KNUD BLACH PETERSEN EXHIBITION

Knud Blach Petersen (1919-2008) was the architect of a number of ambitious construction projects in Denmark in the 20th century. Projects which largely represents the major urban challenges in Denmark after the 2nd World War with increasing car use, municipal mergers and housing shortages.

Most of Knud Blach Petersen´s projects been condemned by both the general public and the architectural profession as being cold and pragmatic concrete boxes. In recent times we have seen extensive redevelopment, demolition and decorating of Blach Petersen’s buildings – renovations that generally tries to rewrite or totally forget the context in which the buildings were created from.

In 2005 and 2008 SLETH created an exhibition that documents this special relationship between the ambitious vision and a tangible reality with photographs of buildings from both the early years as from today: modern schools, new urban areas with parks, squares and public buildings, ambitious towers and infrastructural buildings.

The question is whether to reject the great utopian projects of the sixties as failed and inhumane, or whether through a revisit of modernism’s optimistic and social program there can be found an understanding of the mechanisms that generated much of the city as we know it today – a visionary heritage?