Giacomo Calandra Di Roccolino

Aby Warburg and the Architecture

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The essay deals with the personal relationship between Aby Warburg and architecture. Apart from classical and Renaissance architecture, the architectures that most influenced him were those in which he lived and frequented, such as his brother’s villa. Warburg’s Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek, however, is the one in which he invested the most. In Warburg’s intentions, the building was to become a point of reference for art history scholars at the newly founded University of Hamburg, as well as the experimental laboratory to put the new methodological approach he had developed into practice. The composition of the space reflects this same working method and is the result of a collaboration between Fritz Schumacher and Warburg, who supervised the project in every detail. From 1925 the responsibility for the construction officially passed to Gerhard Langmaack who, mediating every decision with the client, realised further changes to the design and constructed the building. The heart of the library, the elliptical reading and seminar room, reflects Warburg’s Weltanschauung.

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