In June 1905, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner founded the artists’ group Die Brücke or “The Bridge” along with his fellow students Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Over the following years, Kirchner became one of the stars of Expressionism and is generally credited as the pioneer of classical Modernism.
Intriguingly, his work as an architect has remained almost unknown, despite the fact that he spent four years studying architecture at Dresden’s Royal Technical College and at Munich’s Technical College before he turned to the fine arts. Die Brücke was set up just a few weeks prior to his graduation as an architect in July 1905.
A total of 95 original architectural drawings by Kirchner have been preserved, including floors plans, façades, sections, and perspectives. They bear witness to the different trends of the time, ranging from the Wilhelmine Baroque style of the Pseudo-Renaissance to the reform architecture of Art Nouveau and the ideas of the Deutsche Werkbund. Among the many sketches presented in this book are designs for the interior decoration of rooms as well as drawings of ornaments, lamps, and furniture. They reveal that Kirchner – in the spirit of contemporary architecture at the beginning of the twentieth century – saw architecture as a Gesamtkunstwerk.