Cold War and Architecture

The Competing Forces that Reshaped Austria after 1945

Architecture as part of a global struggle of differing political systems: with its transnational perspective, this book changes our view of architectural history and postwar society


Title Information

Monika Platzer. Foreword by Angelika Fitz..Translated by Elise Feiersinger and Brian Dorsey. Edited by Architekturzentrum Wien Az W

1st edition

, 2020


344 pages, 193 color and 118 b/w illustrations

20 x 27 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-175-3


Following the liberation and subsequent occupation of Austria at the end of World War II in spring 1945 by the victorious powers Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union, Vienna soon became a central stage for the quickly emerging Cold War. The struggle of differing political systems was also carried out in the field of architecture. Cold War and Architecture, published in conjunction with a major exhibition at Architekturzentrum Wien Az W, sheds new light on the building activity in postwar Austria and its main protagonists. For the first time, this book explores the lines of architectural debates of the time in the context of the global political and cultural conflict of East vs. West. With its transnational perspective, it changes our view of architectural history and postwar society.

During the ten-year occupation period, Austria experienced a transition from authoritarian government to democratic consumer society. Each of the four Allied powers established its own extensive cultural program. Architectural exhibitions became important instruments of such educational schemes with the objective of a new social order. British, American, French, and Soviet cultural policies thus served as catalysts for ideological convictions.


Deutsche Ausgabe

Authors & Editors

Angelika Fitz

 has been appointed director of Architekturzentrum Wien Az W in 2017. As cultural theorist and curator she develops projects at the interface of architecture, art and urbanism. In 2003 and 2005, she was commissioner for Austria’s contributions to the architecture biennial in Saõ Paulo.

Monika Platzer

 is a curator and head of permanent collection at Architekturzentrum Wien. She also lectures at Universität Wien and Technische Universität Wien and has been a visting scholar at Harvard University in 2014.

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The Four in a Jeep (© Illustration Epi Schlüsselberger, Georg Schmid); Ernst Marboe: Yes. Oui. O.k. Njet, Vienna, 1954

In Stevenage, a small town 48 km north of London, the "New Towns Act" was applied for the first time. Cover, plan by Stevenage (© The construction, January/February 1947)

La Zone d' Occupation Française en Autriche, Innsbruck, 1947

Carl Auböck, Roland Rainer, installation preparations, model houses, Veitingergasse, Vienna 13, 1952–1954. Carl Auböck archive, Vienna (photo: USIS)

Erich Boltenstern in front of the Lever Building in the exhibition "Modern Art from the USA", Secession, Vienna, 1956 © Architekturzentrum Wien, Collection, Herbert Thurner Estate

Ernst Plojhar: Design for the 14th party conference of the KPÖ in the Musikverein, Vienna 1, 1948 © Architekturzentrum Wien, collection, Ernst Plojhar estate

Prader/Fehringer working group: CIAM project, Quartier Lichtenthal, Vienna, 1945/55, main building type © gta Archiv/ETH Zurich, CIAM

Ferdinand Kitt: Paula-Preradović-Haus, Alpbach, 1951-1958, perspective entrance area © Architekturzentrum Wien, collection, Ferdinand Kitt estate

Cover, «Der Sozialismus ist verwirklicht.» © Die Brücke, H. 11, 1954


All images printed must come with respective picture credit and may only be published in connection with a book review containing the publishing house, the title of the book and names of editors or authors.


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