Big! Bad? Modern:

 

A research project by the Institute for Art and Architecture


Prospekthof Atelierhaus Semperdepot

Opening: Tue. 20.01.2011 | 18:00h
Exhibition:  21.01.-14.02.2011 | 11:00-19:00h
Location: Prospekthof Atelierhaus
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna | Schillerplatz 3 | 1010 Vienna


Vienna, like many other European cities, has many post-war buildings that have become part of the historical inventory of the city. There are many of them, and many of them are very, very big, which makes them difficult to ignore or to eliminate. Their tendency to disregard the urban context rendersthem unpopular and their low energy efficiency environmental anathema. The IKA – the Institute for Art and Architecture, faculty and students have decided to dedicate an entire academic year to studying four such big post-war buildings in Vienna. It is intended to examine these buildings from the different thematic perspectives of the five design platforms in order to present pertinent research and design proposals for their sustainable development and further use.

 

 

 

 

Big! Bad? Modern:


A research project by the Institute for Art and Architecture


Prospekthof Atelierhaus Semperdepot

With BIG! BAD? MODERN: the IKA makes an essential contribution to the ever more urgent debate over the future of modern post-war architecture. It seems that since the end of World War II the process of building has become increasingly entrenched in technocracy, rationality, functionality, efficiency, neutrality and universality – attributes inseparably associated with modern culture.

The many attempts made in the ’60s and ’70s of the 20th Century to question modern paradigms and propose alternatives seem only to have scratched the surface. Architecture, cities and the landscape are still dictated by goals of increased efficiency. The same can be said of the complex networks of business, politics and symbolism. Modernism seems to continue to be the unavoidable basis for Architecture and Urban Planning. This is especially true for very big projects, such as shopping centres, fairs, mass housing and industrial estates which continue to be planned without any reference to context. Their number continues to rise, while many post-war projects are deemed antiquated and irrelevant.

 

Big! Bad? Modern:

 

A research project by the Institute for Art and Architecture


Prospekthof Atelierhaus Semperdepot

BIG! BAD? MODERN: calls for a reassessment of this paradoxical development. If we are to take sustainability seriously we must consider our existing building stock. This is all the more important for the most unloved „monsters“ of that time. Their sheer size prevents their easy and sustainable elimination. Declaring them obsolete will not make them go away. Their future is linked to ours and the next phase of Modernism.

AKH, ORF, Alterlaa and WU: We have selected four “agents” of modernism in Vienna: the AKH (The General Hospital), the Alterlaa housing estate, the ORF headquarters (Austrian National Broadcasting Corporation) and the WU (University of Economics). They are connected by the fact that their very existence has been or still is a matter of public debate. The IKA intends to develop approaches to them based on rigorous analysis. Rather than handling these buildings as historic monuments, our proposals intend to be inventive, subtle and even pragmatic strategies which lay the ground for how to approach buildings of this type.