The Purkersdorf Sanatorium and the Fusion of Function and Design Stark white and machine-like from a distance, the Purkersdorf Sanatorium designed by Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann emanates a feeling of sterility. However, the building also exhibits a hint of luxurious charm upon closer observation. As the first major commission for the Wiener Werkstatte company, Josef Hoffmann was determined to introduce his forward looking ideas to the era.
Through the sanatorium, Hoffmann successfully demonstrated not only the visual appeals of modern simplicity but also how modernism was appropriately adjusted to enhance the building’s intended purpose. Having studied under renowned architect Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann was familiar with the famous principle coined by Louis Sullivan: “Form ever follows function. ” This idea of fusing innovation with functionality fueled Hoffmann’s enthusiasm about creating designs that were solutions – beautiful and necessary solutions.
In contrast to the dirty and crowded government funded asylums, sanatoriums were fabulous retreats that included recreational facilities and medical services. The Purkersdorf Sanatorium for nervous ailments was commissioned by the affluent industrialist Viktor Zuckerkandl in 1904 to serve as a treatment center for wealthy patients. Many doctors believed that illnesses, at the time, were results of nervous exhaustions caused by sudden physical and social pressures from the expansion of modern cities. The sanatorium would be a refuge for patients to escape stresses and recuperate their bodies and regain their spirits.
The facility was designed holistically to provide inhabitants with premier technological equipment and unrivaled service quality. Even the location was chosen through careful consideration. Purkersdorf was a chosen as a prime spot for therapeutic healing because of its remote coordinates in the Vienna Woods and pure air quality. To ensure that the building fulfilled its potential, Hoffmann also aligned his strategies with doctors to create a unique healing experience. Hoffmann embraced the fundamental concept of healing when designing the sanatorium in its entirety.
From the facade, the building resembled a stack of standard white blocks arranged in a symmetrical shape. The structure is bare and free of traditional elements but an effective reflection of purity and order. The windows were the building’s only ornamentation, and they were fully functional. Each creative decision was made to add value to the building’s overall atmosphere. The windows were enlarged to utilize the natural sunlight and specially designed ventilation systems were installed to maintain a constant flow of fresh air.
Small gardens and balconies were also created on the flat roofs to serve as places where patients could relax and receive therapy. Hoffman’s geometric and forward looking style also showcased the blank reinforced concrete walls. Using state-of-the-art technology, steel-reinforced concrete was a popular material because it was not only structurally stable but gave a desired smooth and clean surface to unify the entire resort. Although not made from expensive materials, the bright whiteness of the walls gave the structure a refreshing look that contrasted with the deep green surroundings.
To Hoffman, the core of modernism was about disposing of all unnecessary elements to understand the how most basic shapes and forms can be rearranged to serve a purpose. Each material or design element chosen for the Purkersdorf Sanatorium was carefully selected by Hoffmann based off their power to contribute aesthetically and functionally. Referencing the whiteness and rigid geometry of its exterior, the interior of the sanatorium was also designed to give patients a feeling of hygiene and purity.
The main hallway, for example, has a black and white tiled floor with rectangular reinforced concrete beams exposed at the ceiling. White wooden chairs in the shape of cubes furnish the hallway and are decorated with fabrics that are designed with geometric black and white shapes. Even the lamps, tables and window designs mirror similar geometric patterns. By doing so, what Hoffmann has created is a harmonious environment that is both practical and visually soothing The sanatorium provided a diverse offering of programs and resources to patients.
Their services included hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, special diets, etc. Their facilities included billiard rooms, reading rooms, music rooms, saloons, etc. Patients could access everything they needed to feel comfortable. The effective layout planning of the building contributed to effective therapy practices. Utilities and services were hidden in the basement, social gathering and dining spaces were on the first floor, and living quarters were on the second and third floors. This separation of spaces due to functions created an intuitive organizational structure.
