GHDI logo

Bruno Taut, "An Architectural Program" (1919)

print version     return to document list last document in previous chapter      next document

page 1 of 2

Art—that is the thing, if it be there! Today such art does not exist. The disrupted tendencies can achieve a unity only under the auspices of a new art of building, in such a way that each separate discipline will contribute to it. At that point there will be no boundaries between the crafts, sculpture, and painting, all will be one: Architecture.

A building is the direct carrier of spiritual values, shaper of the sensibilities of the general public which slumbers today but will awake tomorrow. Only a total revolution in the realm of the spiritual can create this building; yet this revolution, this building, does not happen by itself. Both have to be sought—today’s architects must prepare the way for this edifice. Their efforts toward the future must be made possible and be supported by public funds. Therefore we propose:

I. Support and Concentration of Intellectual Resources among Architects.

a) The subsidizing of architectural ideas which, beyond the formal, strive for the concentration of all resources of the citizenry into the symbolic construction of a better future, which point out the cosmic character the religious basis of architecture—would-be Utopias. Making available public funds for such projects by means of scholarships to radically inclined architects. Funds for informational publications, for the construction of models, and:

b) Well-situated experimental grounds (in Berlin, for instance, the Tempelhofer Feld), on which architects could work out their ideas in the form of large models. Here, also, new structural effects, such as that of glass as a building material, should be tested, perfected, and shown to the public at large in the form of full-size temporary buildings or sections of such. Layman, woman, and child lead the architect further than would the cautious professional. Expenses to be met by using material melted down from monuments, from dismantled triumphal avenues, and so on, as well as by the aid of industries concerned with the experimental buildings. Workshops with colonies of craftsmen and artists on the experimental grounds.

c) Control over the distribution of funds should rest in the hands of a small council, half of it to be composed of creative architects, the other half of radically thinking laymen. If there is no unanimity, a layman is chosen to make the decision.

II. Community Centers for the People.

a) Launching of vast community centers, not in the city, but in the open country alongside settlements, comprising groups of buildings for theater, music, hotels, and the like and crowned by a general cultural center. [ . . . ]

III. Housing Developments.

a) Consistent supervision in such a fashion that one architect establishes the underlying and guiding principles, checking all projects and buildings against these, without hampering individual inspiration in the details. This architect should have veto power.

[ . . . ]

first page < previous   |   next > last page