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Louis H Sullivan Essay

803 words - 4 pages

Louis Henry Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) was an american architect largely active during the industrial revolution. He is often considered the father of skyscrapers and the father of modernism. His art style was largely influenced by the industrial revolution and by Michelangelo’s belief in the spirit of creation. He coined the term “form ever follows function” which became the term form follows function. It is the belief that the form of a building must follow the original intent of the creator.

Louis sullivan’s philosophy on form follows function has influenced a large number of architects such as Frank lloyd wright whom he mentored, Erich mendelson, Louis kahn and others. Louis was also had a very strong belief in modernism. He believed that more progressive ways must be taken in the process of making buildings. He strongly supported intuitive and creative ways for the construction of buildings. But added ornate designs to his buildings.

Louis was born in boston. His parents both immigrants moved the family to chicago in 1872. His parents moved again but he decided to remain behind to study at the massachusetts institute of technology at the age of sixteen. He studied for a year before taking getting a job. He worked for a sometime but was then was fired due to economic woe. He eventually went to france and studied their. He eventually came back to america and worked as a theater architect before he started to make steel framed buildings. He focused on office buildings and banks. But his success would end when another economic crises in 1893 caused his career to decline. He eventually died poor and alone. Many of his buildings were demolished. He is similar to johann sebastian Bach both men were great in their fields but economic woe hurt their careers and much of their work was lost.

Louis Sullivan’s greatest contributions to architecture was the use of steel framed buildings. Before the creation of cheap steel a building was very limited in its height. The higher the building the more weight was put on the bottom of the building. The tallest a building could be without steel supports was under ten stories. The industrial revolution made it easier to acquire steel to make a steel frame for a building. Instead of waiting weeks for supplies to come trains could bring the supplies in a matter of days. New plumbing techniques...

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