German architect and set designer, Hans Poelzig was one of the finest examples of German Architectural Expressionism.
About his life
Hans Poelzig was born in Berlin in 1869. he was appointed Professor at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Breslau (now Wroclaw). He became City Architect of Dresden (1916–20) and Professor at the Technische Hochschule there. In 1918 he joined the Novembergruppe. By 1920 he had moved to Berlin, heading a studio in the Academy of Arts there and, from 1923, teaching at Berlin-Charlottenburg. He died on June 14, 1936, Berlin.
What were his major works?
Among his architectures stands out the Grosses Schauspielhaus, a theatre in Berlin whose structure was originally a market built by architect Friedrich Hitzig, and it retained its external, gabled form, the Chemical Factory (1912) in Lubań, German (now Poland), the Haus des Rundfunks (1930) in Berlin, which is the oldest self-contained broadcasting house in the world, the IG Farben Building (or the Poelzig Building, 1928-1930) in Frankfurt, whose building’s original design was the subject of a competition which was won by Poelzig, the Palace of the Soviets, which was a project to construct an administrative center and a congress hall (if built, it would have become the world’s tallest structure of its time) in Moscow, and the Office Building in Breslau.
As set designer, in the movie The Golem: How He Came Into the World (or Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam), which is a 1920 German silent horror movie co-directed by Paul Wegener with Carl Boese, he designed the expressionist sets.
How can we identify Poelzig’s style?
Poelzig’s work developed through Expressionism and the New Objectivity in the mid-1920s before arriving at a more conventional, economical style. He was particularly interested in developing a language specific for factory buildings: “the true monumental task of contemporary architecture“, in a period when Germany was developing as a major industrialised nation. Poelzig identified in a sinister neo-Gothic style, the proper setting for his monumental plants.
image source: http://www.arthistory.upenn.edu/spr01/282/w4c2i15.jpg