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Erich Mendelsohn


Erich Mendelsohn, Einstein Tower, ink sketch, 1919

Erich Mendelsohn (1887–1953) was an architect known for his expressionist architecture in the 1920s as well as for developing a remarkable kind of dynamic functionalism in his projects for department stores and cinemas.

Mendelsohn is considered one of the most important German architects in the 20th century. His buildings were erected in Germany, the Soviet Union, Norway, England, Palestine and the USA. And with his very first buildings, the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, the hat factory in Luckenwalde and the Mosse Building in Berlin, he catapulted himself to the forefront of the avant-garde. He subsequently received numerous commissions to design department stores, commercial buildings, factories, private houses and to plan shop conversions.

Mendelsohn designed and built an astronomical observatory to experimentally confirm Einstein's Theory of Relativity. The building is known as the Einsteinturm (Einstein's Tower).

"Function is, of course, the primary element, but function without a sensual component is just construction... The functional dynamic is the postulate." Erich Mendelsohn

Online References
Einstein Tower + 1
Schocken Department Store Stuttgart + 1 + 2
Archinform: Petersdorff Department Store
Great Buildings Bio
Archiplanet
ArchitectureWeek Essay
The Compass Rose

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