chapter  16
Towards An Ecology Of The Palladian Villa
ByGraham Livesey
Pages 17

This chapter describes Juan O'Gorman's architecture and his embrace and criticism of functionalism, acknowledging his importance in the history of modern architecture and in doing so helping to situate the legacy of his unsuspected successor. As a student O'Gorman was in fact pivotal in renovating the school of architecture, mobilizing his classmates to request the support and inclusion of faculty of a more modern persuasion. O'Gorman's often too literal interpretations betrayed the enthusiasm of a young and rebellious architect introducing in Mexico the preeminent symbol of architectural renovation in the world. By functionalism O'Gorman meant when architecture's form "completely derived from its utilitarian function". More importantly, O'Gorman's idea of function disregarded the metaphorical meaning that the term had historically possessed since its adoption by architects in the nineteenth century. O'Gorman's growing reputation led him, almost immediately, to become part of the committee in charge of establishing the guidelines of technical education in the country.