Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg
Bildarchiv Foto Marburg is Germany's documentation center for art history. The archive contains around 1.7 million images. More...
Gallery of Special Image
Destroyed, Built-over, Forgotten: Architecture between the Wars from the Image Archive of the Transocean Agency
In 1928, Otto Rudolf Salvisberg transformed the office building at the corner of Kaiser Wilhelm Straße and Spandauer Straße into the Berlin headquarters of Christian Dierig plc. As is little known today, Salvisberg was a much sought-after architect in Berlin in the 1920 and was repeatedly lauded in contemporary criticism. His oeuvre comprises a wide range of construction orders and formally very different solutions.
His office buildings from the late 1920s can be seen as the most striking of his works. The Dierig office building, with its ribbon windows and balustrades running around the façade, shows a clear horizontal layering, which is mirrored in the profile of the prominent copper-covered cornice with assymetrical emphasis of the corners. One can indeed observe a resemblance with Erich Mendelsohn’s office buildings.
The photograph shows the building, which was destroyed in the Second World War, in the context of the older constructional development of Kaiser Wilhelm Straße, which gives special eminence to the modernity of the architecture. It is taken from a stock of 15,000 negatives, which was transferred to Image Archive Foto Marburg in 1978 as part of the extensive archive of the news agency Transocean. The photographs, taken mostly in Germany between the wars, show a cross-section across the architecture and urban development of the time, but they also document exhibitions, vehicles, professions, pastimes, and much more. The corpus thus generates a caleidoscope-like image of Germany between the wars.
Of special documentary value are those constructions that – as the photographs themselves – orginated in the time between the two World Wars. They create a multi-layered image of the constructional efforts at the time of the Weimar Republic, a coexistence of traditionalist and classic modern architecture in all its variations. Now oftentimes destroyed, built-over, or forgotten, these edifices are being presented as new constructions in the original context of urban development.