The luxury and layout referenced the style of a grand hotel, but included many quality health related benefits. With an array of functional offerings, each room in the sanatorium was designed to best serve the function of the room. For example, the bedrooms intended for tuberculosis patients had the largest windows to allow the greatest amount of sunlight possible. 5 Just as functionally focused as the exterior, Hoffmann used the same concept of practicality when designing the interior elements of the Purkersdorf Sanatorium.
As a traditionally trained artist, Hoffmann was not just an architect, but innovator in product and interior design as well. Because he was idealistic about his work, Hoffmann strived to attain the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk or total work of art. Similar to his most famous work of architecture, the Palais Stoclet, Hoffmann single handedly lead all creative decision making to create a cohesively designed and functional building. While the specific functions of different rooms had different compositional layouts and decorative elements, Josef Hoffmann consistently incorporated the simplicity of modernism to all the designs.
Especially in furniture, Hoffmann utilizes repetition of black and white colors and simple clean lines to maintain a cohesive theme. The radical simplicity he presented redefined the concept of space and how objects were arranged in spaces. Many of the furniture pieces had a cubic quality that contributed to the concept of mobility and could be easily rearranged and still maintain its aesthetic role. One notable piece of furniture Hoffman created was the sitzmachine. The chair functioned as the first adjustable recliner to give patients added comfort but still embodied the refined design and rectilinear forms that he identified with.
This piece is significant because of how it summarizes Hoffmann’s philosophy to fuse structural and decorative elements with the most elementary shapes and forms that are also reflected throughout the rest of the building. While the Purkersdorf Sanatorium remains a significant piece of architecture for introducing Josef Hoffmann’s, at the time, profound design concepts; the construction process of the building was not an experience that he wanted to remember. From Hoffmann’s autobiography, he states that there were irreconcilable disputes between the client Zuckerkandl and Fritz Warndorfer (Hoffmann’s partner in the Wiener Werkstatte).
As the problems escalated, Zuckerkandl finally refused to provide agreed payments because he was unsatisfied with the construction of the sanatorium. In addition, he also replaced Hoffmann with the architect Leopold Bauer to complete construction. This incident also caused Hoffman to leave Wiener Werkstatte to become and architecture professor in Stubenring. While Wiener Werkstatte and other firms that contributed to the construction eventually won all the lawsuits and received their promised funds, resolution did not occur in time to stop Bauer from constructing an extra story to the building in 1926.
Hoffman was highly against this alteration to his design because it countered his original intentions of simplicity, but due to the lawsuits involved, the design of the Purkersdorf Sanatorium was not restored to Hoffmanns original design until 1991. As the design of the Purkersdorf Sanatorium was altered over time, the purpose of what it was used for was also changed. Originally intended to be a high end medical retreat, the sanatorium quickly became a social gathering place for the upper class patients from all over the world.
However, due to the Soviet War scare of 1927, the building was taken over after Bauer’s reconstruction of an additional story and used a military hospital for Soviet Union troops. During that time of occupation, many pieces of furniture and artwork were stolen from the building. After more changes of ownership, the sanatorium eventually found its role as a home for the elderly. As of 1995, the building was fully restored with reproductions of Hoffmann’s designs to resemble its initial glorious state.
Through the passage of time, the Purkersdorf Sanatorium has not only been changed in function but also altered in appearance. However, Josef Hoffmann’s bold designs and forward-looking creations have no doubt impacted succeeding modernist architects. One can still clearly understand the functional and decorative intentions behind his creations. Hoffmann’s philosophy to combining practicality and high aesthetics were seamlessly integrated in the design of the Purkersdorf Sanatorium to reflect communication between the science community and architects and remain heavily influential.
