Restoring Modern Movement Masterpieces

Beyond Ideology

David Rivera 

La Bauhaus en Dessau después de la restauración

Modern Movement architecture was born amid manifestos and controversies, and from the very start came with an impressive retinue of manuals and monographs. Orthodox history itself and the genealogies of modern architecture took off with force in 1923, with Adolf Behne’s writing of The Modern Functional Building, and became a richly flowing, colossal river from the 1950s on.

But abundance and variety of information does not necessarily imply exactitude and depth. One of the most interesting consequences of the campaigns to restore the most significant buildings of the Modern Movement and make them monuments has been the surprising realization that we know so little about them. The manuals used by generations of students and professors abound in imprecisions, or simply ignore questions relating as much to the construction systems of the buildings as to their original designs, their color schemes, their real floor plans, or the role that architects and clients really played in their making... 

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