“Märklin Modernism – From Architecture To Assembly Kit And Back Again” at DAM

Germans are surprisingly modern when it comes to their basement workshops – in the model railway sets of the “Miracle on the Rhine” era, architecture was more than merely a backdrop. Here the flying roof, glass dome and grid-like facade were part and parcel of the urban landscape. The exhibition will be the first to show just how enthusiastic about architecture the supposedly philistine model railway builders really were.

 

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

 

Everyone could afford a “Villa in the Ticino” back then – for 4.75 Deutschmarks, you could get a 1:87 scale model. This was modeled on an actual residential house on the St Gotthard Pass, which doubly inspired the Faller brothers in 1961. They had a similar villa built at the company headquarters in Gütenbach and in parallel developed an injection-molded kit of the building. Curious stories also surround the glass tower restaurant, an embattled town church and a postmodern high-rise.


Practical information

“Märklin Modernism – From Architecture To Assembly Kit And Back Again”
May 19 – September 9, 2018
Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM)
Schaumainkai 43, Frankfurt am Main
Germany

 


The DAM and moderneREGION AL are presenting selected original postwar Modernist model construction kits. They are juxtaposed to their architectural role models in the form of large-format photographs by Hagen Stier. Two model railway sets bring movement to modern cityscapes and a film by Otto Schweitzer and C. Julius Reinsberg, specially produced for the exhibition, will also be on view. The show is accompanied by the book “märklinMODERNE – Vom Bau zum Bausatz und zurück” (märklinMODERNE – From Architecture to Assembly Kit and Back Again) published by Jovis Verlag.

 

Das Vorbild für den Faller-Bausatz "Villa im Tessin": die Guscetti-Villa (1958, Aldo und Alberto Guscetti) in Ambrì im Tessin Photo: Hagen Stier

Das Vorbild für den Faller-Bausatz “Villa im Tessin”: die Guscetti-Villa (1958, Aldo und Alberto Guscetti) in Ambrì im Tessin Photo: Hagen Stier

Villa im Tessin (Faller-Modell) FALLER-Bausatz „Villa im Tessin“ (seit 1961) Copyright: Gebr. FALLER GmbH

Villa im Tessin (Faller-Modell) FALLER-Bausatz „Villa im Tessin“ (seit 1961) Copyright: Gebr. FALLER GmbH

Das Faller-Modell "Villa im Tessin" (seit 1961) Photo: Hagen Stier

Das Faller-Modell “Villa im Tessin” (seit 1961) Photo: Hagen Stier

 

CASE HISTORY

In 1935, the firm Trix presented the 00 railway on a scale of 1:90. Soon after, almost all manufacturers adopted this scale, including market leader Märklin. In 1950, it was changed from double zero (00) to half zero (H0/1:87). When it was launched the so-called “table railway” remained a privilege of the wealthy. Hermann Göring hoarded several model railways along with looted art at his country estate Carinhall. Yet this toy is free of ideology: It is its creator alone who decides what happens on the model plate. One may hear the symphony of the big city between numerous express rail tracks or a sightseeing train puffing its way through an idyllic mountain village.

 

Moderne Kirche (Faller-Modell) Das Faller-Modell "Moderne Kirche" (ab 1965) Photo: Hagen Stier

Moderne Kirche (Faller-Modell) Das Faller-Modell “Moderne Kirche” (ab 1965) Photo: Hagen Stier

Das Vorbild des Faller-Modells "Moderne Kirche": die Kirche St. Katharina (1965, Erzbischöflichen Bauamt Freiburg/Lothar Schmitt) in Gütenbach im Schwarzwald Photo: Hagen Stier

Das Vorbild des Faller-Modells “Moderne Kirche”: die Kirche St. Katharina (1965, Erzbischöflichen Bauamt Freiburg/Lothar Schmitt) in Gütenbach im Schwarzwald Photo: Hagen Stier

Verpackung Faller-Modell „Moderne Kirche“ Photo: Hagen Stier

Verpackung Faller-Modell „Moderne Kirche“ Photo: Hagen Stier

 

While in the 1950s to the 1970s work was progressing full steam ahead on the Economic Miracle and political and social development was increasingly accelerating, the microcosm of the model railway promised a calm place to which one could withdraw. And at the same time offered sufficient novelty each year to delight fans of progress too. Were these supposed toys even intended for children? The inventors certainly envisaged the children of the family constantly competing with fathers and grandfathers for control of the transformer. Indeed, since the early 1960s at the latest playing with miniature railways was marketed as a hobby for the entire family – with the manufacturers thus ensuring sales opportunities across the generations.

 

Verpackung Vero-Modell „Hochhaus“ Photo: Hagen Stier

Verpackung Vero-Modell „Hochhaus“Photo: Hagen Stier

Ein Beispiel für ostmoderne Architektur, von denen die Vero-Modelle "Hochhaus" und "Wohnhausgruppe" inspiriert waren: PH16-Hochhäuser in Erfurt Photo: Hagen Stier

Ein Beispiel für ostmoderne Architektur, von denen die Vero-Modelle “Hochhaus” und “Wohnhausgruppe” inspiriert waren: PH16-Hochhäuser in Erfurt Photo: Hagen Stier

Ein bewegtes Innenleben: der Faller-Bausatz "Auto-Rast", zerlegt in seine Einzelteile Photo: Hagen Stier

Ein bewegtes Innenleben: der Faller-Bausatz “Auto-Rast”, zerlegt in seine Einzelteile Photo: Hagen Stier

Das Vorbild für das Faller-Modell "Auto-Rast": das einstige Autohaus "Freiburg", das heute als Restaurant genutzte "Turmcafé" (1951, Wilhelm Schelkes) in Freiburg im Breisgau Photo: Hagen Stier

Das Vorbild für das Faller-Modell “Auto-Rast”: das einstige Autohaus “Freiburg”, das heute als Restaurant genutzte “Turmcafé” (1951, Wilhelm Schelkes) in Freiburg im Breisgau Photo: Hagen Stier

Verpackung Faller-Modell „Auto-Rast“ Photo: Hagen Stier

Verpackung Faller-Modell „Auto-Rast“ Photo: Hagen Stier

Auto-Rast (Faller-Modell) Das Faller-Modell "Auto-Rast" (ab 1961) Photo: Hagen Stier

Auto-Rast (Faller-Modell) Das Faller-Modell “Auto-Rast” (ab 1961) Photo: Hagen Stier

 

As of July 11, 2018 supplemented by the exhibition “Die Villa im Tessin. märklinMODERNE im Ländle” in the architekturgalerie am weißenhof Stuttgart.

 

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully

Megacity at Haus-im-Haus Photo: Moritz Bernoully


 

News source and text: DAM
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