations

in European architectural

culture, and cer-

vast public spaces such as Palace Square in

ments in Russia's own architecture had been glimpsed outside


its borders only at world's fairs such as the 1900 Paris expo-

through its projecled


which explicitly competed

with the Eiffel Tower

height 01 400 meters (1,312 leet) and steel

sition and, especially, the 1901 fair in Glasgow, where Fyodor

skeleton. Built 01 "steel, glass, and revolution," in the words 01

Shekhtel's Russia Pavilion made a strong impression.

the critic Nikolai Punin, the tower was designed to hold within

Belore 1914, the experiments 01 architects like Shekhtel operating

its spiraling Iramework a cube, a pyramid, a cylinder, and a

under the "modern"

banner had developed contemporaneously

with research on tensile-steel

structures undertaken

by the civil

engineer Vladimir Shukhov and the tirst use 01 reinlorced

crete by Russian builders.



But the social relorms that had


whose rotation was intended to represent the Ire-

quency 01 meetings 01 Ihe Communisl

sleering committees.




Until 1920, conllicts between the Red and White armies led to

come to the lore in Western Europe had been only marginally


destruction, which was intensilied by Bolshevik

lollowing the revolution 01 1905, and the compre-


against the Russian Orthodox Church. During


hensive plans that had stimulated the creation 01 new building

these uncertain years belore the Reds' power was consoli-

types in Germany and larther west were lacking, largely owing

dated, Sinskulptarkh,

to the weakness 01 municipal governments.

sculpture and architecture

a group dedicated to the synthesis 01

(which became the Zhivskulptarkh

once painters joined its ranks), tried to promote cooperation

The shock of revolution

between various disciplines. They warked logether on theoretical schemes lor "people's houses" like those built in Weslern

The effects 01 the October 1917 revolution were as immediate

Europe belore 1914, lar communal

as they were manilold. The civil war and then the Bolshevik

01 Iriendship" that paralleled the utopian programs 01 German

01 prolessionals into exile, while

01 land and the rise to power 01 new local



and lar "temples

repression sent thousands


the nationalization

designed Ihe most evocative 01 these projects, also helped

Chapter 13 1 Architecture

and revolution in Russia

Nikolai Ladovsky and Vladimir Krinsky, who



to the Third International,

project, Vladimir Tatlin, Petrograd

(Saint Petersburg),

Russia, 1919



f-n.~'7-t' df_
1IAI_....,yA ....._





House, project, Nikolai Ladovski,


(Society 01 Young Artists) exhibition, Moscow, Russia, 1921


195 Komintern Radio Tower, Vladimir Shukhov, Moscow, Russia, 1922

transform pre-revolutionary
Concurrent discussions

art schools into the Vkhutemas.

within the state-supported

and a few mavericks regularly participated.


who had had successful

(Institute of Artistic Culture), where creative methods grounded

Fomin, a Saint Petersburg neoclassicist;

in construction


and inspired by engineering

those based on artistic "composition"

were opposed to

and anchored in aca-

Several architects

careers before 1914 - such as Ivan

Zholtovsky, a Moscow

and Alexei Shchusev, an opportunist

who in

1923 reconstituted the MAO (Society 01 Moscow Architects) -

demic tradition, clearly revealed the differences separating

continued to receive significant commissions.


lormed in reaction to this old guardo The ASNOVA (Association

and Krinsky from the supporters

of Constructivism.

Two groups were

The former aspired to create dynamic forms but were uninter-

of New Architects) 198 included Ladovsky, Krinsky, Dokuchaev,

ested in their relationship with materials, while the latter insisted

and, for a time, El Lissitzky. 200 This group was very influential

on adapting the model of engineering design to the sphere of

among young pea pie. It stood lar strong tectonic expression

art and architecture. The Constructivists

01 the building's structure and visual exaltation of its tunc-

exhibited sculptures

made out of metal and inspired by engineering

structures at the

Already a teacher at the Vkhutemas, the artist Alexander


tion. The second group, whose members were Constructivists,

was lormally launched with the creation 01 the OSA (Un ion 01

Obmokhu (Society of Young Artists) exhibition 197 in 1921.


played a crucial role in these formative stages.

-> 3

Architects) in 1925. It was no coincidence


neither group's name included the term "modern," which had

In 1920 the Bolsheviks launched the GOELRO plan (named

been discredited

for the State Comission for the Electrilication

of Art Nouveau. Chaired by Alexander Vesnin, the OSA was

of Russia) to

build a network of power plants, and embarked


on their New

Policy (NEP), which loosened restrictions on com-

merce. New types of architectural


- including Iac-

by its association with the Russian version

largely run by Moisei Ginzburg, whose book-manifesto

Sti/ i

Epokha (Style and Epoch; 1924) echoed Le Corbusier's theories by suggesting that a new design method should be based

tories, workers' housing, and electric power plants such as Ivan

on the study 01 machines and the application


to architecture.

