The former congress hall is an architectural icon and a paradigm of post-war modernity which manifested itself as part of the International Construction Exhibition in Germany. It was commissioned by the US government in 1956 and designed by Hugh Stubbins, erstwhile assistant of Walter Gropius in America. For ideological reasons, the building was constructed on an artificial hillock as a symbol of freedom that could be seen from afar in both East and West.
Only in September, as part of the exhibition Between Walls and Windows. Architecture and Ideology, curated by Valerie Smith, can this architectural landmark by experienced anew as a large-scale sculpture, reinterpreted through artistic and architectural interventions that lay bare the ideological agenda of post-war modernity. With free admission and access from north, south, east or west, the exhibition promises new insights and perspectives on form, function and history.
The architecture of the former congress hall and the history behind it form the focal point of Between Walls and Windows. Architecture and Ideology. The artistic approach is focused not on the building itself but on the ideas and questions which architecture answers, as an instrument of construction history, philosophy and politics.
The project presents ten location-specific new productions by international artists and architects, who will transform the interior spaces and exterior surfaces of Haus der Kulturen der Welt, facilitating a discussion of all the things “architecture“ can be. The exhibition places the local history of the former congress hall in a new, contemporary and global context and casts a spotlight on the Haus der Kulturen der Welt as a sculpture.
A catalog with numerous texts and a comprehensive photo section is being published by the Hatje Cantz Verlag to mark the exhibition opening on 1 September.