The Functional Tradition

I have had in my library since the 70’s a book called ' The Functional Tradition in Early Industrial Buildings '. Full of wonderful black and white photographs of Watermills, Railway Sheds, Oast Houses, Maltings, Windmills, Textile Factories, Docks etc,etc. A source of inspiration and reference for many paintings throughout my career.

Buildings belonging to this tradition derive their artistic character directly from the way the challenge of function is met. Their forthrightness and simplicity,with an emphasis on the basic geometry of architecture rather than the ritual of historic styles, together with the use of local vernacular building materials, produces a functionalism that implies a hard headed relationship with ends and means.

Today we have come to appreciate the beauty of the anonymous mills and warehouses of The Industrial Revolution that not only accompanied that revolution but gave it impetus. Long may they be renovated and restored.

May. 2012