27 Jul Vanguard in architecrure what’s more?
The beginning of the XX centure became a turning point in the history of mankind, unaware of such powerful shakes. War, in with many countries were engaged , revolutions, embracing the whole Europe like fire, – all these couldn’t but influence thoughts and feelings of people of that time. And as long as Russia appeared to be in the epicenter of developments, the country , in which proletarian revolution not only happened, but also won, she was the one to become the fated home of a stream, now called vanguard.
The building of a new state, having proclaimed to shake the old world to its very foundation and to build the new and fair one – couldn’t but tell on the art and architecture of that time. Mass industrialization of the country in the 20-30s also extended its requirements. Complete overhaul of typology of buildings and their artistic image became vitally important. There had to appear dwelling of a new type, different from former spectacular institutions, social housing, the analogues of which had never existed before.
Of course, the appearance of a new art was explained not only by this. After the First World War, people had lost their confidence in tomorrow, in the fact, that the world was moving to some “bright future”, as many writers and philosophers thought. The collapse of former ideals on the one part and hope for finding new ones partly explained the aspirations of writers, artists and architects to build a new different art. Experiments with plane and volume compositions, where the main thing was the combination of color spots, planes, simple volumes and their interplay, showed their artists and observers from the outside, that there existed the esthetics, absolutely different from traditional. Thereafter the styles depicted not one or another epoch, but were a creative world-view of their authors.
Vanguard shall mean a totality of different streams in architecture, the aim of which is to create a new art, implying the absence of connections with the former. Functionalism and constructivism became such vanguard streams in Russian Soviet architecture of the early XX century. New view of art and architecture affected the creativity of architects and artist of the other countries. One can absolutely surely say that in Europe of the 20-30s architecture, painting and applied art had completely destroyed the idea of majority about what the buildings, household items, applied art should be.
The architecture vanguard of the 20-30s is characteristic of the absence of any façade décor, big fenestrations, simple cubic forms. The essence of these buildings is function. The building should reflect its purpose without serving the art for art’s sake. Here the beauty was present in the form of a balanced blend of volumes, correlation of fenestration with the area of blind walls, verticals and horizontals. It was a social architecture, which in conditions of wild industrialization of a young state reflected the idea that the art itself also should be industrial; a building should become a peculiar machine for living, for production, for entertainment events.
In a post-war period the ideas of vanguard were continued by V Gropius, Mies Van der Rohe and F.L. Wright. The architecture started to confirm a new international style, which declared the absence of any national features, was simple and functional. Such are many American skyscrapers dressed in glass and metal. Building technologies are dynamically developing and frequently defining the esthetics of buildings.
In the 70-80s there appeared a diversity of vanguard streams in architecture, associated with concreate names of their authors. There was Louis Kahn’s structuralism, Kenzo Tange’s metabolism, neomodernism, brutalism and so on. Though constructivism existed not long in our country, its ideas have been used by architects world-wide till now. One can say for sure, that the model of architecture of the late XX century was created not only by the founder of famous German school named “Bauhaus”, but also by our architects-constructivists, many of whose works are incredibly modern.
Russian vanguard of the early XX century is told about in all architectural higher educational establishments of the world. And it is natural, that modern architects use its artistic techniques.
Huge breakthrough in vanguard architecture of the XX century took place with the appearance of computer technologies and methods of digital design. There appeared the term of “nonlinear architecture”. It indicated the release of objects of architecture from the framework of three-dimensional space and the ability to create very intricate non geometric volumes. There appeared such streams as deconstructivism, eco-organic architecture.
In conclusion one can say that vanguard of the XX century had completely destroyed traditional view concerning what architecture was as the artistic creativity. All its fundamental concepts and their correlation (benefit, stability and beauty), on which this kind of art was based more than one century, were shaken in the XX century. Many vanguard critics ask themselves – what will it be further? Of course, as the saying runs, it remains to be seen, but it can be recollected, for example, that many grandiose inventions took place when traditional view had been swept away. Current architecture dictates, but not performs. It dictates a life style, methods of self-expression and even political orientation. Presently become citizens of the world and to finally start solving global problems, such as child mortality, wars, hunger – those, which look like the shame of mankind against the background of a giant technological breakthrough.
Author – Zoya Panova