Einstein Tower Potsdam, Mendelsohn Building, Photos, Location, German 1920s Design, Images
Einstein Tower Building : Architecture
Modern Organic Architecture in Potsdam, Germany – design by Erich Mendelsohn
Modern Building in Potsdam, southwest of Berlin
Date built: 1919-24
Design: Erich Mendelsohn, Architect
Einsteinturm is an astrophysical observatory in the Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam, Germany built by Erich Mendelsohn. It was built on the summit of the Potsdam Telegraphenberg to house a solar telescope designed by the astronomer Erwin Finlay-Freundlich.
The telescope supports experiments and observations to validate (or disprove) Albert Einstein’s relativity theory.
The building was first conceived around 1917, built from 1919-21, and became operational in 1924.
Although Einstein never worked there, he supported the construction and operation of the telescope. It is still a working solar observatory, part of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam.
Observatory Buildings in Potsdam, southwest of Berlin –
The exterior was originally conceived in concrete, but due to construction difficulties with the complex design and shortages from the war, much of the building was actually realized in brick, covered with stucco. Because the material was changed during construction of the building, the designs were not updated to accommodate them. This caused many problems, such as cracking and dampness. Extensive repair work had to be done only five years after the initial construction, overseen by Mendelsohn himself. Since then numerous renovations have been done periodically.
The building was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II, leaving it in a state that, as the architecture blog A456 noted, was ironically more in line with Mendelsohn’s conceptual sketches than the pre-war structure was. It underwent a full renovation in 1999, for its 75th anniversary, to correct problems with dampness and decay that had meant decades of repair. It is often cited as one of the landmarks of expressionist architecture.
Einstein Tower Potsdam : Erich Mendelsohn
Recent Potsdam building by Oscar Niemeyer – details online soon
Photographs © isabelle lomholt
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Website: Berlin, Germany