Otto Bartning (1883–1959). Architect of Social Modernism
Architect, creative force and organisational talent – Otto Bartning was an exceptionally complex figure. He was among the leading figures in German expressionism as well as the Neue Sachlichkeit movement in the Weimar Republic. As a major innovator in post-1945 reconstruction and in advising the city of Berlin, he advocated a social modernism responding to people’s needs. Bartning not only created quality residential and social housing, but was a seminal figure in reforming Protestant church architecture. His innovative Sternkirche (1922) and Stahlkirche (1928) were landmark designs. This exhibition also shows his emergency church programme from 1946, with series production of prefabricated churches in 43 German cities. As a founding member of the Akademie der Künste, he also shaped the principles of architectural development in Germany. The Interbau 1957 in Berlin represented a further highpoint in his oeuvre. Through his sketches, photos, and architectural models, this comprehensive retrospective presents Bartning’s oeuvre for the first time with his connections to the artistic, cultural and political spheres. The exhibition is a cooperation with the Wüstenrot Stiftung, and funded by the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin.