Architecture Exhibitions International

Wroclaw Museum of Architecture

In the rear view mirror: combustion architecture

Jun 29–Sep 8, 2019
In the rear view mirror: combustion architecture at Wroclaw Museum of Architecture, Wroclaw, 2019.

Cars are one of the most important achievements of 20th century technology. In just one hundred years, millions of kilometers of roads have been created for millions of cars, with new buildings growing next to them: petrol and service stations, garages, motels, restaurants, housing estates and even entire cities. The architecture related to automotive industry was initially full of grand projects and searching for new functional solutions. Modernist buildings with a frame structure, flat roofs and oval corners turned out to be an ideal environment for cars. Piles and brackets made it easy to maneuver inside, flat roofs were used for parking, and the wall curvature corresponded to the turning radius. Reinforced concrete was used to build beams with no support for several meters, as well as overhangs and ramps of various forms - from simple to spiral ones. During modernism, architecture and automotive were as close to each other as cogwheels in the machine. With courage that equaled only racing drivers, architects proposed heroic constructions using the latest technological advances. It only stopped during the fuel crisis, which coincided with the birth of environmental awareness and postmodernists starting to ridicule the seriousness of modernist ideals…

The main element of the exhibition are mock-ups of gas stations, garages and vehicles. They show the changing tendencies in the design of automotive-related structures. From canister-shaped walls for Shell oil to a house made of Citroen 2CV parts. All exhibits are connected by intricate but exciting roads… for toy cars.

Curator: Łukasz Wojciechowski

Organizer: Muzeum Architektury we Wrocławiu

Graphic design: Michał Majewski

Media patrons: Architektura Murator, ARCH, Format, Architektura&Biznes