Everything is Architecture: Bau Magazine from the 60s and 70s

One of the methods that experimental architectural movements use to promote themselves is the medium of journals. Bau; Schrift für Architektur und Städtebau (Bau: magazine for architecture and town planning), published in Vienna, was one of these, although serving as the official magazine of the Zentralvereinigung der Architekten Osterreiches (the Central Union of Austrian Architects) from 1947-1971. It took a new route when a group of young Austrian architects and artists including Hans Hollein, Walter Pichler, Günther Feuerstein and Oswald Oberhuber, took over its editorship from 1964 to 1970.

“Everything is architecture, Hans Hollein announced in the 1968 (1/2) edition of the Bau journal, against images of a lipstick, a pill, a spark plug and binary code. This was not simply a reference to his work but a manifesto for a whole new generation of architects, designers and thinkers of the 1960s and the 1970s who were keen to expand the definition of contemporary architecture to its limits. The magazine became a means of exploring experimental ideas which questioned the pre-war doctrine of function that defined modern architecture. Instead it drew on a wide-range of issues such as popular culture, ecology and technology including the “Space race”.

While the magazine included key texts by philosophers, artists and architects, it also retained a playful quality, rich in imagery drawn from architecture and urbanism but also from art and pop culture. Unlike experimental publications like Archigram, Bau retained some elements common to glossy magazines; its size, paper quality and use of advertising.

The AA Library is delighted to lend 19 issues of Bau dating from 1965-69 to an exhibition at the ICA entitled ‘Everything is Architecture: Bau Magazine from the 60s and 70s’, on show from 29 July – 27 September 2015.

For further information see https://www.ica.org.uk/whats-on/everything-architecture-bau-magazine-60s-and-70s