Roofing films

Stylistic conceptThe unpretentious neo-classicism on the model of the ‘Prussian style’ (Artur Moeller van den Bruck, 1916) seen in the architecture of c. 1800 (as in the works of Peter Behrens. Heinrich Tessenow or Wilhelm Kreis), the timeless rusticated monumentality of the Stuttgart Central Station (Paul Bonatz), or the simplified Baroque forms applied to late medieval or Biedermeier types (as in the works of Theodor Fischer, Paul Schmitthenner or German Bestelmeyer) were, as expressions of conservative bourgeois attitudes, quantitatively much more important in the architecture of the 1920s in Germany than were the examples of Neue Sachlichkeit. Even Expressionist architecture (Expressionism) displayed strong historicist traits, especially in those gothic abstractions based on gestalt and cultural psychology (Wilhelm Worringer); and moreover not exclusively in church architecture (Dominikus, Peter Vilhelm Jensen Klint). This is also true of the brick architectural styles with their ethos of materials and consciousness of tradition (Fritz Schumacher, Fritz, Amsterdam, School of), in which the border with anthropological and natural analogies was fluid (Bernhard Hoetger, Anthroposophical architecture). The cultural ideological ‘racist’ conservatism (Paul Schultze-Naumburg) on the one hand, and the social-utopian futurist pathos (Bruno Taut) on the other, represent only the extremes of these historicist positions. The opposition between ‘traditionalist’ and ‘modern’ architecture – especially in Germany – was first polarized towards the end of the 1920s (controversy over the WeiBenhofsied-lung, Stuttgart), in which more general social conflicts underlay the artistic issues (small town and rural interests v. metropolitan societal structures, handicraft v. industrial culture, individual v standardized form). Thus the monumental building programme and the ‘Blut und Boden’ (Blood and Earth) Housing Estates of National Socialism represented less an interruption of a modern line of architectural development than a canonization of existing conservative tendencies, albeit now with a strengthened emphasis on historical character and above all the ideological content of a building.

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