The explanation given for the architecture of the Modern Movement usually involves the successive transformations occurring in rationalist thought and the evolution of modern technical possibilities. However, in his bookExpresionismo. El lenguaje y construcción de la forma arquitectónica, Javier Climent argues that there is another history behind functionalism, one that reflects the legacy of the Expressionist tradition in Modernism. Taking readers on a journey from Henri Van de Velde and Antoni Gaudí to Bruno Taut or Mies van der Rohe, this study demonstrates both the presence of subjectivity in building design and also the relationships that exist between architecture and film, theatre or literature.
As these new languages become incorporated into architecture, rigid moulds are eschewed and a new phase becomes apparent, in which unpredictability, emotion, recognition of the spectator or the hand of the architect are considered essential. This is what happens with buildings such as the 1914 Glass Pavilion of Cologne, by Bruno Taut, a metaphor for modern utopia, in the ideal of transparency, and also in the dynamic architecture of Erich Mendelsohn in urban contexts. The book shows the less uniform side of functionalism, in which expressionism and organicism blend with rationalism.
Javier Climent Ortiz, author of the book. Since 1977 he has taught in the Projects Department at the Madrid School of Architecture.
Antonio Roche Navarro, editor. General director of the publishing company Editorial Biblioteca Nueva and the president of the Editorial Minerva.
Antonio Fernández Alba es doctor arquitecto y catedrático de Elementos de Composición en la Escuela de Arquitectura de Madrid desde 1970.
Juan Navarro Baldeweg, architect, sculptor and painter. He is a professor in the Projects Department at the Madrid School of Architecture
Simón Marchán-Fiz, professor of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts at the National University of Distance Education, UNED. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.