By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

CRITIC'S CHOICE

REVIEW

It's odd to think that just when Lutyens was building a fantasy castle on the edge of Dartmoor for his client Julius Drewe (AJ 14.06.07), Gropius' Bauhaus was taking shape in Dessau - one a granite-walled echo of the past, the other a glass-walled proclamation of the future. But however different their agendas and ethos, both Castle Drogo and the Bauhaus have had chequered later histories, and both buildings have required lengthy restoration or renovation.

A new book edited by Monika Markgraf, Archaeology of Modernism (Jovis, 29.80 euros (£19)), gives a meticulous account of the renovation of the Bauhaus - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site - which was carried out from 1996 to 2006. The term 'renovation' is meant to include 'reconstruction, restoration, repair, upkeep, maintenance and new elements', taking account of an earlier 'reconstruction' in 1976, whose work it both incorporates and corrects. The curtain wall, for instance, is a retained replacement of 1976.

Archaeology of Modernism reects changes in thinking since 1976 - a greater stress on keeping original material substance, for instance - and documents the renovation in a very thorough, accessible, well-illustrated way (see picture).

It can be compared with two other accounts of renewing Modern classics - volumes on Loos' Villa Muller and the Van Nelle Factory (AJ 15.12.05) - but while those books are rather lavish and monumental, you can imagine writing notes in the margin of this one, making it a really practical tool.

A surprise is the amount of colour that we now see in the Bauhaus: here's another early Modern building that is far more polychrome than myth would have it.

Since its restoration by John McAslan, Mendelsohn & Chermayeff's De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea has staged some fine exhibitions, the latest of which turns the focus on the building itself. In It Starts From Here, which continues until 9 September, 20 artists - including Richard Wentworth and Alex Hartley - present ideas for 'new temporary interventions' at the De La Warr, and their proposals are shown alongside some of Mendelsohn's original drawings ( www. dlwp. com).

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters