Multifunctional architecture as its name implies, has to do with the creation of spaces that gather several functions, but it goes far beyond, as it does not only aims at creating projects that adapted to the urban space where they are inserted but also it even aims at solving urban problems.
On top of this, multifunctional architecture seeks to create spaces that can cause an emotional impact, by strongly linking the aesthetics of the construction to elements of emotional reference for the community to which they are addressed.
This idea of multifunctionality, applied to either small complexes, districts or cities, finds roots in the ideas of Le Corbusier, particularly in “l´unité´habitation” (housing unit), where he seeks to merge the privacy of individual housing with the multiplicity of activities of a modern city.
This ideal unit consists of 400 houses inserted into a complex that holds as well shops, recreational spaces, places for physical exercises and different services. The concept was materialized for the first time in the “unité d´habitation” de Marseille, the “Cité Radieuse” (Radiant City) project that was developed between 1947 and 1952 by the assignment of the French Ministry of Reconstruction and Urbanism.
Even though the so-called brutalist architecture comes from this idea, the concept of “housing unit” also evolves on the side of its multifunctional sense, and sees applications both in housing developments as the one of Marseille, and in its broader vision, in comprehensive urban developments such as the city of Brasilia in 1956.
With regards to interior decoration, multifunctional architecture proposes a discreet ornamentation, putting aside extravagances, as it picks up the teachings of an ancient Chinese tradition that suggests not to include excessive details inside houses considering that this ends up by negatively affecting the mental state of the inhabitants.