Starting from the second half of the 19th century, the mechanization processes manifestation developed in many fields: from agriculture to the invention of new objects of technical use, as well as in the house functional units, mainly kitchens and bathrooms. Among the innovations which helped make life easier and more comfortable, the air-conditioning – a technically and culturally American invention started in 1902 thanks to the ingenuity of Willis Haviland Carrier – is certainly noteworthy. Less than thirty years later, engineer J.L. Bacon designed the central heating unit and ventilation system of Villa Tugendhat in Brno, iconic architecture of the 20th century by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The architect considered the plant systems of this house as a part of the building’s design. In relation to this, Mies adopted an avant-garde approach in the management of the coexistence of architecture and installation of sophisticated systems. Especially, this building represents a valuable proof of the highly significant aspect of the dialogue between architect and plant engineer: it points out an approach not always practiced by many architects of the Modern Movement. Nevertheless, the key role of Bacon as heating engineer in Villa Tugendhat results neglected and almost never properly emphasized, despite the numerous monographs dedicated to this building and its author. This paper highlights the correlation between Bacon’s graphic works – drawn between 1929 and 1930 – and the solutions actually adopted in Villa Tugendhat, which show an integration between plant and construction that makes explicit the dialogue between Mies and Bacon for the building’s design. Starting from this, the paper aims to analyse the air-conditioning solutions adopted in this architecture with reference to those proposed and employed in that period, allowing to understand if and how much the air-conditioning solutions applied in Villa Tugendhat were avant-garde for that time.

Avant-garde installations. Mies and Bacon for the plant systems of Villa Tugendhat in Brno

Bonora A.
;
Fabbri K.
;
Favaretto G.
;
Pretelli M.
2022

Abstract

Starting from the second half of the 19th century, the mechanization processes manifestation developed in many fields: from agriculture to the invention of new objects of technical use, as well as in the house functional units, mainly kitchens and bathrooms. Among the innovations which helped make life easier and more comfortable, the air-conditioning – a technically and culturally American invention started in 1902 thanks to the ingenuity of Willis Haviland Carrier – is certainly noteworthy. Less than thirty years later, engineer J.L. Bacon designed the central heating unit and ventilation system of Villa Tugendhat in Brno, iconic architecture of the 20th century by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The architect considered the plant systems of this house as a part of the building’s design. In relation to this, Mies adopted an avant-garde approach in the management of the coexistence of architecture and installation of sophisticated systems. Especially, this building represents a valuable proof of the highly significant aspect of the dialogue between architect and plant engineer: it points out an approach not always practiced by many architects of the Modern Movement. Nevertheless, the key role of Bacon as heating engineer in Villa Tugendhat results neglected and almost never properly emphasized, despite the numerous monographs dedicated to this building and its author. This paper highlights the correlation between Bacon’s graphic works – drawn between 1929 and 1930 – and the solutions actually adopted in Villa Tugendhat, which show an integration between plant and construction that makes explicit the dialogue between Mies and Bacon for the building’s design. Starting from this, the paper aims to analyse the air-conditioning solutions adopted in this architecture with reference to those proposed and employed in that period, allowing to understand if and how much the air-conditioning solutions applied in Villa Tugendhat were avant-garde for that time.
2022
Modern Design: Social Commitment & Quality of Life
72
80
Bonora A., Fabbri K., Favaretto G., Pretelli M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/905666
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