ALEKSANDRS KLINKLAVS' SENSE OF FUNCTIONALISM: RIGA-MONTREAL-CHICAGO (Aleksandra Klinklava funkcionalisma izjuta: Riga-Monreala-Cikaga)
Aleksandrs Klinklavs' (1899-1982) name in the Latvian history of architecture is not indisputable in relation to a unified architectural style. But his most pronounced passion was Functionalism. Just after graduation from the Architecture Department of the University of Latvia in 1930 Klinklavs became the leading architect of Latvian Red Cross for 10 years, so his enthusiasm was typically related to designing hospitals, sanatoriums and health centres. He is reasonably considered the most potent and talented architect dealing with health care institutions in the 20th century history of Latvian architecture. Klinklavs has won significant architectural competitions of both local and international scale, such as projects for the Latvian Stock Bank (1929), the Students' House (1932), the Riga City Board (1935), and the house of the Ministry of Finances (1936). From 1930 to 1944 the architect has designed about 40 projects for buildings of various significance and functions, half of them being health care edifices. The article examines a selection and juxtaposition of Klinklavs' architectural projects in urban space in three strategic centres of his life - Riga, Montreal and Chicago. The sense of Functionalism is one of the typical features of Klinklavs' architecture mostly attributed to his varied projects (in both functions and scale) in Latvia during the 1930s, but he developed the Functionalist idea also in his later career lasting for almost 30 years in Montreal and Chicago where the dominant post-modern conditions seemingly differed in both aesthetic style and principles. Of course, most of Klinklavs' projects realised in the North American continent should be critically and thoroughly examined before relating them to Functionalist-style principles, but some constructions are particularly strong, very personal and based on manifest traditions of the International Style, mainly health care institutions. According to the tasks set for this article, the author has selected and analysed 6 objects in total from about 36 projects implemented in Latvia, 10 - in Montreal and 17 - in Chicago.
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