saai | Archive for Architecture and Engineering

Digital Collection Egon Eiermann

Renovation and extensions Total KG Foerstner & Co factory


Renovation and extensions Total KG Foerstner & Co factory

In 1938, the fire extinguisher producer Foerstner & Co. awarded Egon Eiermann the commission for the redesign and extension of an existing factory in Apolda, Thuringia. The client was so happy with the result that Eiermann was entrust­ed with the planning of all the company's subsequent building projects.

Eiermann's work on this project began with the original factory, constructed in 1906/07. The supporting structure, visible on the outside, divided the building into four floors and nine almost identically-shaped bays. Eiermann took up the theme of this division in his extension, but the details he added gave it a completely new appearance. He enlarged the windows on the three upper floors so that everything but the spandrel panels was glassed; added a glassed-in staircase onto the outside, and set a floating roof on top of a bare reinforced-concrete skeleton-which had a decisive effect on the building's appearance from a distance.

This highly visible example of modern architecture was fully in line with the stipulations and the goals of the Nazi authorities for light and airy workplaces aimed at increasing the performance of the workers. The great importance of the working person is reflected in the fact that nearly the entire upper floor-usually reserved for management-was devoted to social uses. lt contained bathrooms and a canteen, the din­ ing hall of which could also be used for dances and the stag­ ing of plays. Factory workers could relax in the roof garden, which with its lounge chairs and white railings had the appearance of a ship's deck.

Arthur Mehlstäubler

"Egon Eiermann 1904-1970. Architect and Designer", Ed. Annemarie Jaeggi, Hatje Cantz: Ostfildern-Ruit, 2004, p. 135

Project-specific information

Project Renovation and extensions Total KG Foerstner & Co factory
Persons involved
  • Egon Eiermann, Architektur
  • Günther Andretzke, Rudolf Büchner, Robert Hilgers, Selman Selmanagić, Mitarbeiter*innen Eiermann
  • Total KG Foerstner & Co., Bauherr*in
Project period 1938-1939

Object-specific information

Typology Industriebau, industrial buildings; Fabrik, factories (structures)

Site-specific information

Country Deutschland
City Apolda