PR effort for masterpieces
It would seem as if Carsten Krohn has set out to ensure the German 20th-century master architect receives the attention he is due. Following Peter Behrens and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe he has now brought out an extensive documentation of Hans Scharoun’s buildings.
In his book, Krohn unites two kinds of architecture publications that otherwise are rarely encountered together. It is on the one hand a classical monograph on Scharoun’s oeuvre and, on the other, a photographic documentation of the current state of the buildings such as would be found in a heritage catalog or an architecture guide. To this end, Krohn grabbed his camera and visited every Scharoun building still standing. The project took him not only all round Germany but even as far afield as Brazil, where between 1964 and 1971 the architect designed the German Embassy in the new capital city of Brasilia.
The result is a highly illuminating overview of Scharoun’s oeuvre. Because however important historical images are for academic research, they often function to mystify things. By contrast, Krohn’s book enables the architecture to have a direct effect on us. And almost in passing, it encourages us to pay more attention to the great 20th-century architect’s output over and above his iconic main edifices. (fap)
Hans Scharoun. Buildings and Projects
208 pages, 75 b&w illustrations, 200 color plates, 75 drawings
Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2018