Sunday, August 22, 2010


Der Spiegel has an article and slideshow of Bausünden, or "architectural sins." Most of them are buildings constructed in haste out of the ruins of World War II. If you like horrid architecture, you'll love this. Picture #11 in the slideshow is my favorite. I tried to find another photo of it on the web, one without usage rights so I could embed it here, but none turned up so you'll just have to check it out on Der Spiegel.


Jeff Burton said...

The remarkable thing to me was not how ugly these buildings are (and they are), but how unremarkable they would be in the U.S. Here, architectural ugliness is taken for granted and even celebrated. I was born in the wrong century.

Anonymous said...

Why are the churches particularly bad? And where are the buildings from A Clockwork Orange?

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tim eisele said...

I think that for most of those, Howard Roark would be appalled.

Incidentally, I've noticed that a lot of churches are architectural monstrosities[1]. This might have something to do with their limited function: they are mainly just a big room to seat a lot of people. This means you can get away with a lot of designs that would be totally non-functional for any other purpose. The fact that the design is often selected by a committee of volunteers [2] from the church probably doesn't help.

[1] Or just poorly designed. The Catholic church I attended as a kid had some pretty serious deficiencies. The walls were leaning outwards because they had been built with no buttressing, and so to keep the whole thing from collapsing like a house of cards there were several steel rods with turnbuckles that ran from one wall to the other. They were anchored on the outside by steel plates. It looked horrible.

[2] By which I mean, people who often don't know anywhere near as much about building design as they think they do.

Dean said...

No surprise: Elements of the Bauhaus movement are scattered throughout that slide show.

Oh, and Nice, your blog is!