"A sculpted pair of figures thirty-three feet tall, on a high platform, were striding triumphantly toward the German pavilion. I therefore designed a cubic mass, also elevated on stout pillars, which seemed to be checking this onslaught, while from the cornice of my tower an eagle with the swastika in its claws looked down on the Russian sculptures. I received a gold medal for the building; so did my Soviet colleague." A story of dueling architecture at the Paris International Exposition of 1937.
Endbahnhof, a collection of photographs of every U-Bahn station in Berlin, organised by line and showing the variety of architectural styles in the system. There is an interview with the photographer, Kate Seabrook, here.
Brutal Baroque: An Ode To Midcentury Modern Churches: French photographer Fabrice Fouillet traveled across Europe photographing some of the most important examples of postwar churches, creating a catalogue of the spaces called Corpus Christi. [more inside]
"A vacation complex along the Baltic coast with 10,000 sea-view rooms in eight identical six-story blocks of steel-reinforced concrete, each one the length of five football fields." Built to last but never finished, Prora has been largely unknown until recently, as Germans debate its future use or demolition. [more inside]
The Canal des Deux Mers connected the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the Zuiderzee Works reclaimed part of shallow inlet of the North Sea to expand the Netherlands, so why not try taming the Mediterranean and irrigating Africa? Part ocean reclamation, part power generation (the "white coal" of falling water), Atlantropa wasn't simply the stuff of science fiction. First called Panropa, it was the long-term goal of a German architect and engineer named Herman Sörgel, a dream that lasted until his death in 1952, and the Atlantropa Institute continued on another 8 years. [more inside]
Keith Thorne has stunningly colored pictures of decaying urban spaces on his Flickr stream, including some taken at an abandoned German military hospital that once treated Adolf Hitler. A few pictures feature himself. Via.
Forgotten Architects: In the 1920s and early 1930s, German Jewish architects created some of the greatest modern buildings in Germany, mainly in the capital Berlin. A law issued by the newly elected German National Socialist Government in 1933 banned all of them from practicing architecture in Germany. In the years after 1933, many of them managed to emigrate, while many others were deported or killed under Hitler’s regime. Pentagram Papers 37: Forgotten Architects is a survey of 43 of these architects and their groundbreaking work. [more inside]
Thomas Graz has a collection of glasses with pictures on them. Mainly from the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the German Empire, but including some other countries too. A novel way to navigate history, architecture, people and landscape. Oh! and he needs help with some of them too.
The Berlin District Court has ruled that Deutsche Bahn must rebuild whole sections of the new Hauptbahnhof according to the architect's plans, setting a spectacular precedent. Berlin's new main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, cuts a solitary figure in the surrounding wasteland as it awaits an urban development that will complement its ambition, aesthetics and vast dimensions. But the verdict pronounced by the Berlin District Court on Tuesday November 28 has brutally nipped this development process in the bud. The judges ruled that the German rail company Deutsche Bahn has unlawfully violated the intellectual property rights of the station's architect, Meinhard von Gerkan. The rail company must rebuild the station according to the architect's plans. The station opened in May this year after a 13-year construction period.
Postwar architecture of Berlin. Photographing architectural icons before they disappear. Some I kind of like. Some I don't. Others, I just don't know what they were thinking.
Cranespotting (Geocities) ... is the compulsion, upon seeing a long crane boom reaching skyward in the distance, to drive over and see what's holding it up. The crane capital of the world is Germany, where Demag, Gottwald, Krupp, Liebherr and others make some cranes with eye-opening numbers: more than 60 feet long, with 10 axles, and able to lift 1,000 tons. Now sometimes cranes tip over, touch power lines and so on; and there's a website for that too.