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Optimism and Faith in Technology: Holzer Kobler on the Architecture of the 1960s

Barbara Holzer, Tristan Kobler, Volker Mau and Andrea Zickhardt congratulate Detail on their 60th anniversary. In their video, they talk about the significance of the 1960s, the architecture of the future and their own personal experiences with Detail.

What is the legacy of 1960s architecture?
Volker Mau: Your magazine originated in a time of social and technological change, still characterized by the postwar era, yet with a steadfast view to the future. 
Tristan Kobler: The 60s were a decade defined by optimism, faith in technology and, above all, a fascination for everything to do with the future. They were the moon years, moon years that left their mark on European culture − in architecture, in fashion, in music.
Andrea Zickhardt: I enjoy focusing on the 1960s, for they were a decade when many architects such as Niemeyer, the Smithsons and the Metabolists brought fantastic buildings to the world. That’s why I’m not surprised that you established Detail in that decade. Someone simply had to report on those wonderful structures and innovations. 

Where will architecture be 60 years from now?
Tristan Kobler: I believe that we’ll get to know about completely new production methods developed by research, innovative companies, and individuals. It may even be inspired by space travel.
Barbara Holzer: It’s important for Detail to try to keep up with current topics, to swim ahead, perhaps even to anticipate them. What I truly wish for Detail is that the intellectual minds, the critical voices, prevail and continue to reflect on architecture and urban planning as well as being a platform for us architects. 
Andrea Zickhardt: I hope you’re still around for another 60 years and that you can still report on marvellous buildings and modern building techniques. In any case, we will make an effort to contribute, so the magazine isn’t merely blank pages. 

And your personal experiences with Detail?
Volker Mai:
The first issue that I purchased with my meagre tutor’s wages has always stayed with me. Of course, it makes me proud to have been represented with my own projects in so many new issues.
Tristan Kobler: I first encountered Detail in my studies. It was a Friday evening. I can still remember it exactly: that was the first time. 
Barbara Holzer: Actually, Detail has always been with me. It has always addressed new topics and so many current themes. 

Barbara Holzer and Tristan Kobler established their shared studio, Holzer Kobler Architekturen, in Zurich in 2004. In 2012, this was followed by a branch office in Berlin, which is now directed by Andrea Zickhardt. Like Volker Mau, the director of the architecture department in Zurich, Zickhardt is a member of the executive board. The multidisciplinary team of urbanists, architects, designers, graphic artists and curators forms a broad spectrum of competences ranging from urban planning and architecture to scenography and design. Programmatic innovation, aesthetic identities and contextual characterization are the guiding principles in their work. In contrast to other studios, Holzer Kobler Architekturen has no recognizable stylistic idiom. Each work is unique and arises from an individual examination of the building project at hand. The resulting abundance of design reveals itself even at the level of materials.

Holzer Kobler über die Architektur der 60er-Jahre, Foto: Sven Bänziger
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