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German History in Documents and Images
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Erich Mendelsohn, Schocken Department Store in Chemnitz (built 1926-28)
Of the three department stores that Erich Mendelsohn built for Salman Schocken between 1925 and 1930, the Chemnitz store was the most fully realized. Nine stories high and seventy meters long, this massive structure (which is still in use today) achieves dynamic effect in the sweeping curvature of five bands of windows. During the day, the windows let sunlight to stream into the store; at night, the illumination projects outward. The building was conceived as a temple of consumption, and all of the design elements, both interior and exterior, had a functional purpose – to enable customers to move easily through the store from one display to another.