Bibliography Christian Brandstatter, Vienna 1900? : Art, Life & Culture. (New York: Vendome Press, 2006). Josef Franz. Hoffmann, Selbstbiographie = Autobiography. (Ostfildern:Hatje/Cantz, 2009), 99 Josef Franz. Hoffmann, Josef Hoffmann? : Architect and Designer, 1870-1956. (New York: Galerie Metropol, 1981). Museum of Modern Art, Sitzmaschine Chair with Adjustable Back (model 670). http://www. moma. org/collection/object. php? object_id=3431. (Oct. 2012). Leslie Topp, An Architecture for Modern Nerves: Josef Hoffmann’s Purkersdorf Sanatorium. CA: University of California Press,1997). Lund Humphries, Maddness and Modernity: Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900. (UK: Butler Tanner & Dennis Ltd, 2009), 86-89. WOKA Lamps Vienna, Sanatorium Purkersdorf. http://woka. com/en/info/building/sanatoriumpurkersdorf. asp. (Oct. 2012). ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Lund Humphries, Maddness and Modernity: Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900. (UK: Butler Tanner & Dennis Ltd, 2009), 86-89. [ 2 ]. Lund Humphries, Maddness and Modernity: Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900. UK: Butler Tanner & Dennis Ltd, 2009), 86-89. [ 3 ]. Christian Brandstatter, Vienna 1900? : Art, Life & Culture. (New York: Vendome Press, 2006). [ 4 ]. Josef Franz. Hoffmann Josef Hoffmann? : Architect and Designer, 1870-1956. (New York: Galerie Metropol, 1981). [ 5 ]. Leslie Topp, An Architecture for Modern Nerves: Josef Hoffmann’s Purkersdorf Sanatorium. (CA: University of California Press, 1997). [ 6 ]. Lund Humphries, Maddness and Modernity: Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900. (UK: Butler Tanner & Dennis Ltd, 2009), 86-89. 7 ]. Josef Franz. Hoffmann Josef Hoffmann? : Architect and Designer, 1870-1956. (New York: Galerie Metropol, 1981). [ 8 ]. Museum of Modern Art, Sitzmaschine Chair with Adjustable Back (model 670). http://www. moma. org/collection/object. php? object_id=3431. (Oct. 2012). [ 9 ]. Josef Franz. Hoffmann, Selbstbiographie = Autobiography. (Ostfildern:Hatje/Cantz, 2009), 99 [ 10 ]. WOKA Lamps Vienna, Sanatorium Purkersdorf. http://woka. com/en/info/building/sanatorium-purkersdorf. asp. (Oct. 2012).
Paradox Of Affluence: Are We Truly Happy?
The term “paradox of affluence” explains the disparity that has developed over the last 40 to 50 years in America between material well-being and psychosocial well-being. “The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short. ” It also provides extensive statistical evidence that indices of material affluence and of well-being have gone in opposite directions since the 1950s. We measure affluence in dollars or by other crude material measures. A person with more is more affluent.
The affluence of a country is expressed as its gross domestic product (GDP), the total value of all goods and services produced in and by a nation. It has long been observed, though, that GDP fails to measure what truly counts for human well being. A million dollars spent on prisons and toxic waste clean-up counts as much toward GDP as a million spent on education, food, or art. Measurement of happiness may be even more complex. Some have argued that we can’t trust people to rate their own happiness—that people do in fact get happier as they get richer.
When it comes to happiness and wealth Maslow insists that the urge for self-actualization is deeply entrenched in the human psyche, but only surfaces once the more basic needs are fulfilled. Once the powerful needs for food, security, love and self-esteem are satisfied, a deep desire for creative expression and self-actualization rises to the surface. Through his “hierarchy of needs,” Maslow succeeds in combining the insights of earlier psychologists such as Freud and Skinner, who focus on the more basic human instincts, and the more upbeat work of Jung and Fromm, who insist that the desire for happiness is equally worthy of attention.
Still we must not equate wealth with value. There are things we truly value—time with family and friends, connection to community, the satisfaction of helping others, the challenge of meaningful work. These consistently and reliably bring us fulfillment and even joy. Keep these things safe from the ravages of the pursuit of affluence—from the “getting and spending”—in your own lives. And let us continue to work together as a community learning how to bring the fruits of affluence to those at the bottom of the curves.
- Baumgardner, S. R. and Crothers, M. .K. (2009). Positive psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Ch. 6 of Positive Psychology
- Easterlin, R. A. 1974. Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence. In P. A. David & M. W. Reder (Eds. ), Nations and Households in Economic Growth: Essays in Honor of Moses Abramovitz (pp. 89–125).
