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Discuss the Relationship between form and function in the Seagram Building, the Guggenheim Museum and the George Pompidou Center - Essay Example

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Discuss the Relationship between form and function in the Seagram Building, the Guggenheim Museum and the George Pompidou Center

It was designed as the headquarters for the Canadian distillers Joseph E. Seagram's & Sons" (2007).
The International Style in which this building was constructed was extremely influential on American architecture, one of its chief traits being to externally articulate the structure of the building. Mies wanted the structural elements of the building to be visible.
This was not practical because of the American fire codes that required structural steel to be coated with fireproof material, "so Mies used non-structural bronze-toned I-beams to suggest structure instead. These are visible from the outside of the building, and run vertically, like mullions, surrounding the large glass windows. Now, observers look up and see a "fake and tinted-bronze" structure covering a real steel structure. This method of construction using an interior reinforced concrete shell to support a larger non-structural edifice has since become commonplace. The interior was designed to assure cohesion with the external features, repeated in the glass and bronze furnishings and decorative scheme." (Wikipedia 2007).
Two of the most interesting design features of the Seagram building involve the window blinds in the building itself and the Plaza just outside. Mies disliked the disorderly position of window blinds at various heights, so he designed the blinds in the building to operate fully open, fully closed, or halfway. This allowed the building to keep its orderly form without losing too much function. Mies never intended the area in front of the building to become a gathering place for people, but it did nonetheless. The Plaza is another function of the Seagram Building, as is the Four Seasons Restaurant (Wikipedia 2007).
Guggenheim Museum

One of the best-known museums in New York City is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, or as it is most commonly known by the locals, The Guggenheim. It was founded in 1937 and serves as a location to house and display modern artwork. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the new and current building in the year 1959 (Wikipedia 2007).
"The distinctive building, Wright's last major work, instantly polarized architecture critics, though today it is widely revered. From the street, the building looks approximately like a white ribbon curled into a cylindrical stack, slightly wider at the top than the bottom. Its appearance is in sharp contrast to the more typically boxy Manhattan buildings that surround it, a fact relished by Wright who claimed that his museum would make the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art "look like a Protestant barn" (Wikipedia 2007).
As far as form is concerned, the viewing gallery within is comprised of a spiral. The downside to its beauty is that the design takes away from the artwork that is displayed. Also, the exhibit areas are difficult to hang paintings in. "Although the rotunda is generously lit by a large skylight, the niches are heavily shadowed by the walkway itself, leaving the art to be lit largely by artificial light. The walls of the niches are neither vertical nor flat (most are gently concave) meaning canvasses must be mounted proud of the wall's surface. The limited space within the niches means that sculptures are generally relegated to plinths amid the main spiral walkway itself. Prior to its opening, ...Show more


A large portion of exploring the fine arts involves the observation, interpretation, and comparison of various art forms that exist in the world today. One example of this includes architectural art forms. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between form and function in the Seagram Building, the Guggenheim Museum, and the George Pompidou Center.
Author : hdurgan
Discuss the Relationship between form and function in the Seagram Building, the Guggenheim Museum and the George Pompidou Center essay example
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