Browsing at an old bookstore, we came across a treasure! The New Vision for the New Architecture Czechoslovakia 1918-1938 by Jaroslav Andel, published by Scalo Verlag AG, Zurich 2006.
“This book explores the significant body of architectural photography produced in Czechoslovakia in the 1920s and 1930s. In this period, both architects and photographers saw themselves as participants in the creation of a new world, pursuing beliefs in social and technological utopias. Practitioners in the two fields shared and stimulated each other’s vision, fostering interplay that consisted of mutual influences, parallels, and affinities. This relationship was highly developed in Czechoslovakia where special conditions existed for the reception of the modern movement in both architecture and photography. The process of modernization as well as the creation of nation states and the rise of the middle class started later in Central Europe than in Western Europe. With its young middle class, the new Czechoslovak state eagerly embraced modern ideas and recognized in architecture a powerful tool for expressing its goals and ideals.” – from the introduction The New Vision for the New Architecture: Czechoslovakia 1918–1938.
From a Le Corbusier commission in 1935 through the construction of Bata department stores and urban shopping arcades throughout the country, Zlín became a model development of modernism.
“Zlín was not only a shoe town, as it was depicted in postcards that showed a cut-out view of the town in the form of a shoe, but a symbol of a new world that provided seemingly endless possibilities identified with modern technology, industrial production, and corporate organization.” – Jan Andel
“Aerial views, which were introduced by 19th century balloonists, pioneers of aerospace exploration, had a revolutionary impact on pictorial representation, including architecture, by subverting established representational conventions based on linear perspective. [ … ] These intersections of aviation and the new architecture demonstrate the impact of aviation and aerial photography on the architectural imagination while indicating parallel paths of the new architecture and the new photography. [ … ] ‘the primary aim, the driving force of new architecture was the effort to achieve a supremacy over heavy matter, a free plan, and the greatest variability possible.’ (In Praise of New Architecture, Prague 1940)
This lovely work is a rare hardcover, 280 pages, 12 x 9.5″ and if you have a chance, try to get your hands on a copy of The New Vision for the New Architecture Czechoslovakia 1918-1938.
A wonderful find!
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