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Modernism, the fading age of architecture. Now the white masses echo the late days of the classical monuments. The purity of the white gets grubby, the stucco may leak, crack and eventually the whiteness fades from even memory.

In Paris, in the Jasmin area, I visited the Maison la Roche and to my surprise it had become a shrine for itself. Or perhaps for Le Corbusier... you can't be sure. Devout architecture students linger, drawing spaces. Do not touch the walls, the attendant said. The fear is soiling the white.

In the Auckland Architecture School library, photos of modernist inspired buildings hang above the glowing computer monitors. These have faded also and the images are barely discernable. The architecture has become the negative space amongst the sepia tones that remain. The 'Lost Property' exhibition tried to bring these (often neglected) relics of architectural history back into the limelight, of an era past.

One of the white card models made for the exhibition.

As the Modernist architecture reaches its official lifetime (around 50 years? Should be more?), where have they gone? Are they being preserved or merely used until the end? Or forgotten?


  1. I used to make white models like the last photo when I was a student.
    Some of them should be preserved.

    1. The professor who supervised the making of these models was inspired by the white card Japanese models. Japan has some really stunning white architecture, I wonder if they are considered Modernist?

  2. Albeit being designed for specific functionality, many modernist buildings posses characteristics which allow them to be adapted for other functions. These buildings need to find new lives!


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