Posts Tagged ‘Brutalist Architecture’

Cologne St. John Baptist with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout

October 11, 2015
St. John Baptist Church (Cologne) by Karl Band, with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout

Karl Band, Cologne St. John Baptist, with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout (A3; 42×29,7cm)

This is a beautiful example of the art of repair and rebuilding, as practised widely in the middle of the former century, in this undisclosed place, which met with generous structural destruction in the second half of the Second Great War, and thus had a chance to develop a unique style of modernity in rebuilding, a style which flourished for only a little more than one decade, only to be replaced by a still unique, but aesthetically rather unsatisfactory industrialized construction process, using holistically questionable materials like Ytong, autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), calcium silicate units, and mineral insulation board.

In this short blessed phase before the chemical industrial complex got on its feet again and took over the construction market, brick was the preferred building material; often recycled from the rubble which was lying around in great quantities to be collected and reused or heaped wholesale into artificial hills. Concrete, if it was used, remained mostly unadorned and unhidden, its surface showing the marks of the cast in which it was poured, a practice which developed, outside of its niche as a method of artistic repair for churches and damaged art museums, into a fashion, an alternative International Style utilizing less glass and steel, more brick and concrete, mostly employed in the construction of publically funded municipal buildings, police stations, universities, or social housing projects. This style, though, did not really take hold here, in this undisclosed place, but abroad, were minds were more open, less  numbed.

This church, first recorded in the year 1090, suffered extensive damage during the war, and then became what was locally praised a jewel of modern reconstruction, a reconstruction which was realized by the architect/builder Karl Band, who could be considered the North Rhine Westphalian version of the Bavarian Hans Döllgast.

This church now serves as a combined worship and convention center for the CRUX youth movement, which aims to spiritually cleanse and refresh the world though collective missionary itineracy.

This rendering of that church is embellished with an imaginary natural scenery in the background, a slightly enlarged vintage motorcar, and the stylized depiction of a floating device housing a solar propulsion motor. Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro Brick Society

Women’s Medical Centre with First Motor Driven Vehicle

April 7, 2013
Women's Medical Centre and Abortion Clinic with 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen by Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik Benz  & Cie. © 2021 by Hecate Sibonga, Torsten Slama, International Publications Organization

Women’s Medical Centre with 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen by Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik Benz & Cie. (Pencil, coloured pencil, acrylics, shellack. A3, 2013)

Depicted is a medical centre exclusively for women, offering medical treatment for diseases of the female genital apparatus and applications of advanced pro-choice technology. The Benz three-wheeler parked in front of the clinic is a permanent installation reminding of a period where men were still relatively unchallenged in their claim over the field of artificial invention, as opposed to “natural” creation, the female secret, Bachofen’s swampland of unlimited fertility.

The staff of the medical centre elected to dedicate their institute to the renowned Scottish electrical engineer and laser scientist A. Catrina Bryce. The official designation for the institute is thus: Women’s Medical Centre “Ann Catrina Bryce”. A schematized, floating model of the laser was chosen as the sign of the centre, at night emitting a beam searching the night sky, reminding the nearby female population of the fact that now women are in control of phallic technology, putting it to empowering pro-choice use in advanced abortion procedures and the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) laser beams to vaporize abnormal cervical tissue. The spiral shape of the laser emitting beacon refers to one of the oldest symbols concerning everything anti-phallic, also alludes to contraception via Intrauterine-System (IUS), or Hormonic Coil.Illustrative sketch and explanatory note © 2013 by Torsten Slama