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Tweet "A common, ordinary brick," says Woody Harrelson, playing an architect in the movie, Indecent Proposal"wants to be something more than it is.
It was Louis I. Kahn who first posed a question in the early s that has since attained legendary status within architectural circles: In fact, a key to understanding brick as a modern architectural material lies precisely in its dual potential to be both structure and cladding. For the greater part of the history of architecture, brick walls assumed both roles, simultaneously supporting floors and roof while at the same time providing enclosure.
It is only since the late 19th century that it has become possible to separate those roles by creating an independent framework of steel or reinforced concrete structure to which exterior brick may be attached cladding. In this case, the brick no longer supports the floors and roof, although its appearance as cladding may well obscure this fundamental distinction.
Woody Harrelson in Indecent Proposal The real architect: Louis Kahn From the Kahnian viewpoint, brick as mere cladding was inherently suspect.
But other Modernists were equally distrustful of brick as load-bearing structure, since this seemed to negate the idea of the "free plan," the independence of structural framework from means of enclosure, and the opportunities for large glass areas.
In fact, an influential faction of early 20th-century Modern architects and theorists eschewed the use of brick in any form, associating it with the 19th-century cultural forces they were attempting to overcome.
They lobbied instead for the 20th century's revolutionary new materials of construction: Where construction with brick walls was still found expedient within this context, a coat of plaster could transform the deviant surface into something acceptably plane and neutral.
As a symbol of traditional culture and pre-industrial technology, brick was an easy target. But brick's traditional role as load-bearing structure was also legitimately challenged by the need for greater heights and larger spans in the new commercial and industrial structures of the 19th and 20th centuries; and by the ascendency of heterogeneous, layered exterior wall systems that could accommodate air and vapor barriers, thermal insulation, and an air space cavity to block the migration of water through exterior walls.
In spite of this, brick was never rejected absolutely and was, on the contrary, often found capable of embodying precisely the abstract formal values that helped define the new Modernist aesthetic.
Even load-bearing brick buildings remained influential well into the 20th century, acting as a kind of conservative moral datum of "honest" construction what the brick really "wanted to be" opposed to some, but not all, Modern tendencies.
Architects continued to use brick with enthusiasm and, like Frank Lloyd Wrightboasted that in their hands the ordinary brick became "worth its weight in gold. At the same time, brick itself was subject to technological change, evidenced not only in the increased systemization of its manufacture, begun in the late 12th century and culminating in the 19th century's relentless mechanization of all aspects of the brick-making process, but in the application of Frederick Taylor's theory of scientific management to bricklaying in the first decades of the s.
Amsterdam Stock Exchange Sullivan: Wainwright Building Brick was widely used throughout the 20th century, accommodated within virtually all styles. The chronological survey that follows is therefore necessarily incomplete and somewhat arbitrary.
That being said, several key developments can be highlighted, starting with the period before the first World War. Already, a number of trends may be discerned in the late 19th-century that continued to be played out well into the 20th century.
Berlage's Amsterdam Stock Exchangeboth of which pointed the way towards a reinterpretation of brick informed by the Modernist bias towards simple, relatively unornamented surfaces, even when used in load-bearing wall construction. A second, more complex tendency can be seen in the brick facade of Louis Sullivan's Wainwright Building in St.Chrysler in Trouble Chrysler Motors, LLC was the third largest automobile manufacturer in the United States filed for bankruptcy protection April 30th, , under section of chapter 11of the United States bankruptcy code.
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Do You Really Need to Write Word Blog Posts to Rank on Page 1? | Ep. # An additional variation on this theme can be seen in Poelzig's Upper Silesia Tower in Posen () where brick cladding is clearly expressed as non-structural "infill" within an actual structural frame exposed on the building's surface.