Shelter! Architecture of Survival

Even though bunkers and shelters are protective buildings, meant to hold off immediate danger from people, these places are surrounded by an aura of distress. Confined space, coldness, thick walls, concrete, steel, and a sense of lives being threatened are the ingredients that trigger unpleasant and irritating sensations.

In Israel bunkers and shelters are a reality throughout the country because threat and exceptional situations are part of everyday life. This is why attempts are being made to give these shelters the appearance of normality. As spaces for living in Israel are expensive and limited, the shelters similarly are used as community centres, bars, dance studios, mosques or synagogues. Adam Reynolds has recorded this ‘other’ normality with his camera. His photos of shelters reveal the efforts of the people in Israel to make these spaces, which guarantee survival in extreme situations, seem as ‘normal’ as possible. It is a fragile normalcy.

Coordination: Danielle Spera, Werner Hanak-Lettner

Based on an idea by Lois Lammerhuber

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Photo © Adam Reynolds/Edition Lammerhuber