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Hans Poelzig: House of German-Turkish Friendship

Fitting into the Expressionist phase of his work, Poelzig’s competition entry was an orientalising ziggurat

Hans Poelzig's House of German-Turkish friendship

Hans Poelzig’s House of German-Turkish friendship

In 1916, German architect Hans Poelzig entered a competition to design a ‘House of German-Turkish Friendship’ to be built in Istanbul - then capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was Germany’s ally in the First World War. Other entrants included Bruno Taut and Peter Behrens. The winning scheme, by the now-forgotten German Bestelmeyer (later a Nazi and a favourite of Hitler’s), was in a classical idiom, whereas Poelzig’s orientalising ziggurat fits into the Expressionist phase of his work, which culminated in the sets of the film Der Golem (1920) and the extraordinary Großes Schauspielhaus in Berlin for theatrical impresario Max Reinhardt (1919).

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