How we select buildings of interest
We only present buildings that we have seen and photographed ourselves. We describe the buildings briefly to provide some information about them. A map shows all places of buildings we have already published. This might be useful during a trip or just to get an overview from the cosy perspective of your couch.
Construction features and aesthetic features of the buildings, the social background of the respective tenants as well as the political spirit of the projects influence the selection of buildings included on this homepage. They are described below.
Probably the most exciting about a building is the way it has been constructed. Therefore our most important category is the construction category. It groups buildings according to their construction types. That is the old-fashioned brick-built manufacture or the then rather new construction type using reinforced concrete. The construction of a building has to fullfill the needs of its use. Originating from industrial architecture, it became a basic principle of modernism in architecture. However, often the construction type is invisible to observers.
Therefore, another important factor is the appearance of a building - its aesthetic category. The most characteristic features of modernism are simple, geometric shapes and a flat roof. This principle is often called "form follows function". That is, the construction of the building is most important and its aesthetics result from it. It also rules the design of the different types of rooms: the bed room is designed to sleep in it as the kitchens design follows the needs of cooking. The clear distinction of a construction in the light of its purpose was a new principle unknown to many parts of Europe until the second decade oft the 20th century.
These two categories usually do not occur in their absolute forms. Much more often there are hybrids. For instance, houses from the 1920s and 1930s may appear very modern, but were still built with conventional construction methods. On the contrary, for some houses with a rather "old-fashioned" exterior appearance technologically newer construction methods were employed.
The third category of interest is the social category. Of course, already before the time of modernism architects and developers like city councils intended projects to improve the living conditions of the poor. Nowadays a lot of attention is payed to villas and private houses that are open to the public for guided tours. These houses often feature highly functional details (e.g. sophisticated heating) and the use of high-quality materials. They were exclusively built for wealthy clients.
In the 1920s and 1930s, projects were often realised with political intentions, from democratic to communist. This is described by the political category. There is some degree of interaction between the social and the political category. Certain political ideas had an influence on the social category of the buildings. The fascist and right-wing politics put often an end to modernism in Europe. The concepts of modernism in architecture continued in different ways after 1945.