What is an interwar

Destroyed, built in, forgotten: architecture from the interwar period from the image archive of the Transocean agency

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In 1928 Otto Rudolf Salvisberg converted the commercial building at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse on the corner of Spandauer Strasse into the Berlin headquarters of Christian Dierig AG. Known only to a few today, Salvisberg was one of the coveted architects in Berlin in the 1920s and was widely praised by contemporary critics. His oeuvre encompasses a wide range of construction tasks and formally very different solutions.

His office and commercial buildings from the later twenties can be seen as outstanding. The Dierig commercial building with its circumferential parapets and window strips shows a clear horizontal layering, which is taken up by the profiles of the striking, copper-clad eaves cornice with asymmetrical corner emphasis. A proximity to Erich Mendelsohn's commercial buildings can be seen.

The photo shows the building - destroyed in World War II - in the context of the older development on Kaiser-Wilhelm-Stra├če, which particularly emphasizes the modernity of the architecture. It comes from an inventory of 15,000 negatives, which was transferred to the Foto Marburg picture archive in 1978 as part of the more extensive picture archive of the Transocean news agency. The photographs, which were mostly made in Germany between the world wars, show cross-sectional architecture and urban planning, but also document exhibitions, vehicles, job descriptions, leisure activities and much more. In this way, the inventory creates a kaleidoscopic image of Germany in the interwar period.

The photographs of such architectures, which - like the photographs themselves - were made between the two world wars, are of particular documentary value. They create a complex picture of building activity during the Weimar Republic, a juxtaposition of traditionalist and classically modern architecture in all its varieties. Today, many of them destroyed, reshaped or forgotten, these buildings are presented here as new buildings in the original urban context.