-> 4


[i.e., Modern] Architecture), or SA, published

MOGES - were generated by needs related to this

national electrification

plan. There was also demand for more

office buildings in connection with revived business activity and

new trading cornpnies such as Arcos and Mosselprom.


of their systems

The periodical Sovremennaia


under Ginzburg's direction lrom 1926 to 1930, presented OSA's

new projects, as well as numerous Western examples, in a radi-

soviets and social-action groups created within various compa-

cally new graphic formo

nies initiated projects to build housing and create workers' clubs.



architects such as Ilya Golosov, a proponent 01 a

colorlul, lormally striking architecture, and especially

A profession renewed

Melnikov rase to prominence through competitions.




created a sensation with his Makhorka Tobacco Pavilion at the

in the USSR was shaped by constant competi-

tions in which members of different professional associations

Exhibition held in Moscow in 1923 and, two years

later, with the pavilion he designed to represent the USSR at






ASNO VA (News 01 the

01 New Architects),



USSR Pavilion, Konstantin



project, El Lissitzky, Moscow, USSR (Russia), 1925


Zuev Workers' Club, lIya Golosov, Moscow, USSR (Russia), 1928

Melnikov, Paris, France, 1925

by El Lissitzky, 1926

202 ~

Rusakov Workers' Club, Konstantin

Melnikov, Moscow,

USSR (Russia), 1927-9

the Exposition





des Arts Ocoratits

et Industrie/s

of two glazed triangular volumes

used their income to provide social services and housing

for their labor forces, as in the Armenikend

bisected diagonally by a staircase, it was the most conspicu-


ous structure at the Paris exhibition ... 6 It revealed to the West

district of collective

the existence of a new Russian architecture,


which was further

by the presentation elsewhere at the fair of over one

hundred projects conceived

The commissions

in the USSR since 1920.

Ivanitsky in Baku (1925-8). A fully equipped

housing was established

by .


in Leningrad

near the Putilov Factory; the schools, communal

kitchens, and

workers' clubs around Alexander Gegello's housing on Tractor

Street (1925-7) formed something

emanating from the new regime's institutions


like a small autonomous


centered on the collective workforce ... 7

began to generate buildings. Among them was Grigory Barkhin's

design for new headquarters for Izvestia, the Moscow daily news-

The "social condensers"

paper, which reached back to classical architecture for its large


oculi. Alexander Vesnin and his brothers Leonid

In the second half of the 1920s, neighborhoods

and Victor failed to realize their 1924 project for the Moscow


office of Pravda , a cage inspired by the metal chassis of the

tion to their counterparts


printing presses, which was to have functioned

as a base for billboards, megaphones,

and projectors inscrib-

to the model of collectivized


life - in strong distinc-

in Germany and Austria. Each Soviet

building type was subjected to elaborate and specific research.

In order to transform the population's

daily habits as quickly as

ing slogans on the clouds. But the three brothers did succeed

possible, buildings

in building the Mostorg Department Store (1927-9), which was

to as "social condensers,'

wrapped in a glass facade, as was Boris Velikovsky's Gostorg

changes in the everyday life of the working class. An unacknowl-

Office Building

(1926). In addition to newly built traditional

buildings, many new types of complexes

including Shchusev and Nikolai Markovnikov's

sprang up,

Sokol Garden

became what the Constructivists


which were meant to accelerate

edged successor to the pre-1914 "people's houses,' the workers' club became the principal place of acculturation
site where the confrontation

and the

between different architectural ideas

Suburb, inspired by the planning of Raymond Unwin. There

proved most fruitful. The clubs retained the auditoriums,

were also workers' housing blocks on Usacheva Street and

taurants, and sometimes the athletic equipment of the people's

in the Shabolovka

area, which Nikolai Travin erected near the

Komintern Radio Tower (1922).

up hyperboloids



The latter, a lattice of stacked-

by Shukhov, seemed to be the real

of Tatlin's tower. Shukhov was also responsible


houses, but libraries were given more prominence, with a strong

emphasis on literacy campaigns.

