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Acoustic form in the Modern Movement

Blundell Jones, P. and Kang, J. (2003) Acoustic form in the Modern Movement. arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 7 (1). pp. 75-85. ISSN 1474-0516


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The architects of the Modern Movement in the late 1920s found new sources of form through the pursuit of technical and functional issues in design. They sought shaping agents in functional organization, in the admission of light, in efficiency of structure and construction, and many other physical issues of this kind. At the same time, they felt the need to escape from traditional rules of architectural composition involving Classical orders of columns, symmetry and axes. They were ready to discover a new and surprising identity for buildings precisely to defy the historicist conventions that until then dominated architecture as a cultural tradition. Acoustics is an area in which many interesting claims were made, and some famous Modernist designs were supposedly formed, or at very least inspired, by acoustic forces. These historical instances beg the question whether acoustics is really a legitimate and helpful formal determinant of buildings. Perhaps instead, the acoustic arguments put forward by architects to justify their formal choices were just convenient alibis. This is a far more complex issue than at first it seems.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2003 Cambridge University Press.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Architecture (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2005
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2014 01:12
Published Version: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1017/S1359135503002008
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/736

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