Architecture Exhibitions International

Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

Otto Bartning (1883–1959)
Architect of Social Modernism

Nov 19, 2017–Mar 18, 2018
Otto Bartning, um 1930. Fotograf unbekannt © Otto-Bartning-Archiv TU Darmstadt

Architect, creative force and organisational talent – Otto Bartning was an exceptionally complex figure. He was among the leading figures in German expressionism as well as the Neue Sachlichkeit movement in the Weimar Republic. As a major innovator in post-1945 reconstruction and in advising the city of Berlin, he advocated a social modernism responding to people’s needs. Bartning not only created quality residential and social housing, but was a seminal figure in reforming Protestant church architecture. His innovative Sternkirche (1922) and Stahlkirche (1928) were landmark designs. This exhibition also shows his emergency church programme from 1946, with series production of prefabricated churches in 43 German cities. The Interbau 1957 in Berlin represented a further highpoint in his oeuvre. Through his sketches, photos, and architectural models, this comprehensive retrospective presents Bartning’s oeuvre for the first time with his connections to the artistic, cultural and political spheres.

This exhibition, curated by Dr. Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann, is a cooperation project between the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and the Wüstenrot Stiftung together with the Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, the Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt and the Technische Universität Darmstadt.