Reception eller konception: P.V. Jensen-Kling og den "funktionelle tradition"

Thomas Bo Jensen


Regional or regionalism
A track in between conservatism and avant-garde in Danish modernism
The Austrian architect Friedrich Achleitner makes a sharp distinction between regional architecture and regionalism. Whereas regional architecture is spontaneous and unreflective, the architecture of regionalism is formalistic and bounded by its urge to reconstruct a former pure world. Since regional architecture has lost its innocence nowadays, the only way to reactivate a strong regional tradition is to allow a certain measure of the more uncontrollable context to play a part in the design-process, Achleitner points out.
The grand old man in Danish pre-modernism, the engineer and artist P.V. Jensen-Klint, had a huge impact on his followers. By transforming historic building types into new astonishing shapes, and first of all by his highly sophisticated brickwork, he prepared a path for Danish architects, in witch a long building tradition found an unsentimental expression in modern architecture. Jensen-Klint recommended the young architects to seek their inspiration in three typical Danish building types: The farm, the manor house and the village church. In his own interpretation of these building types, Jensen-Klint transformed a local tradition into a set of new possibilities, where the simple and ordinary gained a complexity and sharpness, which have marked Danish architecture and design since his death in 1930.
P.V. Jensen-Klint was a leading figure in Danish architecture in the beginning of the 20th century. His Grundtvigs Church in Copenhagen is widely famous for its expressionist shapes, marvellous brickwork and surrounding village, which has settled a humanistic approach in dwel-ling architecture and a highly recognised brick tradition in Denmark. Thomas Bo Jensens monograph P.V. Jensen-Klint presents the entire works of the artist, whos life and fight for a simple, yet monumental and personal architecture, was a hard struggle from the day he begun his building career. An English edition of the book will be published in the beginning of 2007.

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