The Function of Buildings


Built 1930–9                                      Model; 1944–8; wood, paint, metals and textiles; Victoria & Albert Museum

A place to shelter, celebrate, work or worship?

The Function of Buildings looks at the way in which the design of a building is informed by its function and the demands of climate.

Informed by function

See how homes around the world support daily routines, and how local traditions fashion their design.

Discover how public buildings affect our movements and influence our emotions.

Find out how the design of airports and stations, churches and shopping malls compel us to move swiftly or encourage us to linger.

See how religious buildings reflect the symbolism of belief.

Find out how places of work are designed to increase efficiency and impress the business community.

Responding to climate

Find out how architects and builders respond to the demands of climate.

Learn about the materials and methods that have been used to make buildings weatherproof.

See how the problems of heating, cooling and ventilation have been resolved over the centuries and how they are tackled today.