saai | Archive for Architecture and Engineering

Digital Collection Egon Eiermann

Buildings for the Märkische Metallbau GmbH


Buildings for the Märkische Metallbau GmbH

In the construction of this factory complex for the Märkische Metallbau GmbH, Egon Eiermann did not have to incorporate an existing building as he did with the fire extinguisher plant in Apolda. Rather, he was able to exploit the creative freedom offered by the company's own field of production and placed the technical and aesthetic potential of steel construction at the forefront of his design-or so it would seem, given the extreme reduction of the building materials to little more than steel and glass in the canteen and boiler plant. This kind of radical reduction was not to be achieved again in Eiermann's works until 1958, when he completed the light and fragile-looking German pavilions at the Brussels World's Fair.

Eiermann constantly stressed the need for a lot of natural light in the workplace. But factory workers rarely enjoyed such a pleasant atmosphere as they did at this plant in Oranienburg. They ate their meals among potted plants in a greenhouse-like canteen, which itself opened up to the outside through glass walls on three sides. The bare steel supports were located in the interior, as they were to be in the Brussels pavilions.

The other buildings on the factory grounds are also of subtle design. If anything, they bear Eiermann's architectural stamp even more clearly, given the aesthetic and technical perfection with which all the windows and doors are set precisely into the grid of the façade of dark brown stoneware slabs; or the façade of the gatehouse with its room-high windows set flush in the wall. Despite the perfectionism of the details and the artistic understatement, however, even these factory buildings display the sculptural qualities often latent in Eiermann's work. This can be seen in the tall, impressive group of four chimneys, and the expansive winged roofs on the administration building and on the gatehouse.

Arthur Mehlstäubler

"Egon Eiermann 1904-1970. Architect and Designer", Ed. Annemarie Jaeggi, Hatje Cantz: Ostfildern-Ruit, 2004, p. 139

Project-specific information

Project Buildings for the Märkische Metallbau GmbH
Persons involved
  • Egon Eiermann, Architektur
  • Märkischer Metallbau GmbH, Bauherr*in
  • Rudolf Büchner, Robert Hilgers, Albrecht Lange, Heinrich Stuempel, Mitarbeiter*innen Eiermann
Project period 1939-1942

Object-specific information

Typology Industriekomplex, industrial complexes

Site-specific information

Country Deutschland
City Oranienburg