Bernhard Leitner

  • Dutch Architecture 1920–1940

    THE VAN ABBEMUSEUM IN Eindhoven, Holland recently organized a show called “Bouwen 2040,” which stirred up considerable public interest. The exhibition covers only a short period of modern Dutch architectural history, but this period is an extremely intense and interesting one. 1940 was not an abrupt ending—architecturally speaking—of a fight for a new style. The influence of conservative architects had been increasing ever since the early ’30s. Politically it was a break: Holland entered World War II. Nothing of similar significance happened in 1920. However, for an understanding of the

  • Sound Architecture

    1. Definition

    A LINE IS AN INFINITE series of points.

    A line of sound is produced when sound moves along a series of loudspeakers, from one loudspeaker to another.

    Space can be defined by lines.

    Lines of sound can also define space: space-through-moving-sound.

    1.1 Space Through Moving Sound

    In many examples a large number of loudspeakers have been used to distribute sources of sound and eventually to produce a movement of sound in space. The examples are almost exclusively works by musicians and composers, i.e., the message is a musical one, whatever the definition of music is. The movement of sound

  • Architecture as a Weapon: Hitler’s Speer

    IN HIS VIEW OF THE past Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect, seems to miss the point somewhat. He talks about proportions in describing a door, whereas the point is that the door has been built to enslave everyone entering through it. The unpolitical architect.

    The small exhibition of original drawings by Adolf Hitler at the New York Cultural Center—“the first public viewing”—might be another example of the insatiable desire for sensations among the art world in this city. But, together with Speer’s book, it is a very instructive contribution to the topic of architecture and politics, especially in

  • A Master Plan

    1970. IT IS BEETHOVEN’S BICENTENNIAL. This—so we are told—must be celebrated. Is the world ready for more Beethoven? Is the situation ripe for more Beethoven? Is there a real need? Everybody knows why we have more—because it is Beethoven’s bicentennial. Numbers instead of ideas for the culture of consumption.

    1970. It is the Metropolitan Museum’s centennial. This—so we are told—is celebrated with the new Master Plan, served with exquisite, solemn birthday speeches, and other kinds of cultural liquor. Inebriated, one loses one’s perspective and it becomes difficult to make a clear distinction