TODAY ONLY IT'S INDISPUTABILITY REMAINS
Though the modernists were pleading that the only functional can be the only ‘honest’ beauty, they soon found themselves in a self created dilemma. Le Corbusier, as one of the main characters of the modernist movement, was a great example of an architect renouncing completely to beauty in order to focus on the mechanical and the functional. Soon he found himself confronted with his own deception. In order to achieve the perfect aesthetic language of the only functional he found himself compromising with technical imperfect solutions controverting his own modern theory. Pursuing the aesthetic look of the only functional, meant hiding the technical components it took to achieve it’s look. This resulted in the modern architecture style, aiming for a beauty seeming to derive from only the functional, but not being obeying it’s own law.
Corbusier’s interest in achieving his specific aesthetic was pursued so far as him having handmade walls, by artisans using a specific mortar. Furthermore he found himself faced with complaints from the family Savoye, criticizing several leakages. To a point, where their son caught a severe pneumonia, requiring him to spend a year in Chamonix recuperating in a sanatorium.
Attempts, as the one from the modernist movement, have not succeeded in establishing a new ‘honest’ notion of beauty, bringing us directly back to the prohibited discussion of beauty and aesthetics in architecture.
This dilemma does not seem to resolve itself in the current approach we’re witnessing in
today’s building industry. Apart from some rarely and extravagant constructions, often developed by celebrated individuals, we are facing an era of real estate developers ruling their decisions upon monetary reasons, rather than an value based ideology. The facade is no longer considered as a surface that has to positively interact with the public, but more as a arbitrary result from the most efficient conception of the inside space. Even though real estate developers do embrace today’s production possibilities and technologies, it seems they only draw economic advantages from it, instead of pursuing a cultural vision. Which is quite conflicting, since architecture and it’s effect on us is so very dominant. Furthermore it does not seem so unattainable to reunite an architectural vision with current producibility, since we are no longer in terms of craft, but can draw the technology to our advantages in order to obtain a result of our vision, within economical possible terms.
Last but not least a higher investment in financial and conceptional terms would consequently resolve in longer lasting constructions adding to it’s sustainability as much as to it’s value.