“A protective space for every Swiss” was since 1954 the national aim for the protection of the population. And thus 270,000 civil bunkers were built, which should protect 95% of the population against war, physical disasters and terrorist attacks. Till this day they did not need to meet their real purpose. Nevertheless, the Swiss developed unusual concepts for the use of these endless square metres of concrete. [Anders bunkern! – Sandra Siewert]
During the Cold War, a parallel reality of fear adopted a physically built form in the underground. The obsession of overprotecting citizens has left a vast architectural heritage open to their imagination. Today, as Sandra Siewert documents in her photo essay, these bunkers are used for accommodation for wanderers, building miniature railway models, fitness gyms, DIY brewery, youth clubs, retiree clubs, rehearsal rooms, or simple storage cellars.
Each of these thousands of bunkers, where people should have waited until danger was over, awaits new implemented uses.
Another type of Cold War relics struggling to vanish are West German Trichtersperren. They consisted of interconnected 4-6 metre deep shafts along roads, filled with explosives, so that mobility infrastructures could be blown up in case of a massive invasion of the country. Then, troops would be temporarily hindered in their invasion. Russian tanks never conquered West Germany, so all these holes needed to be defused and covered with asphalt again. Today, the only remaining trace is a series of repeated patches along the road, signaling the spots of virtual cones that would have pierced the landscape.
[1-6> Sandra Wert’s Anders Bunkern!] [7-12> already covered Trichtersperren via cold-war]