Art Deco in Berlin – The house of the Steel Workers Union (Haus des Deutschen Metallarbeiterverbandes)

Berlin Art Deco Metallverband (1).JPG

The house of the German union of steel producers, in German: Haus des Deutschen Metallarbeiterverbandes, is one of the best examples of the German Art Deco style in Berlin. It was designed in the 1920’s by Erich Mendelssohn, a famous architect of the period, whose other projects include, among others Mossehaus, described on the blog here: https://seeinberlin.com/2016/01/18/art-deco-in-berlin-1-mossehaus/

The building from the outside shows traces of the streamline style architecture; the building itself vaguely resembles a ship.

Berlin Art Deco Metallverband (5).JPG

On the inside it is decorated with gold-looking metal finishings in the corners and on the edges of walls.

Berlin Art Deco Metallverband (4).JPG

The main feature of the building is a spiral staircase ornamented with very original looking lamps.

Berlin Art Deco Metallverband (6).JPG

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The works on the building began in 1929, and were finished one year later, in spite of the great depression, hitting the German economy especially hard.

During the 3rd Reich era the building was used as the headquarters of the German work front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) in Berlin, a workers-employers union closely connected to the Nazi regime.

Berlin Art Deco Metallverband (7).JPG

The building burned down at the end of World War II, in 1945.

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It was renovated in 1952, but it wasn’t used due to it’s unfortunate location in the vicinity of the Berlin Wall, erected in 1961, the building remained largely unused, up until 1989.

Berlin Art Deco Metallverband (2).JPG

After the reunification of Germany, the structure was brought back to it’s original condition.

 

See my other posts on Art Deco buildings in Berlin here:

https://seeinberlin.com/2016/03/15/art-deco-in-berlin-renaissance-theater/

https://seeinberlin.com/2016/01/18/art-deco-in-berlin-1-mossehaus/

 

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