Vark Learning Styles
Measurement of Leaning Styles Grand Canyon University Family Centered Health Promotion NRS 429V Vicki Denson September 23, 2012 Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic are key elements of individual learning styles. Learning styles is a term used to refer to the methods of gathering, processing, interpreting, organizing, and thinking about information. How people best learn and communicate can be measured by using a simple questionnaire called VARK that assesses the Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic learning and communication styles of individuals.
VARK in itself is not a learning style but a measurement tool that focuses on ways that people best receive information and the way people best deliver their communication. By understanding a preferred learning style an individual can use their own strengths to better process information, and coordinate their learning and communication. VARK: Measurement of Learning Styles By focusing on ways that people learn and the way they communicate what they’ve learned is the premise of the VARK inventory. It is a simple sixteen-question test that uses real world questions in dynamic setting.
VARK uses four different sensory categories: visual, aural, read/write and kinesthetic. In some learners a combination of categories exists and is classified as multimodal. The Visual learner, characterized by “V” is an individual who processes information best if they can see it. They have strong visualization skills and like to utilize charts, graphs and pictures. Aural, “A” is defined as “relating to the ear or sense of hearing” (Merriam, 2012) which means the aural learner best processes information by hearing it.
They best process by listening to lectures, tutorials, talking about the information and using a recording device to playback the information later. “R”, reading/writing, best learns through written information. Typically, this learner reads text and takes copious notes for later reference. The “K” stands for kinesthetic learner. These learners like to acquire information through experience and practice, and prefer to learn information that has a connection to reality, Kinesthetic learners use their senses such as sight, hearing, touch and smell. These learners utilize a more “hands on” approach to process information. Finally, VARK accepts that there are several methods and approaches for learning. Multimodalities are used in most learning with learners accessing one or more of the strategies that benefit them specifically. This is similar to saying that everyone has a multimodal profile with some V, some A, some R and some K but within their profile some may have modes that are stronger than others (Flemming, 2001).
Multimodal learning gives the learner more choices to tailor their learning (Input) and disseminate the information learned (Output) through different methods such as reading and kinesthetic, aural and reading or a combination of all three. Members of Grand Canyon University RN-BSN NRS-429V completed the VARK questionnaire to determine the best method or methods to garner or disseminate information. The results of the questionnaire revealed that the multimodal method Aural, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic (ARK) was the preferred method of learning and communicating for this writer.
Multimodal learning preferences provide this learner with greater ability to adapt to the information learned and to communicate the information to others. The learning strategies most used by this writer when studying are the repetitive memorization gained by re-reading material and listening to the instructor and others discussing the topic. The discussion stimulates the process of both memorized material and new concepts. Writing lectures down verbatim helps to structure the learning and categorize the subject material for this writer.
Finally, for kinesthetic learning hands on demonstration and return demonstrations, approach to learning is the preferred method of learning for this participant when learning complex physical tasks. The VARK questionnaire demonstrated several key learning styles for this participant with high scores noted on Aural, Reading/Writing and Kinesthetic learning. As noted in the previous paragraph the writer’s preferred method of learning is primarily in two areas reading/writing and kinesthetic. The high aural scores do not appear accurate in this participants learning method as noted in the preferred modes of learning.
Writing notes verbatim during in class lectures may count towards the high aural scores, as this requires a high level of listening skills to process aural learning to written learning. VARK provides a study guide after the questionnaire is completed. Review of the guide shows that currently this participant uses most of the strategies for learning in the Aural, Reading/Writing and Kinesthetic modes. This participant has never used a recording devices but this may be an interesting method to use to reinforce aural/written learning as the taking of notes verbatim can be challenging in a class setting.
As a guide to learning styles, VARK provides the participants with written examples of their preferred learning styles. As stated by VARK the preferred method of learning for participants in multimodal as approximately 60% of any population fits that category (VARK, 2011). Although not completely accurate, the VARK questionnaire provides this participant with information that reinforces the preferred learning methods and is useful in giving examples for the multimodal learner.