Another Architecture

by Mitch McEwen

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    How to Live

    Mitch McEwen
    Dec 2, '12 1:15 PM EST

    Before coming to Stuttgart I didn't know anything about the Weißenhofsiedlung (residential development curated by Mies van der Rohe in a collaboration between Deutscher Werkbund and the state).   It's a fascinating predecessor to the Case Study Houses, as well as to the semi-failed Ordos 100 project of a few years ago.  Of course both those examples, as disparate as they are in intent and historical significance, are based on a private financing model.  The Weißenhofsiedlung manages to combine public investment with a curatorial method that uses building as a mode of experimentation.  

    The title of this blog post is a translation of the question posed in the postcard on the left, a reproduction of the Die Wohnung exhibition publicity, which asks Wie wohnen?  In German the word for apartment - Wohnung - is closer to the English word dwelling.  Wie wohnen? means How to dwell / reside / live? The red X in the graphic crosses over an image of a room stuffed with 19th century furniture, ornate rugs and paintings with gilded frames.  Corbusier's flexible interiors with sliding wall panels and closets paired with trundle beds are on the right (and below).  While Weißenhofsiedlung is undoubtedly full of significant individual works of architecture, I am particularly interested in the way that the Die Wohnung exhibit brings a curatorial logic to a project of this scale.  By that I mean especially the clarity of the questions asked and the ability of the architecture to respond to these questions

    Archinect readers correctly identified the Hans Scharoun in my last post (one Frank Gehry joke aside).   The Hans Scharoun is shown here in model form, along with the other residential projects in the Weißenhofsiedlung museum exhibit.  

    Another fun fact from Weißenhofsiedlung: Lilly Reich became the Director of Deutscher Werkbund in 1920.  It was at Weißenhofsiedlung that she and Mies developed and exhibited the Spiegelglashalle, which became the prototype for the Barcelona Pavilion.  Model picture of that and more shots below.    

    Corbusier's 2 projects are bottom center (Citrohan #5) and bottom right.  

    Inside the Corbusier double apartment. 

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Posts are sporadic. Topics span architecture, urban design, planning, and tangents from these. I sometimes include excerpts of academic articles.

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