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CriticalAnalysis: From Bauhaus to Our House
The introduction of the international style was faced with a lot ofnegativity since some of the architects were still attached to thebourgeois design that had more decorations and beauty. In fact, thebook “From Bauhaus to Our House” by Tom Wolfe reveals how thepost-modernists are the ones that established the international styleand made it more popular too. They argued that the decorations andthe other features somehow made the buildings duller and lesscreative. Hence, the decision to adopt the purity and simplicity wasa way to make the buildings have the “soul” that they wanted. Inthis case, the bourgeois buildings were more presentable andattractive than the international style that the post-modernistsintroduced. This essay will reveal how the simplicity and purityassociated with international style have made the design somehow dulland it does not match the bourgeois buildings that aligned with itstheory and was more presentable and attractive as well.
Wolfe claims that the functionalism that was introduced by Bauhausmovement was the worst idea since it changed the architecturaldesign. In this case, it is evident that the modernist facilitatedthe search for purity as they wanted buildings that were free fromthe decorations. More specifically, they believed that thedecorations associated with the bourgeois somehow undermined thebeauty of architecture. They knew that the buildings with thebourgeois did not fit their theory of functionalism. In fact, at thesame time, they adopted the international style that paved the wayfor the modernism. The international style that came from theEuropean nations roughly entailed of the box-shaped houses that hadglasses covering it. In reality, the architecture design does notembrace the beauty associated with the previous architectural style.More importantly, the bourgeois world was full of beauty thatenhanced the outlook of most buildings. A look at some houses withthe same design could attest that it is still beautiful even if itwas replaced. For instance, the buildings had the cornices facades,as well as the overhanging eaves, are just some of the features thatreveal the beauty associated with the bourgeois buildings (Wolfe,42). The marble, granite and the red brick also enhanced the luxurythat they the structure had. Instead, the international style thataligned with the functional theory embraced simplicity and avoidedthe decorations that were more common in the bourgeois world. Theyeven insisted on the idea that the decorations often erased the soulof the building that was still a crucial aspect of the constructionand the outlook of the structure. Even if the schools of art definedbeauty in a different way, the bourgeois was more attractive andpresentable since they incorporated a number of attractive elements.
The fact that they have failed to incorporate their theory in everyaspect of the architecture also undermines its structure and theattractiveness too. Wolfe even gives a background of theinternational style and reveals that the post-modernist was able tospread the ideology because of the fewer costs that the approachneeded. For instance, it was much cheaper to construct the modernbuilding that did not have bourgeois features instead. Hence, suchreasons were a justification that made Wolfe to reject the idea thatthe International Style is a unique and special work of art. Instead,he believes that the bourgeois had more characteristics that showedhow they made art more appealing and presentable too. Moreimportantly, the international style has been unable to incorporatethe theoretical ideologies and the rhetorical appeal in the structureof their buildings (Wolfe, 66). The post-modernist buildings thatmade of the steel and glass structures have failed to meet the purityassumptions and the utopian society that they wanted to create.Instead, the same ideologies have blinded the architects to theextent that some of them have even ignored the functional approachthat they claim to follow. In fact, the popularity of the style arosefrom the reaction of the society to the buildings and eccentricnature that they incorporated. Wolfe even insists that their theoryseemed more important and presentable than their work. To someextent, it is fair to assert that they failed to meet the hype thatthey had created earlier. Instead, the same buildings have evenincorporated decorations that violate the functionalism approach aswell. In this case, the current scenario also reveals that thebourgeois style was more presentable and a work of art too. Wolfe’sarguments also unearth the reality and reverse all the beliefs thatpeople have acquired because of the purity and simplicity craze thatthe post-modernists had created.
In conclusion, the international style does not match the bourgeoisbuildings that had much better designs and features that were morepresentable and had a sense of aristocratism too. More importantly,the use of decorations made the outside and the inside part of thebuildings more appealing as well. However, the introduction of theinternational style was more appropriate in making sure that thebuildings that they were more simple and embraced purity as well. Inthis case, the style simply comprised of boxes that were covered withblocks and glasses too. In fact, Wolfe argues that the societyembraced the ideology since it was more presentable and attractivetoo. Even if most people seem to support the international style, ithas failed to embrace the functionalism approach that it follows.Some aspects have instead adopted the bourgeois features instead.Hence, such scenarios make the society question if the architects arealso following the theory or only the rhetorical appeal.
Wolfe, Tom. FromBauhaus to Our House. New York: Picador USA, 2009.