Buildings and Lifestyle in the 60s and 70s
– 31 March 2019
With its exhibition “Brutally Modern”, pointing to regional buildings from this period as an example, the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum highlights the dilemma of dealing with post-war modernist buildings. Where some see concrete monsters that should be torn down, others see architectural pearls that need to be protected.
Based on the initiative “Achtung modern!” [“Caution, modern!”], dedicated to the architectural heritage of post-war modernism in the Braunschweig region, the exhibition “Brutally Modern. Buildings and Lifestyle in the 60s and 70s” showcases twenty buildings from the surrounding area, from churches and factories to buildings for administrative causes or events. Materials from the planning phase of buildings, including those of Alvar Aalto and Hans Scharoun, and elements from the everyday world of living rooms, bedrooms and children’s rooms from the mentioned period, represent the reality of the 1960s and 1970s and attempt to place the architecture being discussed in context. Furthermore, the exhibition seeks to illustrate the social and political conditions of the time.
After some fifty years, some of the modern buildings are in need of renovation, raising the need for discussions about conservation, conversion or demolition. Some buildings have been listed for a long time, but the situation looks grim for other buildings, especially considering the suspicion with which the majority of the population currently treats modern architecture. On the other hand, modern buildings generate an above-average number of “likes” as motifs on popular online services for sharing photos.
The exhibition ultimately conveys a solution-oriented message by highlighting the challenges of refurbishment. In the end, visitors get different perspectives on the topic.