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Coloured architecture: Democratic or oppressive?

Bowie, Laura 2016. Coloured architecture: Democratic or oppressive? Presented at: GTA Workshop ‘Europe and its Limits', Zurich, Switzerland, 31 May-1 June 2016.

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This paper focuses on one small element of my larger PhD thesis – that of the application of colour to modernist housing estates in the 1960s. The Märkisches Viertel District in West Berlin (1962-1974) is the focus of the paper which became a highly contested development and suffered condemnation for its alienation of citizens, lack of social provisions and the poor quality of the architecture. Architects and planners employed an Op Art artist to create an overall colour concept for the area which they thought would bring joy, personality, orientation and humanity to the large development in the vein of the Bauhaus tradition. Protesting students saw the ‘arbitrary’ application of colour as indicative of an urban planning mentality which had no knowledge or care for the needs of residents. The tenants stated that the colour changed nothing of the real social deprivation and issues inherent in the development. This paper intends to expand on these claims and show how colour became a contested issue in a highly politicised urban environment.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2020 10:34

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