Stuttgart 1960s: Berlinerplatz

by Jay November. 06, 2010 4121 views

Somehow, despite being a great decade with some “hip” colors and styles, the 60s still provide me with a black and white memory which color shots sometimes just ruin. Hence, this set.

The 1960s were not altogether architecturally good to Germany. Being a land not touched by Mother Nature's beautiful-weather wand, it is also quite “blessed” with dreary and foggy winters.

So, when post-war architects decided to make a definitive break from the past and to look toward a new German republic, they went from one extreme to the other: from warm and cozy and elegant and stately to cold and drab - period. What with the long, gray winters we experience here, the grayness of these soul-less buildings turns taking a city stroll into a walk down depressing lane. Some streets I avoid altogether. What the eye beholds, even subconsciously, makes a powerful impression on the psyche. Like the wonderful colors that help to add to the warm and friendliness of the tropics, over time, dreariness only adds to the cold in every which way.
I have never been a friend to senseless modernism; that is, “modern” only for the sake of “modern”. There are way too many beautiful examples of modern architecture that shine all over the world. But, because of the severe war damage, and limited funds to rebuild so much so fast, what went up in that particular decade ignored zoning (which apparently did not exist in some cases) and a number of terribly drab, now very sad-looking buildings sit next to war survivors: Jugendstil, Bauhaus, half-timbered (Tudor), Baroque, etc. The clash can be painful.

Yet, there is a happy ending here.
After photographing the above buildings, I have decided to make peace with some of them such as those photographed above. I told it I liked it. The more I photographed, the more we became friends. I still don't and never will like all its relatives, but this one and I will get along just fine now.

(I cannot end this post without saying that despite the words above, Germany still has some of the most beautiful buildings you will find anywhere, and Stuttgart is a gem.)

The Ubahn arrives at Berlinerplatz before heading underground.

My new friend.

“I'm feeling a wreck today. How 'bout you?” she asked.
“Not too good myself,” he said, “had a crick in my neck when I woke up.”

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There are 8 comments , add yours!
Kelly 10 years, 2 months ago

Very interesting post, and I agree with Val, the B&W is perfect for this one.

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Eiram Marie 10 years, 2 months ago

I like it! there is some witt in it...I could photograph so many depressing examples of the socialist era here in Prague...but I won´t LOL I too prefer to avoid them,:))

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Jacki 10 years, 2 months ago

Ah well you will maybe think this interesting since you have made friends with the building. As I looked at your post (before reading) I was thinking how nice it was and how interesting some of your perspectives are... so your transition obviously came through in the photos! Well done! And a really interesting thing to think of experimenting with ... to photograph that which we don't like in hopes of understanding something we didn't.

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Betty Meade 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm not a fan of modern architecture, either. I think you will find the same dull existence the world over. Even here in the heart of the US, as winter extends, our moods drop even further. Everything seems so dull and lifeless. I would love to visit your country someday. I have seen its beauty and know that it does have many beautiful sights.

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Andrea 10 years, 2 months ago

Awesome set!

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Kate 10 years, 2 months ago

Excellent b&w set and such an interesting post to read...:)

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Huiching 10 years, 2 months ago

I love this monochrome set. Very well composed.

10 years, 2 months ago Edited
Claire 10 years, 2 months ago

very nice !

10 years, 2 months ago Edited