We can all admit to admiration for those landscapes built up around model railways. The märklinMODERNE (Märklin Modernism) exhibition shines a spotlight on the often progressive architecture found beside the miniature rail tracks in garages and attics.
- Features model buildings from the years of the German economic miracle after World War II
- Model railway layouts, too
- Runs Mar 11 – August 31, 2020 at the Hofmobiliendepot
- Standard museum entrance tickets gets you in (or use a sightseeing pass)
- See also: Imperial Furniture Collection visitor & tickets info
Architecture in miniature
(Moderne auf “Stelzen”: das Faller-Modell “Geschäftshausblock Helvetia” (ab 1965) © Hagen Stier)
OK, hands up who likes to see little trains chugging their way around a model landscape. I see a lot of hands.
Märklin is a German brand synonymous with model railways, much like Hornby in the UK. But the märklinMODERNE (Märklin Modernism) exhibition is actually more about the world either side of those rail tracks and rolling stock.
The exhibition stems from Germany, put together by the moderneREGIONAL online magazine, the German Architecture Museum (Deutsches Architekturmuseum or DAM), and the am weißenhof architecture gallery.
The displays showcase the remarkable architectural achievements of model railway enthusiasts and model manufacturers as they created townscapes for those miniature locomotives to pass through.
The endeavours often reflected the architectural innovations and trends of the time, belying the myth of model railways as the exclusive realm of those anchored in some idyllic past.
The buildings themselves come from a range of companies, such as Faller, Vollmer or Kibri, and cover the years soon after WWII, when the German economy went through its economic miracle (Wirtschaftswunder).
The exhibition presents the individual models, with photographs and background information on the actual architecture that provided the necessary inspiration. But there’s more to it than just standalone buildings, including a megacity and model train layouts.
(Look out for the model of Vienna’s Westbahnhof railway station, too.)
Dates and tickets
The märklinMODERNE exhibition (and the trains) run from March 11th to August 31st, 2020.
The Hofmobiliendepot normally opens Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm, plus the occasional Monday (April 13th and June 1st).
A standard ticket to the museum includes access to the exhibition. You can also get in once with a Vienna Pass.
How to get to the exhibition
Find travel tips at the main museum page. Or, frankly, just jump on the U3 subway line and get out at Zieglergasse. That’s all you need to know.
Address: Andreasgasse 7, 1070 Vienna