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L.I.S.A. Redaktion | 09/26/2018 | 1279 Views | Movies by the Gerda Henkel Foundation |

Architecture as a visual medium

high-altitude euphoria - a stock-take in "Mainhatten" | Episode 1

More than any other German city, Frankfurt am Main – also known as Mainhattan in reference to New York’s most famous borough – is defined by its skyline. The origins of this development go back to 1945, since it was after the Second World War that Germany’s major banks shifted their headquarters from occupied Berlin to Frankfurt. Today the buildings serve, among other things, for representation in the public sphere; each new building has to be higher, more impressive, and more record-breaking than the last, so it’s not unusual for the structures to be torn down again after just a few decades. Art historian and architect Dr. Hauke Horn is studying this thematic complex, and, with the help of the Frankfurt skyline, attempting to understand the role of architecture as a visual medium. 



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The project
In postmodern societies communication has essentially been through images or visual artefacts and not just since the point of the much discussed “iconic turn”, as Gottfried Böhm termed it, but certainly to a greater extent since then. As a result, the iconic effect of architecture as a truly substantial component of visual culture is also the subject of renewed attention among developers. Thanks to their long and extensive experience of advertising, private commercial enterprises are well aware of the importance of making a visual impact and utilize this knowledge extremely skilfully for their own purposes. In the process, since the 1970 and 1980s major corporations have increasingly been discovering the potential for harnessing the iconic impact of architecture to foster a building’s identity and at the same time using buildings as monumental visual media in the public space. This project addresses the questions of how architecture functions as a medium in the economy, what architectural means are used for this, and the extent to which the use of corporate architecture as a medium has developed and changed from the post-war period to today against the relevant historical and social backgrounds.

Hasso Bräuer

Klaus Hernitschek

Klaus Hernitschek

Series created by
Gisela Graichen and Peter Prestel

Project leadership
Dr. Dr. -Ing. Hauke Horn

All episodes
high-altitude euphoria - a stock-take in "Mainhatten"
Episode 1
Architecture and Image - from the marble palace to the transparent eco-skyscraper
Episode 2
A question of sources - problems and methods of new architecture research
Episode 3
The general interview with Dr. Phil. Dr. Ing. Hauke Horn
Episode 4

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