Lecture & Panel Discussion Fantastic Architecture – Berlin's Expressionist Heritage

Fragments of Metropolis Berlin © Niels Lehmann © Niels Lehmann


Goethe-Institut New York

On the occasion of the publication of the bilingual German and English volume Fragments of Metropolis Berlin (Hirmer Verlag, 2015), the editor Christoph Rauhut will be joined by New York-based architectural historian Rosemarie Haag Bletter to discuss the legacy of Expressionist architecture in Berlin. Fragments of Metropolis Berlin is the result of a major undertaking by Rauhut and photographer Niels Lehmann: to document all the remaining Expressionist buildings in Berlin. Expressionism powerfully heralded the onset of the twenties, and nowhere was it more important and powerful than in Berlin. The buildings that remain today tell the story of an avant-garde that gave expression to its vision of a new society through architecture – the modern Metropolis.
Rauhut and Bletter will each give richly illustrated talks on the Berlin Metropolis of the 1920s, built Expressionist buildings and the many forgotten designs that were never realized, the reception of Expressionist architecture in the interwar period, and its rediscovery today. 
Christoph Rauhut studied architecture at RWTH Aachen and ETH Zurich, where he is a researcher at the Institut für Denkmalpflege und Bauforschung (Institute for Conservation and Building Research). Since 2011 he is a member of the working group Denkmalpflege, Stadtentwicklung, Umwelt (Conservation, Urban Development, Environment) of the Deutsche Nationalkomitee für Denkmalpflege (German National Committee for Conservation), and since 2013 he is on the board of directors of the Gesellschaft für Bautechnikgeschichte (Construction History Society). His research focuses on early twentieth-century architectural history, in particular construction methods and the transformation of building praxis into science. Rauhut holds a PhD from ETH Zurich.
Rosemarie Haag Bletter is a German-born American architectural historian, university professor, writer, and lecturer. She received her PhD from Columbia University with a dissertation on the work of Bruno Taut and Paul Scheerbart and has taught at Yale University, Columbia University, the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU), and CUNY Graduate Center. Haag Bletter was guest curator for the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition Skyscraper Style: Art Deco New York (1975) and the Whitney Museum’s High Styles: Twentieth-Century American Design (1985). An expert on twentieth-century European and American architecture, she was instrumental in the reappraisal of Art Deco building design in the 1970s, is known for her seminal writings on German Expressionist and Early Modernist architecture, as well as for her cultural analysis of the architecture of Frank Gehry, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

Organized by the Goethe-Institut New York with the support of Hirmer Verlag, Berlin and Nightnurse Images, Zurich.