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The Modernist is dedicated to modernist architecture and design. Issue 39: Killer, focuses on buildings designed for taking the lives of our fellow human beings. Introduced by guest editors Alex Boyd & Linda Ross.
When we think of buildings designed for taking lives, bunkers in Northern France, machine gun positions crumbling on our coastlines, some forlorn corner of a forgotten battlefield, all come to mind.
These visual reminders of past conflicts – the work of Friedrich Tamms, Organization Todt, or a myriad of defence planners across the world – are the most explicit reminder of the role of buildings in the service of death.
They are however, only part of the wider story. Our contemporary landscapes are not immune to or separate from this ongoing endeavour.
With defence spending in the UK increasing, cities and townscapes are dotted with factories and production facilities dedicated to the manufacture of weapons.
The sprawling ruins of what was once the worlds’ largest dynamite factory at the Ardeer in Scotland, established in 1871 by Alfred Nobel ‘the Merchant of Death’ (as he would prefer not to be remembered), show that it was always thus.
In Issue 39, The Modernist examines the role of a few of these structures, some hidden in plain sight such as the Capenhurst Works, others less conspicuous. Looking at the legacy of the Cold War, and what might be the best way to deal with some of the infrastructure it left behind.
Beyond the UK, Killer gives us an alternative look at Chernobyl Power Station, concentrating on its ideological state aesthetic rather than its fatal design flaw. This issue also explores the impending death of Berlin’s Mäusebunker, a ‘stranded warship’ of experimentation which provides this striking cover image.
The editors of this issue grew up on or in the shadow of military landscapes and would like to cast some light on a few of these overlooked places. Welcome to Killer.
Published by The Modernist
140 x 270 mm