Einstein tower

Potsdam, Germany, 1920-1924

South-eastern aspect

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Erich Mendelsohn , Germany

The machine, which to date has been the obedient servant of total exploitation, becomes the constructive element of a new living organism.

The Einstein Tower belongs to the earliest works of Mendelsohn and brought him instant fame. The tower is named after the scientist Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) whose theory of relativity was to have been tested in the building through spectral analysis. To this end the building has been fitted with a telescope which reflects the light vertically into the basement, where it is diverted horizontally by a mirror to facilitate the analysis.

Characteristic for the building are its sculptural elements. All details such as windows, doors and staircases appear to have grown out of the whole, like the organs of a living organism. Although the tower is commonly attributed to expressionism, the above characteristic is an unmistakable mark of organic design.

Erich Mendelsohn
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