Architecture in the end of 19 th century was characterized by feature to build huge houses to demonstrate their wealth. That period of time U.S.A. became the legislator of architectural fashion in the world.
Let’s consider two views of such an architectural structure as The Guaranty Trust Building, 1894-1899, in Buffalo, of the architect Louis Sullivan (1856-1924). At first, let’s talk about its practical benefits, because at that time there were the most important functional and constructive sides of architecture. Sullivan had a view that a form must follow its function. This is a very practical point of view, because a building must be made for people who will be working or living there. It must be comfortable and useful for people, so it must have all necessary things.
The Guaranty Trust Building has metal skeleton, which is covered with red terracotta suit. It has good lightening inside, and convenient system of elevators and stairs made of metal cages, located next to the windows, which are made from expensive material for better coverage. There are a lot of comfortable entrances from different sides of the building.
Convenience of the building was also in the architectural idea, since all the technical and mechanical systems were located in the basement, including engines for boilers, elevators and other electrics. The Guaranty Trust Building is located in the developing area, close to the institutional structures. The aim of this idea was to attract major tenants such as lawyers. The Guaranty Building was built for people of office sphere. Here we see a connection between its form and function. A connection between these two views is obvious; since they are closely coexist with each other.
That pattern of architectural design had ornament not only for decoration but also to strengthen the building. The Guaranty Building has simple forms, but rich details. The supporting steel structure of the building was made with terracotta blocks. Different styles of blocks divide it on three visible parts. Red-colored skin makes it unique among the other white and usual buildings. Visually it looks like a monolith with bright isolated lines. Its simplicity and its ornament show us tastes and needs of that time, moreover, it fulfills its cultural and historic value.