Above all, the buildings them-

selves were meant to serve as a new and more enduring form

of monumental


The Zuev Workers' Club,



for the roof structure of two bus depots built by Melnikov.

by Golosov in Moscow, pivots expressively on a glass cylin-

Workers, the "victors" of the revolution, were at the heart of

der that houses a staircase connecting

the new urban policies. Prosperous companies

such as the

Ivanovo textile milis, Sverdlovsk steelworks, and Baku oil firms

Chapter 13 I Architecture

and revolution in Russia

the different parts of the

building. Located at the intersection of two streets, it appears as

the hinge of the whole block.


Workers' Club, Konstantin


Melnikov, Moscow,

USSR (Russia), 1927-9




House, Moisei

Ginzburg and Ignati Milinis, Moscow, USSR

(Russia), 1928-30

The five clubs in Moscow that Melnikov built practically


in 1927-9 were a testament




both to this architect's

and to the potential of a building

type that was in a perpetual state of experimentation.

The three

House, 204 was carried out under the aegis of Nikolai Miliutin,
head of the People's Commissariat

for Finance. A veteran

Bolshevik who had studied architecture,

Miliutin commissioned

Ginzburg and Ignati Milinis to design a project to house his

balconies of the theater of the Rusakov Workers' Club 202 canti-


lever over the street, while inside the seats face a stage wedged

itly taken from Le Corbusier - pilotis, ribbon windows, and roof

into a triangular

plan. The Burevestnik

terraces - the project combined

was remarkable

for its large convertible

Workers' Club 203

theater and flanking

in the heart of Moscow. Using a vocabulary

a glazed unit for communal

services with a long housing block. Most of the living quarters

tower, with a floor plan in the shape of a flower. Between the

were two- or three-Ievel "cells" whose spatial complexity

Kauchuk Workers' Club, a rather static vertical cylinder, and

pensated somewhat for their cramped dimensions.

the Svoboda Workers' Club, a horizontal cylinder with mobile

as a "transition"

walls, Melnikov's forms evolved from an almost conventional

all become "domestic communes"


and a new, still undefined form of totally collectivized

to a search for kineticism,

an approach

he had




between traditional apartments, which had now

shared by several tenants,

pursued in his proposal for the Pravda Building competition

the building was remarkable for its precise design and care-

in 1924 and would further develop in his project for a theater

fui execution.

with a rotating stage in 1931.

ing in Sverdlovsk, 206 while Mikhail Barshch and Alexander

The second type of "social condenser"

was the "communal


Ginzburg followed it with another such build-

Pasternak built a more compact communal house in Moscow.

house," a residential complex with integrated services that was

AII these buildings were based on the model dwelling schemes

a direct descendant


of the phalanstery, a utopian community

by Stroikom, or the State Building Committee

of the

inspired by the early socialist Charles Fourier in nineteenth-

Russian Republic, which carried out studies on how to reduce

century France. Like the "garden city," the "communal

the size of rooms and integrate services based on German

was more a slogan than a well-defined

used to describe


concept. The term was

a wide variety of installations,

from the barely

dormitory recalling the dreariest workers' residences

and American examples. But radical projects such as Ivan

Nikolaev's dormitory for students at the Moscow Textile Institute
and the extremist ideas of young Constructivists

such as Sergei

of the pre-1914 period to Moscow apartment buildings with

Kuzmin, who insisted that life be regulated down to the minute,

standards that seem almost luxurious given the difficult condi-

quickly discredited

tions during the NEP. In the second half of the 1920s, full-scale

Moscow also became the site of residential buildings with less

experiments were carried out in an attempt to "reconstruct"

ambitious ideological

everyday life through the collectivization

of food services and

the very idea of the communal


programs but powerful monumental


ence. These included the Dynamo Building by Fomin (1928-9),

reduction in the size of apartments; the provision of new, shared

which explored the potential of a "proletarian

facilities was intended to offset the small living unit. The most

House on the Embankment

productive of these experiments, the Narkomfin Communal

ment block built on the Moskva River across from the Kremlin.

Chapter 13


and revolution in Russia

Doric," and the

by Boris lofan (1930), a huge apart-


Melnikov House, Konstantin Melnikov, Moscow,

..JSSR (Russia), 1927-9



House, Moisei Ginzburg,



USSR (Russia), 1930

"he private house that Melnikov built lor himsell 205 with the

The disurbanist

=ees he earned Irom his workers' clubs commissions


houses reached by automobiles

nique, as individual residences were unauthorized:

it consists

01 the time. In 1931 the Communist

brick walls

the "irresponsible"

01 two interlocking


and lozenge-shaped

towers with stuccoed

windows that are reminiscent 01 peasant

ouses and the towers of Russian fortresses.

