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Architekt Friedrich Weinwurm. New Path: eine Ausstellung in Bratislava

„Architektur aktuell 2018/ č. 4, s. 14, 16. Architect Friedrich Weinwurm. New Path: an exhibition in Bratislava by Rainald Franz In Bratislava in the inter-war period Friedrich Weinwurm erected pioneering buildings in the international Modern style, which today still remain landmarks. Subsequently this architect was forgotten about for some decades, t lte exhibition "New Path" now rescues him from undeserved obscurity. Czech architecture historian Zdenek Lukes has called him "The Slovak Adolf Loos": Friedrich Weinwurm (1885-1942). Alongside Dusan Jurkovic (1868-1947) and Emil Bellus (1899-1979) Weinwurm can be seen as the third founder of the architecture of Slovak modernism, a forward-looking, left-wing intellectual functionalism erected on a solid foundation of theory. Jurkovic and Bellus have been already been acclaimed by exhibitions and publications, a monograph on Friedrich Weinwurm was long overdue. Henrietta Moravcikova, head of the architecture department at the Institute for Building and Architecture of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava presented just such a monograph in 2014 and is also the curator of the exhibition "Architect Friedrich Weinwurm. New Path". Weinwurm, who studied at the technical universities in Berlin and Dresden, was the son of a Jewish brick manufacturer and began his career in Budapest. Having been injured in the First World War in 1915 he settled in the smallish town then known as Pressburg (today Bratislava). Here he became the architect to the upper middle class, many of whom were Jewish, of the first Czechoslovak Republic, and with lgnaz Vecsei, his office partner since 1924 , was to erect a dozen buildings in Bratislava alone. Weinwurm's a rchitectural achievements are concentrated on two areas: as an architect he emphasised the relationships between spaces and functions and the technical and construction-related side of architecture. This is represented by his residential and commercial buildings, from the first modernist villa in Bratislava for Jakob Sonnenfeld (1924) to the villa (with an interior designed by Josef Hoffmann) realized for the lawyer Arpad Lengyel (1929) - Weinwurm's response to Adolf Loos' Villa Muller in Prague – to the Villa Oskar Pfeffer. Fitted out by Ernst Schwadron, in the way it concentrated all the residential functions on one floor and the aesthetic of materials this house erected in 1935 was a response to Mies van der Rohe's slightly older Villa Tugendhat in Brno. However, Weinwurm was also interested in the social function of architecture and attempted to provide answers to the question of housing for all. These endeavours are represented by his social housing complexes Unitas and Nova doba (New Era). His buildings and essays on theory were published in the 1920s by German journals such as Wasmuths Monatshefte. The exhibition succeeds in presenting Weinwurm's work as a living tradition, which is among the very best produced by the architects of Slovak Modernism and to which links should be made. It is therefore particularly tragic that today most of these buildings have been destroyed, altered or are endangered. The plans and documents from Weinwurm's office were lost during the upheavals of the Second World War. And notraces of this Jewish architect any later than 1942 have been found.“


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