Architecture of Use: Aesthetics and Function in Architectural Design

Stephen Grabow, Kent Spreckelmeyer

By analyzing ten examples of buildings that embody the human experience at an extraordinary level, this book clarifies the central importance of the role of function in architecture as a generative force in determining built form. Using familiar twentieth-century buildings as case studies, the authors present these from a new perspective, based on their functional design concepts. Here Grabow and Spreckelmeyer expand the definition of human use to that of an art form by re-evaluating these buildings from an aesthetic and ecological view of function. Each building is described from the point of view of a major functional concept or idea of human use which then spreads out and influences the spatial organization, built form and structure. In doing so each building is presented as an exemplar that reaches beyond the pragmatic concerns of a narrow program and demonstrates how functional concepts can inspire great design, evoke archetypal human experience and help us to understand how architecture embodies the deeper purposes and meanings of everyday life.

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