Tag Archives: Architecture

Weimar Berlin reconsidered

The enduring allure of the Weimar Republic is inextricably intertwined with its capital city, Berlin. However, the problem of Berlin’s historical image has always been the fact that it largely relies on a handful of canonical texts, most of which supply a seriously skewed image of the city,  variously describing it as ‘Germany’s most American city’, ‘Chicago an der Spree’ and ‘Spree-Athen’; Christoper Isherwood’s famous account of Berlin’s debauchery further added to its mystery – which is being reanimated today.

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The German Autobahn, 1920-1940

Richard Vahrenkamp’s book on the rise of the Autobahn in the 1920s and 1930s differs from the many earlier studies on the German highway system, in that it is based on archival material from the construction supervisors’ files:

‘The expressway network in Europe developed into an essential infrastructure of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century and provided means of commuting, as well as accommodated leisure travel and the cargo supply for the mass consumption society. This book discusses how expressways were developed in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. It focuses on the various forerunner projects and the role of the Hafraba association, which has been significant in the Hessian region, with its actors in Kassel, Frankfurt and Darmstadt. It is shown how the Autobahn concept developed, from the Italian expressways to the Bonn–Cologne Autobahn and to the design of the Nazi Autobahn project. Continue reading

Bauhaus Online

The Bauhaus Archive Berlin, the Weimar Classic Foundation and the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation have created an online resource ‘for Bauhaus connoisseurs and enthusiasts’, offering a detailed (and appropriately well-presented) historical reference book, a magazine about the current impact of the famous design school and a calendar of Bauhaus-related events in Europe.

Bauhaus in London

From 3 May, the Barbican in London will stage ‘the biggest Bauhaus exhibition in the UK in over 40 years’, including works from Josef and Anni Albers, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Hannes Meyer, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Gunta Stölzl, as well as a two-week summer school led by leading design practitioners.

To mark the occasion, the Britsh newspaper The Guardian has published a celebratory slide-show and an interesting article about the history of the Bauhaus.