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Bartning, Otto

Bartning, Otto (1883–1959). Karlsruhe-born German architect and Lutheran theologian, who began his career as an Expressionist, and later directed the Hochschule für Handwerk und Baukunst (High School for Craft and Architecture) in Weimar (1926–30) which took over the functions of the Bauhaus after it moved. In his role as Director, Bartning attempted to revive the Arts-and-Crafts traditions that had been undermined by the Gropius régime there. A traditionalist and a Christian, he is best known as a designer of Protestant churches, nearly all centrally planned. His Pressa Church, or Stahlkirche (Steel Church), Cologne (1928), was designed with a steel frame and glazed walls using a hyperbola on plan set on a low square base, whereas the Church of the Resurrection, or Rundkirche (Round Church), Essen (1930), was circular on plan. Both owe much to C18 prototypes, at least in their overall arrangement, although the architecture was stark and simple. After the 1939–45 war Bartning was closely involved in the programme to provide prefabricated timber churches for the German Evangelical Relief Organization.

Bibliography

Bartning (1959);
Bredow & and Lerch (1983);
H. Mayer (1958);
Pollak (1926);
Siemon (ed.) (1958)

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