Erich Mendelsohn, "The International Harmony in New Architectural Thought, or Dynamics and Function" (excerpts, 1923)
Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953) was one of Europe’s best-known architects in the 1920s. He was responsible for the design of multiple modernist department stores in German cities, major factories, and the famous Einstein Tower in Potsdam, which exemplified his functional but organic aesthetic. After 1933, Mendelsohn worked in Britain, the U.S., and Palestine. Although he continued to design buildings, in exile he never achieved the same renown as contemporaries Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. In this excerpt he discusses the influence of developments in the natural sciences on architectural ideas of form and function.