Organic or functional?

Dominique Rouillard


In 1952 the MoMa organized the exhibition Built in the USA. Post-war Architecture: a strong affirmation that the battle for the modern architecture had been won. In 1960, less than ten years later, Philip Johnson declared it “terribly boring”, welcoming the “juicy caos” that he observed in the contemporary American architecture. The paper focuses on what was happened during the fifties, looking through the time-old debate between “organic” and “functional”, analyzing in particular the trajectory of Eero Saarinen. Against the myth of the recherche patiente and the extreme coherence of the Mies buildings, the “style for the job” proposed by Saarinen posed a new question to the critics, along the outbreaking buildings of the ‘new’ Louis I. Kahn, or the folies of Morris Lapidus along the east coast.


chaotism; styling; uncertainty; consumption of architecture; architecture as media

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2611-0075/6725


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