Glass foyer Hanover, 1966

German-Danish Friendship

The exhibition "Gesamtkunstwerke – Architecture by Arne Jacobsen and Otto Weitling in Germany" shows the influence of Danish architecture in Germany.
by Alexander Russ | 10/2/2021

He is one of the most important designers of the 20th century: Arne Jacobsen shaped architecture and product design in a fundamental way with his designs and created works that endure to this day – be it the SAS Hotel in Copenhagen, the "Series 7" chair for Fritz Hansen or fittings for Vola, which are considered archetypes in the bathroom and kitchen sector. Less well known is Jacobsen's late work from the 1950s to the 1970s for the still young Federal Republic of Germany. There, together with his compatriot Otto Weitling, the Danish architect realized a series of buildings that exemplify the social vision of their time and provide information about the interplay between architecture, urban planning and politics in Germany. To mark the German-Danish Year of Cultural Friendship in 2020 and the fiftieth anniversary of Arne Jacobsen's death in 2021, the traveling exhibition "Gesamtkunstwerke – Architecture by Arne Jacobsen and Otto Weitling in Germany" presents the works created during this period at five locations in the respective buildings of Arne Jacobsen and Otto Weitling.

After stops in Berlin and Hanover, Forum Castrop-Rauxel is currently showing the exhibition curated by Hendrik Bohle and Jan Dimog in a Jacobsen building from that period until November 4, 2021. The Arne Jacobsen Foyer in Hanover, a group of residential buildings in Berlin's Hansaviertel district, the town hall in Mainz, as well as the Christianeum high school and the HEW high-rise in Hamburg are among the buildings presented there. In addition, there are urban planning projects such as the Burgtiefe vacation complex on Fehmarn or the Forum Castrop-Rauxel, which exemplify Jacobsen's significance for post-war modernism and the architectural-cultural bond between Denmark and Germany.

Through models and various design exhibits as well as an accompanying catalog, the exhibition provides insights into the development process and situates the architecture in its time. At the same time, it serves as an inventory: it shows the current state of the buildings and aims to stimulate a discussion of the architectural legacy of late modernism, which should be entirely in the spirit of Otto Weitling, who once said, "A for and against would already be a positive sign, because a house that is not talked about is usually not worth talking about."

HEW headquarters Hamburg, 1969
Seaside resort Burgtiefe Fehmarn, 1973

The next stops of the traveling exhibition "Gesamtkunstwerke – Architecture by Arne Jacobsen and Otto Weitling in Germany" are Hamburg, Fehmarn and Mainz:

14.11.2021 – 18.04.2022
Jenisch Haus, Hamburg

29.4.2022 – 31.7.2022
Haus des Gastes, Burgtiefe, Fehmarn

Zentrum Baukultur Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz