07 Okt East German Modern
The latest book East German Modern of photographer Hans Engels takes us on a visual tour through the Neue Bundesländer. And yes, we admit most of it is grey, but that is only because concrete was one of the main building materials. It was thought to be economic and innovative. The architecture pictured tells the story of a time when a young nation dreamt of modern living for everyone. The buildings were created with an eye towards modernity, formalism, and efficiency. Prefabricated systems were invented, instead of ornament the buildings are rhythmic through metal cladding, tiles or windows. Flipping through this book you can not stop wondering why you have never heard these architects names, while all the modern western architects that had similar styles and approaches are so famous. And while we are very happy that Prenzlauer Berg did not get teared down to build then modern Plattenbau blocks as was the plan (while we are equally happy the city center of Paris was not teared down to the ground for Le Corbusier to built enormes high-rise buildings to house all the Parisians), we admit that the architecture shown in this book, does not just has historic but also cultural value.