"Form [ever] follows function" was first coined by American architect Louis Sullivan in 1896. At that time buildings had been designed in the rigid classical Beaux-Arts tradition which rehashed historical styles. Beaux-Art buildings had been modeled after ancient Greek or Roman temples lavishly adorned with elaborate sculptural detailing and built primarily of stone and masonry construction.
The use of steel as the primary building structure freed architects and engineers from the limits of stone and masonry construction. The new possibilities of building size, shape and height gave rise to creation of the "skyscraper".
This freedom did not lead to a prescriptive manual of functional form. If strictly interpreted, “form follows function”, would imply that all skyscrapers should be identical because their function (a tall office building) is the same. This would be true for each building type. One solution did not then (and does not now) fit all needs. Architecture began to explore space, materiality, color, light, ideas, and form.
Architecture, as well as product design and technology, has continued to evolve since early Modernism. Today, the appearance of most digital products, such as the iPod, bears no relation to what they do. This is also true of architecture. There are many factors which can affect a building’s form.
It's form was not driven by its function. The building's ship-like massing and fish-like skin relate to the city’s port heritage and river front location. The random curve forms were designed to catch and reflect the natural light, and the building is organized around a flower shaped atrium capturing views of the landscape.
The primary function of any creative work can be an idea, a movement, an emotion. The form of that work can have multitude of influences. The form of building or space does not have to be the sum of its programatic functions. The functional aspects of a building can be subordinate to its form. Form no longer follows function. Function fits Form.