Abstract

Acting as a decision making institution on the raison d’etre of modern architecture by attributing a utopian role to it, CIAM (Congrés International d’Architecture Moderne), formed by some pioneering modern architects from Europe and USSR, and served between the years of 1928 and 1956, proposed The Functional City as a rationalized healthy urban environment in substitution for the historical organic urban pattern of Europe at its 4th meeting in Athens in 1933. Proposing different functional zones of housing, industry, and greenery with utmost importance on “circulation” as a means of providing efficiency and optimization of the mechanized daily life in between the zones, The Functional City was actually the literal manifestation of the Ideal City of the 20th century industrial society as a physical response to the Taylorist and Fordist economical pattern framed by mass production, mass consumption, and rapid distribution of industrial capital in urban scale. Although The Functional City was proposed as a liberating form of life via rationalized and sanitized urban space, it served to construct the ‘welfare society’ of the post-First World War Europe suggesting a rationalized and standardized physical re-organization of daily life from the definition of the ideal house to the ideal city by providing the physical needs of a consumerist working class in between domestic space, workspace and recreational space of the reproduction of labor via greenery. In this sense, this paper aims at questioning the imputed utopianism of The Functional City at the critical threshold between utopian thought and act in reality.

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