Philip Johnson and Russell Hitchcock believe the contemporary style of today owes a lot to the structural development of the use of metal. They state that, "the Crystal Palace at the London Exposition of 1851, Paxton's magnificent iron and glass construction, has far more in common with the architecture of our day than with that of its own." [H&J, 39] New construction methods were being invented[...]DOWNLOAD REFERAT
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Although technological innovations are part of the new architecture, Hitchcock and Johnson also address its other counter parts, such as functionalism. With functionalism comes the question of aesthetics, but the idea of functionalism can have a broad definition. Supporters of the Classical Revival and the Medieval Revival in the nineteenth century could easily defend their practice by functionalist arguments, such as in the example of, "both Greek and Gothic architecture, for in the temple as well as in the cathedral the aesthetic expression is based on structure and function." [H&J, 51] Unfortunately function touches on the economical aspect of construction as well, so any unnecessary detail or ornament would consequently add to the cost of the building, negating an important principle of the new architecture.
According to Hitchcock and Johnson, "in the buildings of the past, support and protection were both provided by the same masonry wall." [H&J, 56] Now, "isolated supports, piers of metal or reinforced concrete, are, however, normal and typical." [H&J, 36] This type of construction enabled architects to design plans with more liberty and openness. The solid brick bearing walls had no true meaning in the new language. A new prime architectural symbol rose, which was the open box. "The plan can be composed almost entirely in terms of the needs it must provide for" [H&J, 56], looking back at functionality.
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