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Functions in Architecture
Plan :
1. Introduction to functions
2.Form versus Function
3.Historical context
4.Types of Functions in Architecture
5.Functional analysis
6.Function and design
7.Conclusion.
Introduction
●
Function, or utility of an object/work of
architecture, says that the object/work of
architecture is fitted to a particular use.
●
In Architecture, the question became
early important in Antiquity. It served also
in last 20th
century of a great element of
debate between functionalists and
formalists.
Vitruvius vision
Principles of Architecture
according to Vitruvius:
- Firmitas (Strength)
- Utilitas (Utility or Function)
- Venustas (Beauty or
Aesthetics).
Form follows function
Louis Sullivan famously stated that 'form
follows function,' emphasizing that the
design of a building should be primarily
dictated by its intended function or
purpose."
Le Corbusier's "A House is a
Machine for Living In"
- Le Corbusier's Approach to Functionalism:
Le Corbusier's philosophy was based on the
fact that architecture should serve the needs of
its occupants efficiently and effectively. In the
Athena Charte, he divided functions of a city to
four main categories :
1. Work,
2. Housing,
3. Recreation,
4. Transport. 0000
Form follows fiasco!
●
Peter Blacke.
●
Blacke argued that
the original mantra of
Sullivan was
denatured to a
tendancy of visually
attractive design
rather than focusing
on real human needs.
So, what is function ?
●
Every architectural object has its basic utility function
expressed in its colloquial name, such as a cottage, a
house, a residential building, a sky-scraper, a temple,
a factory, a shipyard, a theatre, a stadium, a rail-way
station, etc.
●
At the same time, every object additionally performs
a number of public functions whose meaning goes
beyond its strictly utilitarian role. The ability to satisfy
all of these needs, I call the functions of architecture.
(A. Wallis, 1985).
Historical evolution of
Architectural functions
– Housing / Shelter
– Religious fact : Temples
– Political fact : Monuments
– Other historical types : Academic,
Recreational, Healthcare, Etc.
Housing :
Protection and
security dimension :
This objective was the
first one in building
original shelters.
Housing :
Comfort dimension :
– It is about realizing
conditions of :
●
physiological,
●
psychological
●
and social comfort.
Housing
Symbolic dimension.
A house is a Home
Place. Defined by a
Property with limits
with a door and a
threshold. In most
conservative
cultures, it
symbolizes Honor.
●
Religious fact :
Massive shapes
with symbolic
functions
●
Spiritual Authority.
●
Rise, Expression of
Ascension.
●
Religious fact :
Expression of faith
by procession.
●
Religious fact :
Work on lights.
●
Religious fact :
Work on space
poetics .
●
Political fact :
Palaces,
– Governing places
(Agora,
Parliaments).
– Military Architecture
(Barracks, Prisons).
Other types
– Civil Architecture :
Markets,
– Courts,
– Baths,
– Administrations, Lattrins
(sic!), etc.)
–
– Recreational Architecture :
– Theaters
– Amphitheaters,
– Stadiums
– Hyppodromes, etc..
– Parks, etc.
Other types
– Academic
Architecture
Primary and high Schools,
– Universities.
Other types
– Healthcare Architecture
– Hospitals
–
Other types
– Cultural Architecture
–Museum
–Theaters,
–Cinema boxes
–Libraries, etc.
Other types
Requirements for functions
●
Comfort
●
Ergonomy
●
Socialization
●
Security
Classification
●
Related to Wallis :
–
Functional Analysis
Functional Analysis
- The process of evaluating user needs, spatial
requirements, and circulation patterns to inform design
solutions.
It is built on several methods such as :
●
user surveys,
●
observation,
●
and space programming.
Strategies for Integrating Functions
into Design Process
1.- User-centered design,
2.participatory approaches,
3.and interdisciplinary collaboration.
-
●
Examples of Contemporary Projects: Images and
descriptions of contemporary projects that successfully
balance function and aesthetics, demonstrating how
functions are integrated into the design process.
Functionalism vs
Formalism
Function and use

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Functions in architecture. Lecture to 1st year students in Architecture