model 01 a territory dol1ed with individual

was impracticable

in the USSR

Party called to account

architects who had proposed such plans,

decreeing the "socialist reconstruction"

01 existing cities. This

policy would be carried out with the participation

of hundreds

01 architects and engineers lrom Germany, who had been led

to emigrate either by the economic

Polemics and rivalries

crisis in Germany, as was

the case with Ernst May, or by an al1raction to the USSR's revNith the launch 01 the USSR's lirst Five Year Plan in 1927, the

olutionary ideals, as with Hannes Meyer. From 1930 to 1935

forced march toward industrialization

these loreigners designed most 01 the new neighborhoods

ion 01 thousands



Factory in Leningrad

and hundreds 01 new cities. The

01 Western architects


spurred the construc-

was solicited. Thus Erich


and housing lor decades to come.

Krasnoe Znamia (Red Banner) Textile

The 1931 decision

in 1926-8,

made at a time when disagreements

and in the period leading up

Albert Kahn's lirm built several hundred lactories


shipped Irom the United States. The brutal indus-

in favor 01 socialist urban planning was

become particularly

bitter, with young architects who delined

01 rural areas raised the ques-

themselves as "proletarians"

ion 01 what lorm the country's

urban planning should take. In

course. The competing

the creation 01 a dense

network 01 medium-sized

cities - the "urbanists"

against the "disurbanists,"

who sprang Irom the OSA and were


01 a radical decentralization


01 cities. Formulated

- laced 011

leading to the total

on the occasion

01 compe-

between ASNOVA and

OSA - which had steadily escalated through the 1920s - had

rialization and collectivization

1929 and 1930 those who supported


delined the standards that would be applied to Soviet planning


politicizing the architectural


lactions radicalized their positions, and

targeted several architects. Leonidov, lor one, was

harshly criticized tor the "lack 01 realism" 01 his glass prsrns,

while Melnikov was taken to task lor his relentless individualism.
The work 01the Leningrad architect lakov Chernikhov, whose
boundless visual imagination took shape in unbuildable


titions held in 1929 lor a "green city" near Moscow and in

tectural lantasies" 207 based on machine torrns, lurther contrib-

1930 lor the plan 01 the industrial city 01 Magnitogorsk,

uted to the characterization

utopians .. 10


position - as theorized
- may be understood

to the communal
ported ..

by the sociologist

as a sell-critical


01 the Constructivists

as complete


house projects they had previously sup-

The Palace of the Soviets competition

Miliutin proposed a third option: the "linear city," 208

based on the late nineteenth-century

planner Soria y Mata.

concept 01 the Spanish

The project ter a Palace 01 the Soviets, intended to symbolize

the return 01the Russian capital to Moscow alter two centuries





Fantasy, lakov Chernikhov,


01 a new proletarian state, served as a

and the establishment

pretext tor the Communist

Party - which up till then had cau-

The competition

coincided with a 1932 decision by the

01 literary and

Party regarding the "reorganization

tiously avoided taking sides in the rival currents 01 revolution-

artistic unions." AII existing groups were dissolved - to the

ary fervor - to lormulate an oflicial position on architecture.

reliel 01 some - and architects were invited to join a central-

lor a Palace 01 Labor had been held in

An initial competition

ized union. Projects already underway were carried through

1923. Though the Vesnin brothers' proposal lor a composition

in aclimate

01 volumes leaturing allusions to Auguste Perret made the big-

the decision in the Palace 01 the Soviets competition

gest impact, Noa Trotsky won that competition

direction ter public architecture, which soon became the only

with a neo-


set a new

option available, moving it in the direction 01 historicist mon-

Byzantine project that was soon abandoned.

In 1931 an ambitious

that remained pluralistic lor a lew more years. But




umentality. While the Vesnin brothers were still able to real-

il in emulation

01 those tor the Tribune Building in Chicago

and the League 01 Nations in Geneva, called ter a project

ize their Palace 01 Culture lor the ZIL Automobile

Moscow 209 unhampered

to be built on a site along the Moskva River across Irom the

ers' club ever built - Le Corbusier was able to linish his

Factory in

- without doubt the largest work-

Kremlin. Alter a lirst round restricted to Soviet teams, notable

Centrosoyuz Building in 1936 only in the lace 01 violent attacks

Western architects,

on its radical modernity. The trends 01 the 1920s, beginning


Gropius, Poelzig, Perret, and Le

Corbusier, were invited to submit proposals


a veneer 01 impartiality

so as to give the

and openness.

were also asked to contribute


their own naive

with Constructivism,

were now rejected and their most radical


as was the case with Leonidov, or

killed, as with Okhitovich, who died in a Gulag camp in 1937.

