CIAM (International Congresses of Modern Architecture)

CIAM    (International Congresses of Modern Architecture)

CIAM (Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne) was founded at the Chateau of la Sarra in Switzerland, in 1928. The first meeting was organized in Paris by Le Corbusier , Gabriel Geuevrekian and in Zurich by members of the swiss werkbund and the art historican  Sigfried Giedion. Also, CIAM was one of many 20th century manifestos meant to advance the cause of “architecture as a social art”.

In P aris, the group discussed concentrated on principles of “The Functional City”, which broadened CIAM’s scope from architecture into urban planning. Based on an analysis of thirty-three cities, CIAM proposed that the social problems faced by cities could be resolved by strict functional segregation, and the distribution of the population into tall apartment blocks at widely spaced intervals.

CIAM was intended to create an international avant-garde of modern arhitecture. It was to be an elite new structure of association for architects to advance their cause against the ten dominant neoclassicism of academies of architecture, which its founders hoped would place the new architecture into its true economic and social enviroment.

As CIAM members traveled worldwide after the war, many of its ideas spread outside Europe, notably to the USA. The city planning ideas were adopted in the rebuilding of Europe following World War II, although by then some CIAM members had their doubts. Alison and Peter Smithson were chief among the dissenters. When implemented in the postwar period, many of these ideas were compromised by tight financial constraints, poor understanding of the concepts, or popular resistance.

CIAM’s initial direction was shaped by interaction of Le Corbusier and other French shpeaking proponents of new architecture with the mostly german speaking representatives of a leftist and technocratic approach to architecture and social organization.

The CIAM’s goal were;

–       To formulate the contemporary program of architecture

–       To advocate the idea of modern architecture

–       To Forcefully introduce this idea into technical, economic and social circles

–       To see to the resolution of architectual problems.