THE IDEAL IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE MATERIAL TRANSFORMED AND REDONE IN THE HUMAN HEAD.
K. MARX, KAPITAL1
77. THE BAUHAUS.
A few words on the architectural design of our construction. All these styles, Empires, Baroques, Renaissances, Gothics, and the like were very fine for their own epochs; they corresponded to the materials, ways of life, etc.
Our epoch—the epoch of the machine, of severe economy, new materials, new social relationships, and new forms of living—demands new architectural forms.
It would be an utterly senseless pursuit to try to invent these forms. They must arise themselves as a result of the material and the structural content of the new buildings. The architect’s problem is to know how to find the most rational solution possible to the essence of the content of the building, while the form itself would be a logical consequence of this solution. Our architecture must, first and foremost, be honest, and an honest solution to a correctly stated and correctly resolved problem cannot help but be beautiful.
An intelligent structural solution needs no covering mask of decoration. A healthy face needs no powder.
The hopeless tedium of many plans for contemporary installations stems from the incorrect solution to architectural problems, not as a result of denial of decoration. Quite the contrary: not knowing how correctly to solve problems of architectural organization of the building and its construction causes many architects to hide their illiteracy and lack of ability behind the mask of “style” for which they either steal from their elders—calling this thievery by the delicate term “eclecticism”—or else they try to think up something “new” or “newest” in the way of style, accompanying their vices with noisy leftist phrases and twaddle about idealism, symbolism, and other such rubbish.
The Soviet settlement must be honest and simple in its forms—as the working class is honest and simple; varied—as life is varied; the parts that make up the buildings should be standardized but not the buildings themselves; economical in the material and maintenance expended but not in their expanse and volume; joyous as nature is joyous. Finally, they should be comfortable, light, and hygienic.
Lightness, expediency, simplicity, variety, cleanliness, a maximum of light—these are the qualities on which must be based the architectural design of Soviet construction.
78. MIES VAN DER ROHE. SKYSCRAPER PROJECT.2
79. CONTEMPORARY SCHOOL. AN EXAMPLE OF RATIONAL PLANNING AND DESIGN.3
89. LE CORBUSIER. LIBRARY.6
92. LE CORBUSIER. TSENTROSOIUZ BUILDING.8