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European History; • Brian Ladd` book: The Ghosts of Berlin

March 20, 2016 | Author: | Posted in history, holocaust studies

In regard to German and Austrian architecture there is a concept of a Gesamtkunstwerk . This is a system of ‘architecture , landscape architecture , sculpture and even interior decoration come together to create a unified setting , a true expression of the aesthetic , social and political values of the times (Hall 1997 ,

. 180 . The RingstraYAe of Vienna , having been constructed from 1860 to 1890 , represents an interesting example of Gesamtkunstwerk

Due to the topography the district hosts no large star-shaped places popular in the 19th century (Hall , 1997 ,

. 177 . Having the form of [banner_entry_middle]

an irregular hexagon (Hall , 1997 ,

. 180 , the RingstraYAe is viewed as the rows of long straight streets . There are rented apartment blocks along these streets and public monuments on the open spots (Frisby , 2002 ,

br 22 . The district is framed by the trees that is why it fits into the idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk as the unification of planning and landscape Though Hall once noted that the RingstraYAe district of Vienna falls apart into a series of autonomous transverse axes (1997 ,

. 180 all these autonomous sets are unified by the RingstraYAe itself

Otto Wagner , the modernist Austrian architect (1841-1918 , called the architecture of the historicist 19th century hectic Vienna unintelligible ‘ to the observer (qtd . in Frisby , 2002 ,

. 20 . He mourned that architecture lacked aesthetic value and did not respond to the needs of modernity . According to Wagner , historicist facades , which are the features of the RingstraYAe architectural design , produce the erroneous effect of masking the modern epoch . The architect voted for modern materials , modern interiors (an apartment block should look like the apartment block and not as a pseudo-palace

It is striking that the facades of the RingstraYAe buildings may be called historicist (e .g , Renaissance . There are no department stores and railway stations there which could be counted for the signs of modern life . However , Wagner and his students designed the Stadtbahn the city railway (1894-1898 . This important piece of city infrastructure and a symbol of circulation in the modern metropolis (Frisby , 2002 ,

. 22 ) contributes to the idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk due to its monumentality

Brian Ladd in his book The Ghosts of Berlin dwelled upon the idea of Berlin departing from the idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk . When we face the Berlin ‘s cityscape we are still aware of the wholeness of the city Unfortunately , one owes much of this wholeness to the name itself . An even the name of Berlin historically aroused from the names of Berlin and C ?lln

The last remnants of the ancient C ?lln island (its southern part ) were rebuilt closer to the 20th century . Time and people did not take pity on Berlin . Once it was the capital of the powerful state of Prussia . The Nazi tried to get rid of the historical past by eliminating old buildings and erecting their own great buildings . During the World War II Berlin was stirred to the ground by the Allies air forces . As Ladd state , some unique pieces… [banner_entry_footer]

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