Kaufhof at Stachus

Kaufhof

When this building had been built in 1950-51 by Theo Pabst, it had a euphoric touch to it. This Kaufhof had been the first new department store that had been built in Munich after Second World War. It was a symbol of the new economic growth and increasing affluence of the citizens. But as historians will tell you, there had not been a complete break with the nazi system (“Stunde Null“). Many of those involved in the daily crimes of the regime were back in power at this point of time. This especially holds true for the architects.

In my opinion this building is a very striking symbol of the mixture of break and continuity after the “Third Reich”. The left and larger part of the building which faces busy Sonnenstraße is modernist cube with grid facade and a flat pillared roof. But the right part of the building facing Bayerstraße looks much more conservative with its pitched roof. Munich city administration insisted on this design. Althogh both parts are joined together by a curved gallery which once had a terrace café, they convey a inharmonic impression. Modernity and tradition does not match all too well in this building.

Kaufhof und Justizpalast

Kaufhof am Stachus (Pabst, 1950/51)

Former post office headquarters in Munich (Oberpostdirektion)

1920s,architecture,munich,post office — Benedikt @ 11:36 pm

Ehem. Oberpostdirektion (Vorhoelzer, Werner, 1922-24)

Another very fine example of bavarian post architecture is the former Oberpostdirektion München (post office headquarters) on Arnulfstraße 60. This building has been constructed by Robert Vorhoelzer and Georg Werner, who later became famous for their exceptionally modern buildings of the Bayerische Postbauschule in 1922-24 (see for example here) and was at its time the largest administrative building in town. It originally comprised 530 rooms on 40,000 sqm office area.

The remarkable expressionist window décor has been designed by Eugen Kindler. In 2005 the building has been sold to a property fund and is currently being renovated and marketed as “Art Déco Palais Munich”. And please don’t ask me what those strange pyramids are doing on the roofs of the seven-story towers on the corners of the building. Feng-shui or public art? In any case they diminish the noble appearance of the ensemble.

Ehem. Oberpostdirektion (Vorhoelzer, Werner, 1922-24)

Ehem. Oberpostdirektion (Vorhoelzer, Werner, 1922-24)

Ehem. Oberpostdirektion (Vorhoelzer, Werner, 1922-24)

See also

Sep Ruf’s bungalows at Gmund, Tegernsee

1950s,architecture,gmund,modernism,tegernsee — Benedikt @ 11:27 pm
Tegernsee bei Kaltenbrunn

Tegernsee at Kaltenbrunn

If you are looking for the roots of Bavaria, you don’t have to look any further than lake Tegernsee. From here, the monks set out to eventually found the city of Munich (= monk’s town). Here (at Wildbad Kreuth) the conservative party of Bavaria gathers whenever there are important decisions to be made.
What a uncommon place to find one of the finest examples of architectural modernism from the 1950s – light, but still perfectly fitting to the locale. But still, this is the place where Sep Ruf, one of post-war Germany’s most important architects, settled and build himself a bungalow, at the Ackerberg above the small town of Gmund am Tegernsee. And not for himself, he constructed a building there but also for Ludwig Erhard, then Minister of Economics and later from 1963-66 German Chancellor.
This year the Munich architectural museum in the Pinakothek der Moderne celebrates Sep Ruf’s 100th anniversary with a special exhibition opening on 31 July 2008.

Bungalow (Sep Ruf, 1952-55)

Bungalow

Kanzlerbungalow (Sep Ruf, 1954-55, 1957)

Ludwig Erhard's bungalow

Wohnhaus (Sep Ruf, 1952-55)

Sep Ruf bungalow

Munich American High School at Perlacher Forst

1950s,architecture,modernism,munich,us army — Benedikt @ 10:40 am

Schule in der Amerikanischen Siedlung (Loibl, 1955)

After the war, the US miltary administration erected many buildings for their staff in Germany. A fine example of modern architecture in post-war Munich was the US school centre at the housing area Cincinattistraße / General-Kalb-Weg (Google Map) in quiet suburban Perlach. The housing area had been built in the 1950s by Karl Loibl, Hans A. Endres, Immanuel Kroeker, Otto Roth and Carl Kergl and included a cinema, a PX store and a hamburger restaurant.
Not only had the school been built after the modern concept of age-specific environments – small buildings for the 60 children in primary school and larger buildings for the 30 children in secondary – buit had all the amenities like recreational rooms and a cafeteria – then unknown in German schools.
Unfortunately the friendly and light original architecture has been heavily modified between 1994 and 2003 and the characteristic 1950s interior decoration has been lost completely.

Schule in der Amerikanischen Siedlung (Loibl, 1955)

High school

Schule in der Amerikanischen Siedlung (Loibl, 1955)

Casino

Wohnhaus in der Amerikanischen Siedlung (Loibl, 1955)

Apartment house

See also:

Postoffice on Tegernseer Landstraße

1920s,architecture,modernism,post office — Benedikt @ 5:01 pm

This building by Robert Vorhoelzer and Walther Schmidt (1928/29) is a fine example of the Bavarian “Postbauschule”. Because of special law regulations, the design and construction of postoffices in Bavaria remained independent even after the creation of the German Reichspost. This allowed many architects to build office buildings in the International Style. After the Nazis came to power in 1933 this small refuge for architectural modernism vanished.

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