“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978” at S AM Basel

The exhibition presents a series of twelve episodes – beginning in the 1950s – that look at the ferment of new ideas as architects began to reconceive space in response to the conditions of a newly affluent society and the emergence of the electronic age.

 

Michael Webb, Sin Centre, 1961. © The architect

Michael Webb, Sin Centre, 1961. © The architect

 

S AM Swiss Architecture Museum presents Spatial Positions 11 «This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978» an exhibition by the Drawing Matter collection about architectural imagination, and the power, processes and poetics of creation and invention.


 

Practical information

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”
March 13, 2016 – June 08,2016
S AM Swiss Architecture Museum
Steinenberg 7
CH-4051 Basel
Switzerland

 


Each of these investigations – from Le Corbusier’s late new harmony of form, to Aldo Rossi’s evocations of the force of history – looks into the basic elements, open futures and varied possibilities of architectural thinking, proposing fundamental new ideas and examining the potential of the built environment to reform the relations of humans to each other and to their environments.

 

Ugo La Pietra, Immersione, 1969. © The architect

Ugo La Pietra, Immersione, 1969. © The architect

Superstudio, Graz under water, 1971. © The architects

Superstudio, Graz under water, 1971. © The architects

 

Curated by Markus Lähteenmäki, Manuel Montenegro and Nicholas Olsberg, with works selected from the Drawing Matter collection, This Was Tomorrow is part of Drawing Matter’s broader enquiry into the theme of reinventions in architecture during the era of experiment that followed post-war reconstruction.

 

Adolfo Natalilni (Superstudio), Study for the Continuous Monument, 1969. © The architect

Adolfo Natalilni (Superstudio), Study for the Continuous Monument, 1969. © The architect

Ugo La Pietra, La Cellula Abitativa, 1972. © The architect

Ugo La Pietra, La Cellula Abitativa, 1972. © The architect

 

This Was Tomorrow includes over 250 drawings, models and printed works, all of which were created by the new generation of designers coming of age in the post-war years. Presenting the architectural sketch and drawing as the essential vehicle for conceiving, evolving and communicating the new ideas of that period, the exhibition contains works from thirteen architects, artists and practices from the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, United States, Portugal and Estonia, working around Europe, United States and Asia. These are: Aldo Rossi; Álvaro Siza; Buckminster Fuller; Constant; Hans Hollein & Walter Pichler; John Hejduk; Le Corbusier; Louis Kahn; Michael Webb; Stirling and Gowan; Superstudio; Ugo La Pietra.

 

R. Buckminster Fuller, Study drawing for a Geodesic Sphere, 1975. © Estate of the architect

R. Buckminster Fuller, Study drawing for a Geodesic Sphere, 1975. © Estate of the architect

Álvaro Siza, Bouça Housing, Porto, c. 1972. © Estate of the architect

Álvaro Siza, Bouça Housing, Porto, c. 1972. © Estate of the architect

 

Works are arranged across the three main galleries of S AM to convey specific experimental moments in the work of these seminal figures. These variously express the querying of inherited orthodoxies; extend the boundaries of the discipline into new terrain; engage architecture in wider contemporary debates and enquiries; and demonstrate how some of these new ideas could be translated into the built world.

 

Le Corbusier, Model for Le Main Ouverte, Chandigarh, 1950-1965. © FLC-ADAGP

Le Corbusier, Model for Le Main Ouverte, Chandigarh, 1950-1965. © FLC-ADAGP

Le Corbusier, Study Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut de Ronchamp, 1950-1955. © FLC-ADAGP

Le Corbusier, Study Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut de Ronchamp, 1950-1955. © FLC-ADAGP

 

The final room serves as epilogue, centring on the studio and intellectual world of Aldo Rossi – and particularly on his teaching at the ETH in Zürich in the 1970s – recapturing in one critical example the passage of new thinking to the next generation.

 

Hans Hollein, City, Communication Interchange, 1962. © Estate of the architect

Hans Hollein, City, Communication Interchange, 1962. © Estate of the architect

Walter Pichler, Study for the Underground City, c. 1963. © The artist

Walter Pichler, Study for the Underground City, c. 1963. © The artist

 

Drawing Matter has curated This Was Tomorrow as part of an ongoing enquiry into a broader theme of reinventions. As a result there is no catalogue, but an accumulating body of works related to the theme of reinvention is being published on the Drawing Matter website and should be viewed in tandem with This Was Tomorrow.

 

"This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978", SAM © Christian Kahl

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”, SAM © Christian Kahl

"This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978", SAM © Christian Kahl

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”, SAM © Christian Kahl

"This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978", SAM © Christian Kahl

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”, SAM © Christian Kahl

"This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978", SAM © Christian Kahl

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”, SAM © Christian Kahl

"This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978", SAM © Christian Kahl

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”, SAM © Christian Kahl

"This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978", SAM © Christian Kahl

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”, SAM © Christian Kahl

"This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978", SAM © Christian Kahl

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”, SAM © Christian Kahl

"This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978", SAM © Christian Kahl

“This Was Tomorrow: Reinventing Architecture 1953-1978”, SAM © Christian Kahl


 

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