Concept Of Form In Architecture

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Architecture is inevitably dependent on form, most important and difficult concept in architectural modernism. The important concept of form is not exclusive only to architecture, but also to art and culture in general. Form in architecture is commonly seen as the physical manifestation of the attempt in shaping the space around us. However, the meaning of form contains ambiguity between ‘shape’ and ‘idea’ or ‘essence’. The dual understanding of form has its root from its country of origin where it is developed, Germany. In German language there are two terms, which are ‘Gestalt’ and ‘Form’. The former means objects perceived by our senses and the latter is more abstract as it is conceived in the mind. However, most people always understand ‘form’ as ‘shape’. But one thing for sure is that ‘form’ is merely a device for thought .

Although there have been many debates and points of view regarding form since then, even until the modernism era there is still no actual definition of what form is. Some of the points of view of understanding form are that it is seen as ‘resistance to ornament, form versus social values, and form versus functionalism’ .

In ‘form as resistance to ornament’, it is heavily correlated to modernism that views ornament as a crime to architecture. German critic Adolf Behne (1920s) stated, “the concept of form does not deal with accessories, decoration, taste or style, but to be an enduring structure” (Forty, 2004, p.161). Behne (1920s) also suggest
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