«Farben des Alltags. Großsiedlungen und öffentliche Bauten»

Langenberg, Silke and Rehm, Robin, «Farben des Alltags. Großsiedlungen und öffentliche Bauten», in: Alltägliches Erben, Jahrestagung des Arbeitskreis Theorie und Lehre der Denkmalpflege, 2023 (in print)

In the 1970s, facades painted in bright red, green, blue and yellow emulsion paint, sometimes monochrome and sometimes with geometric motifs, became just as widespread on the exteriors of satellite towns and individual houses as those with colorful enamel, Eternit and glass panels. In keeping with this, the interiors of public buildings were lined with machine-produced, colored Resopal laminates, woodwork or aluminum strips. The architectural colors of this period seem to respond to Alexander Mitscherlich’s inhospitality of our cities, diagnosed as early as 1965: the social and the generally comprehensible triumph over representational architecture. In this respect, the color of this decade assumes a special, hitherto hardly studied function: it contributes significantly to the fact that settlements and public buildings become “places of symbolic forms” in that the latter, as Mitscherlich’s assistant Alfred Lorenzer states in Architecture as Ideology in 1968, brings about an “amalgamation of self and thing in the symbol.