Eine Stunde Architektur.
Stuttgart, Akademischer Verlag Dr. Fritz Wedekind & Co 1928.
64pp. with numerous illustrations.
24,5 x 18 cm. Original publisher´s wrappers. (Cover design by Max Fischer).
«Adolf Behne (1885–1948) was an art and architectural critic in Berlin best known for his publications on Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit. He was the author of several books including Der Moderne Zweckbau, 1926, and Eine Stunde Architektur, 1928. Behne joined the Deutsche Werkbund, founded in 1907, which sought to bring together art, craft and industry, and founded the Arbeitsrat für Kunst in 1918 with Walter Gropius and Bruno Taut (among others). The group combined social-political goals with crafts and architecture. The publication of Eine Stunde Architektur accompanied the 1927 Werkbund exhibition “Die Wohnung” at the Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart. It also inaugurated a small series of books connected to the Werkbund. These included Werner Graeff’s Eine Stunde Auto on automotive design, and in 1930, Eine Stunde Druckgestaltung, edited by typographer Jan Tschichold. At the beginning of Eine Stunde Architektur Behne proposes a new way of dwelling and living in which spaces respect their inhabitants. He writes, “Dwelling means living in space so that space and person relate to one another. Dwelling means living purposefully in a space… it implies that space recognizes people.” Behne approached this functionalism through a rubric of art and art history, transcending conventional approaches to both, in his definition of a new way to live. “So was the old way of dwelling not good?” he asks. “It was not good because it was not a way of dwelling,” he answers. In the excerpt published here, Behne uses art and architectural examples from the 16th to 18th centuries to explore the historical relationship of people to their dwellings.» Molly Wright Steenson.