Opus moderne. Die Wand aus glatt geschaltem Sichtbeton

Zur Dichotomie von puristischer Ästhetik und artifizieller Herstellung, untersucht an exemplarischen Bauten von Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn und Tadao Ando

Opus Moderne - with the creation of this term for the smoothly formed exposed concrete wall, Le Corbusier ennobled this surface, marked only by the traces of its production, as the prototypical building construction of our time and at the same time placed it in an architectural discourse that goes back thousands of years. This publication now examines the artistic and technological circumstances surrounding the creation of such surfaces, using three icons of modernist concrete construction as examples: Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Kahn's Salk Institute, and Ando's Langen Foundation.

  • Author: Martin Lehnen
  • ISBN: 978 3 8030 0785 8
  • Size: 17 x 24 cm, brochure
  • Edition: 1st edition, original edition


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  • With the knowledge of the practitioner, who himself has extensive experience in the implementation of his own exposed concrete projects, the author undertakes a meticulous reconstruction of the planning and manufacturing processes. He does not rely solely on generally accessible literature and archival material, but knows how to make the buildings themselves speak by applying architectural archaeological research methods. In addition, numerous new sources are opened up through interviews with key building participants, whose knowledge of the respective construction processes is systematically evaluated. This approach succeeds in showing the interdependencies of the most important factors relevant to the result through all steps of the realization of the respective building idea. The innovative and committed contributions of project architects, civil engineers and construction companies are highlighted (without their involvement, these icons of modern architecture, so celebrated for their concrete quality, could not have been created).
    Lehnen shows that the masterpieces he examines – despite the similarities in the aesthetic appearance of the respective exposed concrete surfaces – are products of completely different architectural concepts. The differences are manifold and far-reaching – culminating in the divergent treatment of joints and tie holes, which divide the architectural worldviews of their designers. The inductive approach underlying this work proves its significance for the interpretation of modernism, for which the discourse on the relationship between form and its production is as central as it is immanent from the beginning.

  • Author Martin Lehnen
    ISBN 978 3 8030 0785 8
    Size 17 x 24 cm, brochure
    Number of pages 212 pages
    Illustrations 80 mostly colored illustrations
    Languages German
    Edition 1st edition, original edition
    Release December 2016


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