2/6/13: Form Follows Function
Carson, Pirie, Scott Chicago (Department Store), Louis Sullivan
This work of architecture serves as an example of modern art, as not only did it serve to radically change modern American architecture, but it introduced to the world the leisure activity of shopping. The building itself follows the “form follows function” philosophy os Sullivan, with the entrance designed to look like a Gothic church, not only advertising its wares but also attracting customers. The steel frame of the building allowed for a much larger area of windows, which Sullivan filled with plate glass. These naturally advertised wares as well as allowed more sunlight into the store. Bronze and terra cotta were used in the making of the building, and essentially made it fire-proof. On top of that, Sullivan even had a water tower installed on the top so that it would supply water to the sprinklers in case of a fire. Had it been done any other way, I believe shopping might not have taken off as fast in the beginning, but Sullivan did a remarkable job of not only creating the ideal shopping experience, but also making the customer feel special and grandiose when entering his store. This, and the durability of his building has created a phenomenon that has changed both American culture and architecture.