In a very beautiful and warm video, Petrolicious talks about form and function, these two concepts that usually follow one another, but in this case were equally important.
Daniel Monti, an architect and proud (and lucky, we might add) owner of a 1969 Mercedes-Benz SL 280 talks about his car which has been in his family for no less than 30 years. Since he’s an architect, his speech quickly veers towards things like form and function and design briefs and so on.
Remember how I said that form and function were equally important with the Pagoda? Of course you do, it’s probably still on your screen. Well, that’s not entirely true since the Pagoda’s roof line, the thing that mostly defines this car and is also responsible for its nickname, was something created out of need.
Daniel Monti begins by telling us a little insight on how the roof came to be: back then, journalists used to drive their cars up to the side of the racetrack, climb up onto the roof of the car and take photographs of the race. The roof, then, had to be strong enough to hold the weight of a full grown adult, but also protect the driver in case of a rollover accident. So this was a clear case of form following function that led to one piece of iconic design.
So the need of structural rigidity is what made the Mercedes-Benz SL 280 have such a unique roof. But this was one of those happy situations where the designers were able to match engineering requirements with a very beautiful and unique form.
If you want to hear more about this morphing of the two and a few parallels between car design and architecture (as well as gaze at Daniel Monti’s wonderful house) – which we thoroughly recommend you do – watch the Petrolicious clip below.