designs. In early 1932, three 01 the 272 projects received were

Stigmatized lor his impenitent idiosyncratic

selected: those by Zholtovsky,

was lorced into retirement at the age 01 lilty.

young American

lolan, 210 and an unknown

named Hector Hamilton. Alter another round,

lolan was awarded the commission,

and Vladimir Gellreikh
tial project combined

with Vladimir Shchuko

named as his collaborators.

the requested

15,000- and 5,000-seat

with a statue 01 Vladimir Lenin standing on a tall

base. Directly intervening

many architectural

in the design process, Stalin made




One 01 them resulted in

the statue being placed atop one 01 the auditoriums,

making the project virtually unbuildable,

lolan's ini-

in the late 1940s.

Chapter 13 [ Architecture

and revolution in Russia


as was inevitably

gestures, Melnikov









~ c::=:::J















--------------210 ~






Linear City, project, Nikolai Miliutin, Nizhny Novgorod,

USSR (Russia), 1930

Palace 01 Soviets, project, Boris lolan, 1931-4

)j' ..,.-




Palace 01 Culture lar the ZIL Automobile

Factory, Alexander

Vesnin, Leonid Vesnin and Viktor Vesnin, Moscow, USSR (Russia), 1931-6





1 KellbHcKHH co(5op-160
2. nHpBMHAa Xeonca-137
3. WTpacc6yorcKHH
4. Ll,epKoBb CTeepBHB B BeHe-139 M.
5. Ll,ePlwBb MapTHHa B naHAcxYTe-137
s. Co60p neTpa B PHMe-143 M.
7. AHTBepneHcKHH co(5op-130
8. Ll,ePKoBb MHxaHllB B raM6ypre-143
9. AMbeHCKHH c060p-126
10. Qlpai't(5yprcKHH co(5op-126
11. XeeppeHCKall nHpaMHAB-126 M.
12. PyaHcKHA CoGop (KOllOKOllbHll)-151 M.
18. Co(5op B WBpTpe-122
14. C060p B MeTl~e-1I8 M.
15. WnH~ neTponaBlloecKoH
B neHHHrpBAe-l09

Chapter 13

Architecture and revolution in Russia


19. UepKoBb naena B JloHAoHe-109
20. MHnaHcKHH coC5op-108 M.
21. YnbMcHHH coC5op (HesaHOH'leH.) Hb1He-161 M.
22. Paryura B 6plOccene-90
23. 6awHR ASHHennH B 60nOHbe -98 M.
24. Coop B ManHHbe-107
25. OpneaHcKHH co6op-105
26 . .l!.BopeL\ HHBanHAoB B naPH>t<e-104 M.
29. YfcaaKHeacHHI1 coC5op a JleHHHrpaAe -97 M.
31. WpaHKtIlYPTCKHH coC5op-84 M.
33. KonOKonbHR YfaaHa Benaxoro D MocKBe-97
34. PeHMcKHH coClop-81 M.
35. 6aaenbcKHH coOop-64
36. naHTeoH B napH>t<e-79
37. 6awH9 KyTCI-MHHap a AenH-73
38. UepKoab TeaTHHepoa B MIOHxeHe-78
39. PyaHcKHH coClop-75


40. BecTMHHcTepcKoe
e JloHAoHe-68
44. CoC5op Ho r pna a B napI1lt<e-66
45. MOHYMeHr B JloHAoHe-61
47. Wapt!l0poBaR
C5awHR B HaHKHHe (paapyureHal-El4 M
49. AHR COtllHR B KOHcTaHTHHonone-58
61. 6awHR B nHse 55 M.
67. AKBeAYK B HHMe-47
60. 6awHR AHTOHHR a PHMe-44
85. 3AaHHe TeneJlloHHoh
CTaHL\HH a H blO!-1oP
Ke-216 M
86. 3MnaHp CTST 6HnAHHr
B HblOYfopKe (3181 407 M.
87. BynbaopT CTST 6HnAHHr
B HblO!-1opKe-(233)
~55 M.
88. Tpaacnopr eurea CTST 6HnAHHr a HblOl1op
Ke-(165) 203 M.
89. 3HHrep
a HblOYfopKe-(186)
209 M.
90. KpaHcnep GTST 6HnAHHr
B HblOl1opHe-(262)
330 M.
91. 3HtIleneaB C5awHR-300 M.
92. nPHHRTblH a ocaoay
.l!.aopL\a Coae
Toa npcexr
apx. 6. YfotjJaH-220' M




Related Interests