Merano town hall, photograph from 1930, arch. Ettore Sottsass. Courtesy Merano municipal archives
Volkswohnbauten, Alpinistrasse, photograph from 1931, municipal building authority Merano. Courtesy Merano municipal archives
Trabrennplatz Merano, photograph from ca. 1936, Paolo Vietti Violi. Courtesy Merano municipal archives
Casa del Fascio, photograph from 1940, engineer Petrucci, engineer Bernardi. Courtesy Merano municipal archives
Radioactive thermal baths, photograph from 1942, arch. Paolo Vietti Violi. Courtesy Merano municipal archives

The Architecture of the 1920s and 1930s in Merano

Racetrack. Picture: Holger Mertz

The Architecture of the 1920s and 1930s in Merano

Opening reception: October 3, 2015 at 11.00 a.m.

Exhibition period: October 4, 2015 - January 10, 2016

Curators: Magdalene Schmidt and Walter Gadner

The exhibition gives an overall picture of the projects that were developed in Merano during the 1920s and 1930s. It focuses on the architectural trends of those decades and relates them to the urban planning. That way, the architectural quality of the buildings erected during the ventennio, normally suspected of being unwelcoming, are given appreciation. Up until World War I, the appearance of the spa town was characterized by the splendid buildings of Historicism and Art Nouveau, but following the change in the political situation, Modernism - largely unknown up to that time - found its way even to South Tyrol.

In an intensive cooperation with the municipal archives of Merano, it was possible to sift the projects and put them in the context of the architectural styles of that period. The presented buildings document the period concerned and show the variety of buildings that typify it. They range from mixed forms during the transition from Historicism to Modernism - accessorized with local elements - to the puristic, unadorned buildings of Rationalism, down to the monumental, heavily decorated buildings of the Scuola Romana.