The Functional Tradition in industrial buildings.

Two buildings in the Functional Tradition; one is a robust brick maltings building that was part of a brewery at Mittagong NSW and the other is a sawmill at Sawtell NSW appropriately in timber. 

Mittagong malthouse
Brewery maltings building, Mittagong NSW

Sawtell Sawmill
Sawmill at Sawtell NSW

The early pioneers of the modern movement in architecture asserted (in Le Corbusier's words) that 'Form follows function', that the functions of a building were all important in determining a building's true appearance.  There was an implication that if the functions were accommodated in a full and exact way, the building would automatically be beautiful. It's not that simple of course.  To start with the functions often can't be defined as exactly as all that, change a bit over time and in any case they are all sufficiently interdependent that the designer inevitably has to make balanced choices.  The psychological requirements of building are also part of their functioning and these are hard to define and harder still to satisfy.  So there is always some room for the discretion that makes all the difference and of course, the pioneers didn't always adhere to the slogan if it suited them. 

The cubist sawmill is a simple building that had clearly been built in stages as demand required, probably by different people.  It could almost be a textbook example and goes a long way to satisfying the FFF slogan

The maltings on the other hand owes something to a more formal architectural heritage, but is still able to accept a pop up extension above the roof adjacent to one of the dormer windows.

And apart from any possible message, it's good to be reminded of the example set by such solid buildings when we are surrounded by what Martin Filler calls in the New York Review 'today's worldwide epidemic of freakishly exhibtionistic construction, marketed as advanced artistic vision but devoid of the most basic concern for communal life and environmental impact' .