20 April 2017

Otto Bartning

Akademie der Künste, Berlin

– 18 June 2017



Otto Bartning’s theoretical ideas, as well as his churches, housing and cultural buildings have left a lasting impact on German and European building culture. The exhibition “Otto Bartning (1883–1959). Architect of Social Modernism” offers an extensive insight into his work for the first time.


Human needs, user-friendliness and social processes play a role in Bartning’s designs as much as the artistic approach. His theoretical reflections and concepts were, for example, influential in shaping educational reform and inspiring Walter Gropius in his foundation of the Bauhaus. He is best known as an important figure in the reconstruction of post-war Germany following the Second World War. His emphasis on the “spiritual dimension of life” can be seen in the system he developed for erecting emergency churches quickly from prefabricated elements. More than 40 of these were built throughout Germany. As a member of various committees, he contributed to the implementation of simple, functional architecture, which manifested itself, among other things, in housing estates, churches, hospitals and cultural institutions.


The exhibits displayed and placed in context in the exhibition, are largely from the private estate of the architect, which is owned by the TU Darmstadt.


The exhibition will move to be shown next at the Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe (22 July to 22 October 2017) and at the Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt (19 November 2017 to 18 March 2018).


Nº 274

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