Industrial Facades covers the whole range of periods and designs representing this building type: from austere brick buildings of the early industrial age and the arched windows and turrets decorating historicist facades, to the concrete and glass functionalist constructions of the 1950s and 1960s, to today's rectangular, windowless halls.
These photographs give the lie to Louis Sullivan's often misunderstood motto, "form follows function," for the external appearance of the factory buildings shown here are hardly determined by their internal working processes. For this reason, the Bechers' photographs do not really illustrate the development of modern industrial architecture, nor the achievements of functionalist building, but rather the achievements of banal, everyday architecture, produced by builders trained in crafts or by engineers trained in the necessities of the industrial process.
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