On «Fragments of Metropolis – Berlin»

Expressionism heralded the beginning of the architecture of the Golden Twenties in Berlin: the realised buildings of the Expressionist utopia are fascinating in their unrestrained forms and a masterly handling of material, colour and light. Unlike its contemporary, the architecture of the Bauhaus, its architectural and urban conception is shaped by complexity, verticality and theatricality — qualities that pervaded the modern Metropolis.

Expressionist architecture can be found throughout Europe, yet many realised buildings have been uncared for and forgotten. In 2010 we began to document the extant European works. «Fragments of Metropolis – Berlin» shows the results of this project for the first time, presenting the remaining buildings in Berlin and its surroundings – undoubtedly the most important centre of the movement.

The Book

«Fragments of Metropolis – Berlin» celebrates the birth of the Metropolis in Berlin – it is the rediscovery of the forgotten. It is a book for anyone with an interest in architecture, expressionism or Berlin!

The book presents 135 buildings on 250 pages, in striking contemporary colour photography and elegant drawings, all specially produced for this publication. It serves as a reference work, complete with a detailed index and location maps. The introduction explains the historical context of the buildings, an epilogue by the renowned architect Hans Kollhoff discusses why even today these works remain enthralling. The book is intended to appear early 2015 in a bilingual (English/German), portable (15 x 25 cm) edition — and for this we need your support!

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Support us!

Until now we were able to carry out this project in our free time and manageable personal expenditure. We’ve worked on this project for four years, hurrying from building to building come rain or shine; unearthing countless books and journals from dusty archives and libraries; being helped in so many ways by friends, new acquaintances and fellow enthusiasts. In Hirmer of Munich we have even found a renowned publisher. The upfront costs of printing the book exceed our finances. So that the book can still emerge, and that others can discover the lustre of this era, we need your support!

The remaining project finance – help us to cross the finish line!

In order for «Fragments of Metropolis – Berlin» to appear, the printing costs not born by the publisher have to be covered, amounting to EUR 10’000. Part of this will, in all probability, be covered by grants from foundations and companies; part will be covered by us. All authors and originators of the visual content have done without any remuneration, in order to make the project feasible. This leaves a EUR 5’000 gap in the finances, for which we need your assistance. We have developed a series of rewards according to the amount you contribute. So everyone that supports gets something just as valuable in return, benefitting from making this project real. Moreover, all supporters will get a personal invitation to the book lauch.

We are thankful for all forms of support, especially in spreading the word about the book to others!

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Who is behind «Fragments of Metropolis – Berlin»?

The project is essentially a collaboration between two architects residing in Zurich, Niels Lehmann und Christoph Rauhut. We have been assisted along the way by the efforts of a whole range of incredible friends and supporters – in the meantime, this group of fellow-enthusiasts has grown to around twenty people. Amongst other activities, they have drawn plans, helped us with the layouts and translated texts. All of you are to be thanked here already! And it has been a great pleasure to count on the support of Hans Kollhoff in writing the epilogue to the book.

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