TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Function and ornament: the modern of Louis Sullivan and Eliel Saarinen



OtsikkoAesthetics - The Uneasy Dimension in Architecture
ToimittajatAnne Elisabeth Toft, Magnus Rönn
KustantajaNordic Academic Press of Architectural Research
ISBN (painettu)978-91-983797-0-9
TilaJulkaistu - 22 joulukuuta 2016
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA4 Artikkeli konferenssijulkaisussa
TapahtumaAesthetics - The Uneasy Dimension in Architecture -
Kesto: 2 tammikuuta 2017 → …


ConferenceAesthetics - The Uneasy Dimension in Architecture
Ajanjakso2/01/17 → …


This article explores the search for modern architectural expression in the
texts of Louis Sullivan and Eliel Saarinen. The latter was influenced by the
former’s architecture, but the main focus of the study is the comparison of
their texts on architectural design process, or search for form. The similarities
found in the texts tell of a like-minded design philosophy, which was
based on observation and appreciation of nature. Nature contained ornaments;
therefore architecture could do so as well. The applications of the
ideas prompted by the common source differed in the work of these two architects, but the premise that ornaments could be a useful part of a modern
architect’s design vocabulary remained the same. The understanding of both
architects’ versions of contemporary form language has suffered from a strict
modernist interpretation. The canonical image of functional architecture has
resulted in the dismissal of many divergent interpretations of modern architectural language, including that of Sullivan and Saarinen. Although current
use of architectural ornamentation stems from various sources and not necessarily nature, a look at the aesthetic search of these two architects at the
turn of the previous century may lend some historical perspective to the use
of architectural ornament today.


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