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Need to Break Free From the Past, Reaction Paper Example

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In “Glass Architecture”, Paul Sheerbart explains that in order to evolve into a more complex society, we need to break free of current social standards and expectations of what architecture should be, and expand beyond the techniques and materials that have been used in the past (Sheerbart 32). Sheerbart believes that glass architecture breaks free of the past because instead of promoting the convention of closed walls that usually defines structures, we are able to appreciate the beauty of the outside world indoors. Like Sheerbart, Antonio Sant’Elia and Filippo Marinetti disapprove of the use of ancient designs to design new buildings, and claim that the Futurist approach is ideal for modern architecture (Sant’Elia & Filippo 1).

A 2010 article in Vanity Fair, “Architecture in the Age of Gehry”, discusses Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; according to a panel of 52 experts for this publication, this was the single most important piece of architecture built since 1980 (Tyrnauer). This building is representative of modern architecture because it has many characteristics of both Modernism and Postmodernism. Although I agree that the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is a beautiful modern building, I was at first doubtful of the credibility of the statement that it is the most important piece of architecture in the past 30 years because Vanity Fair is a magazine that doesn’t typically specialize in architecture. However, the identity of the 52 experts that were used to make this decision contradicted my initial doubt; 11 of the experts were Pritzker Prize winners and several were the deans of major architecture schools. This is an appropriate research source for this theme because the Guggenheim Museum is an excellent example of the architect’s ability to break free from the conventions of architecture of the past. The building itself has a golden metallic feel and Gehry makes use of a lot of unique angles and shapes to give the building a modern feel; it is therefore truly a modern piece of art.

Works Cited

Kant, I. Critique of Judgement. Berlin, 1790. Print.

Locke, J. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 1690. Print.

Sant’Elia A, Marinetti F. Manifesto of Futurist Architecture. n.d. Print.

Sheerbart, Paul. Glass architecture. Berlin, 1914. Print.

Tyrnauer, M. Architecture in the Age of Gehry. Aug. 2010. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.

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