Louis Sullivann Steel Essay

analytical Essay
2994 words
2994 words

The aim of this discussion is to examine how the groundbreaking introduction of economically variable steel impacted Louis Sullivan’s overall design Scheme. The discussion will explore steel and the benefits it carried with it. Furthermore, the discussion will examine Louis Sullivan’s contribution to high-rise steel construction and what other where doing in the same period, comparing it to his innovative Wainwright building, in St. Louis (1890). The discussion will focus on and analyze an article published by him in 1896 ‘the tall office building artistically considered’, of how ornamentation and structural mass become one. With this, we can apply this philosophy of ornamentation to the Wainwright building. Through this exploration one hopes to gain a better understanding of how influential the introduction of Steel was to Louis Sullivan’s Scheme of creating a new American Architecture.

Before the end of the 19th century, a high-rise building was dependent on the strength of the walls to maintain the load. The taller the construction meant that more strain was added to the building. Due to the weight limitations “load-bearing“ walls could perpetuate, any large-scale construction at this time needed colossal size walls, therefore causing limitations on the overall height.

Approaching the end of the 19th century entered the development of economical and adaptable steel, which changed the rules surrounding weight limitation. At this time America was undergoing great economic and social development, which brought forth great potential for Architecture. As a demand for a more urbanized society was forming, taller and larger building were needed. The large-scale manufacture of steel was the primary main thrust behind the capacity to...

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...ise architecture at the time is undoubtedly one of his greatest achievements. Louis Sullivan gave light to the phrase, ‘form follows function,’ however, one could argue this to be hypocritical coming from the man who focused to heavily on ornamentation. Through in depth research, this discussion successfully concludes that, as Sullivan himself stated, a building that bears no decoration could be a magnificent building. Then again, in terms of the Wainwright building, when the ornamentation and construction turn into one, the building is likewise magnificent.
Interested in the inspiration that informed Louis Sullivan’s infamous ornamentation, this discussion explores Sullivan’s correlation between society and architecture in his work. Through the use of ornamentation Sullivan works to achieve organic architecture aspiring from the relationship between man and nature.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the introduction of economically variable steel impacted louis sullivan's overall design scheme, comparing it to his innovative wainwright building, in st. louis.
  • Explains that a high-rise building was dependent on the strength of the walls to maintain the load. the taller the construction meant more strain was added to the building.
  • Explains that steel was the primary thrust behind the capacity to construct high rises throughout the mid-1880s. by amassing steel girders, architects could all of a sudden make tall, slim structures.
  • Explains that steel frames allowed taller structures, as well as bigger windows, which allowed more sunlight into the interior. no load-bearing walls, these allowed interior walls to become more slender creating a larger more usable floor space.
  • Explains that the limitations of weight-bearing masonry forced formal and structural stipulations, and this new opportunity created a specialized and expressive change in design.
  • Describes louis h. sullivan as one of the most distinguished architects to come through the chicago school of architecture in the late 19th centaury.
  • Explains that sullivan was focused on forming an original american styled architecture, which would be free from historic limitations. his most accomplished influence can be seen in frank lloyd wrights work.
  • Analyzes how sullivan's design for high-rise buildings is simplified, parting from historic styles and utilizing the vertical dissections of the building.
  • Explains that louis sullivan's architecture is a blend of simple geometry and evident massing with detailed pockets of ornamentation in wood, terra cotta and stone.
  • Argues that sullivan's architecture is irreversibly connected with the saying, "form follows function", but one would diminish a focus on structure and emphasize an importance of ornamentation, both working harmoniously.
  • Analyzes how the guaranty building, buffalo (1895), and the wainwright building, st. louis (1890), exemplify what appear to be the vital components of functional design.
  • Opines that ornamental decoration is repugnant to functional design and sullivan's overall architectural scheme has been addressed.
  • Explains that sullivan's manifesto on the design of tall buildings has injured as a blueprint for almost every skyscraper built within the last 120 years.
  • Analyzes how sullivan describes the skyscraper as the perfect emblem of the proud upward aspiring spirit of american man.
  • Explains that sullivan was well acquainted with the advancements of steel before setting up his firm. the wainwright building was innovative and had never been done before.
  • Explains that the wainwright building is an influential model of office building design and illustrates sullivan's theory and composition of base, shaft and attic.
  • Explains that ellis wainwright's building was required for office space. sullivan portrayed the symbolism of his architecture as one of basic geometric and structural forms with organic ornamentation.
  • Compares the influential nature of the wainwright building with other high-rise buildings of that time, which were generally in the neoclassicist style.
  • Compares the pulitzer building and new york life insurance buildings, stating that the use of elaborate decoration to exalt the mere office building into a mercantile palace was the main distinction.
  • Explains that the pulitzer building's facade is divided horizontally into groups of two stories under classical entablatures. there was the influence of pseudo-renaissance forms of palladian motives.
  • Analyzes how sullivan's concept of primitivism mirrored in many ways the simplicity of the workplace plan. a tall office building did not require horizontal dissections or pseudo-classical details on the façade.
  • Explains that the arrangement of wainwright building was similar to other tall office structures, since it emulated the same principle, the perpetual office arrangement plan.
  • Explains that sullivan's article on the wainwright building, published in 1896, stated characteristics of the exterior composition that were also supportive of it.
  • Explains how they treat the first story in a more or less liberal way, while the second story is based on the practical necessities, but expressed with the sentiment of largeness and freedom.
  • Analyzes how sullivan's idea of oneness in the tall office building could be expressed. all men were alike and integral in democracy.
  • Explains that the wainwright building was sullivan's first accomplishment in skyscraper design in which the concept of integrity entire form.
  • Opines that the tall office building must be tall, every inch of it tall. the force and power of altitude, glory and pride of exaltation should be in it.
  • Explains sullivan's philosophy that the integrity was accomplished by arriving at the purest state of art. only the ornamentation harmonizing with the mass could finish the expression of the exterior view.
  • Analyzes how sullivan determined the primary ornamentation on the facade of the building, which would be made from ornate terra cotta panels. the structure and composition of ornamented spandrels and plain brick piers was in such great equilibrium.
  • Explains sullivan's view that a building that bears no decoration could be magnificent, while the wainwright building is magnificent when the ornamentation and construction turn into one.
  • Explains that a high-rise building's sight is small and compact, forcing the architect to refer to the 'typical plan scheme' of the time.
  • Explains that sullivan was critical of architects who used neoclassical influences to inform their design. he gave extensive attention to polychromatic materials and ornamentation of the exterior of structures.
  • Analyzes how sullivan translated the correlation between society and architecture in his works and achieving the organic architecture aspiring from the relationship between man and nature.
  • Opines that sullivan's afterlife began in 1935, but chicago, where he erected many of his ideas, had remorse to its previous enthusiasm.
  • Analyzes how louis sullivan's contribution to the high-rise steel construction revolutionized his design. the phrase 'form follows function' is hypocritical.
  • Analyzes how the discussion explores sullivan's correlation between society and architecture in his work. through ornamentation, he achieves organic architecture aspiring from the relationship between man and nature.
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