In identifying the potential of the Oeuvre of Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953) for a transnational serial nomination as UNESCO World Heritage, we invite papers that offer new perspectives on his life, his architecture, and their influence, and on strategies for such a nomination. We are particularly interested in exploring Mendelsohn´s cosmopolitan approach to modernity, which took him already in the 1920s across Europe, the United States, and to what was then the British Mandate of Palestine, as well as in positioning the philosophical and political conviction underlying his work in relation to other interwar modernist masters. We seek reflections on his global impact, as well as on the theoretical positions and technical innovations in which it was rooted. Other possible themes include the inspiration he drew throughout his life from classical music, particularly the work of Bach; migration and nomadism, especially following his flight in March 1933 from Nazi Germany; and his Jewish identity, including his relationship with Zionism, and with fellow thinkers and writers, as well as how spirituality was reflected in his oeuvre. Finally, we seek to learn from past transboundary nominations of modern architecture and gather insights into how best to proceed with our own.
The two-day symposium will take place in the Architektenkammer Berlin, the former Metalworker´s Union building in Berlin (Alte Jakobstraße 149, 10969 Berlin), realized by Erich Mendelsohn 1928-30. The lectures will be preceded by a day excursion to Mendelsohn´s buildings in Berlin and Brandenburg, including the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, and the Mendelsohn Collection in the Art Library Berlin (Kunstbibliothek). On the occasion of Mendelsohn’s 135th birthday on 21st march 2022, a cinema evening is planned with movies about the life and work of Erich Mendelsohn