Architectural Expression: Art (Kunst)

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Architectural expression: Art [Kunst]

Responsiveness to factual circumstances and refinement were prerequisites for achieving 'building'. However, to achieve true architecture, one still needed to elevate 'building' to 'building-art'.26 This artistic component regarded mainly the 'form' – the visible, external appearance of the building - which matured during the final stages of the design process, following the resolution and consolidation of more essential, underlying factors, such as the construction.27 Indeed, the form depended on the essence of the building because, to be true, the form should clearly express this essence – the building as it really was; being shaped out of its means and purpose.28 Through construction, the form could
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He explained, 'I realized that architecture was always an expression of a particular form of civilization, but then came the difficult task… what is our civilization? What is essential?'.37 He added, 'It is very difficult to define our civilization, and it is far different to put this thought into words than to build it'.38 While studying the work of contemporary philosophers, notably Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947), Mies understood that the sustaining and driving forces of his epoch were universality, science, industrialization, economy, and above all technology.39 However, the architectural expression of the essence of this 'Technological Age' was not equivalent to the literal, direct display of the building's skeleton as in a work of engineering.40 Even if intended by the architect, this direct exposure was often hampered by the other various factors that influenced the architectural design, such as the fireproof regulations, as notably exemplified by Mies's buildings in Chicago. Moreover, an essential expression entailed the use of symbolism because the essence of a thing transcended the material realm, reaching the realm of ideas, concepts, sensibilities and aspirations. This immaterial realm expanded the possibility of subjective interpretation and artistic inspiration. Indeed, Mies acknowledged that, even though prioritizing a collective expression, individuality…show more content…
Indeed, Mies often used the words 'structure' and 'essence' interchangeably. For example, he wrote 'What is its [our time's] structure, its essence?'44 Similarly, he stated that architecture 'expresses the real essence of its times,'45 and, on another occasion, that architecture is 'an expression of the innermost structure of its time'.46 Mies defined 'structure' as the conceptual order, the underlying idea that carefully related the parts according to their nature, thus determining their rightful place in the whole and establishing a clear, logical order.47 Mies sought such an architectural structure that was in close harmony with the essence of the epoch because this harmony was a key characteristic of true architecture in general. Mies concluded, 'Building-art is the sense-bestowal of a historical event. Genuine realization of its inner movement. Fulfilment and expression of its

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