Guernica, Hiroshima and wartime architecture

June 3, 2011

Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.

Nicolai Ouroussoff reviews a fascinating exhibit in Montreal on architecture during World War II, which “opens with two images — one depicting the half-crumbled ruins of Guernica after the April 1937 Nazi terror bombings, the other showing two women wandering across the wasteland of Hiroshima, umbrellas in hand, on a wet day sometime after the dropping of the atom bomb in August 1945”:

“Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War,” an engrossing, often unsettling new show at the Canadian Center for Architecture here, is a major and belated step in coming to terms with this awkward chapter in modern architectural history. Simply put, it’s one of the most important architecture exhibitions I’ve seen in years. Organized by Jean-Louis Cohen, the show covers a dizzying range of projects conceived from 1937 to 1945, many of them not well known. Some are expressions of idealism, others of incredible cynicism and savagery.

More here.