Top Ten Essential Architecture top ten Nazi architecture  
     
1 Hitler's Chancellery, (Kanzlei des Führers, Reichskanzlei), Berlin.  

architect

Albert Speer

location

Berlin,Germany.

date

1938

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

stone facade

type

Government

From Wilhelmsplatz an arriving diplomat drove through great gates into a court of honour. By way of an outside staircase he first entered a medium-sized reception room from which double doors almost seventeen feet high opened into a large hall clad in mosaic. He then ascended several steps, passed through a round room with domed ceiling, and saw before him a gallery 480 feet long. Hitler was particularly impressed by my gallery because it was twice as long as the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
Hitler was delighted: "On the long walk from the entrance to the reception hall they'll get a taste of the power and grandeur of the German Reich!" During the next several months he asked to see the plans again and again but interfered remarkably little in this building, even though it was designed for him personally. He let me work freely.
 
     
2 Zeppelinfeld, Nuremburg Party Rally Grounds (Reichsparteitagsgelaende Zeppelinfeld Tribuene), Nuremburg.  

architect

Albert Speer

location

Nuremburg, Germany.

date

1937

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

stone

type

Nazi party rally grounds.

Nazi party rally grounds (in German Reichsparteitagsgelände) is the name of a site in the southeast of Nuremberg (UGN: 49.43° N 11.12° E), where the Nazi party rallies were held from 1933 until 1938. It includes the Congress Hall, the Zeppelin Field, the Märzfeld (March Field), the Deutsche Stadion (German stadium), the former Stadion der Hitlerjugend ("stadium of the Hitler Youth", today Frankenstadion) and the Große Straße ("great road"). The party grounds were planned by Hitler's first architect Albert Speer (except of the Congress hall, which was planned by Ludwig and Franz Ruff).
 
     
3 Nürnberger Kongreßhalle (Congress Hall), Nuremburg Party Rally Grounds, Nuremburg.  

architect

Albert Speer, Ludwig and Franz Ruff

location

Nuremburg Party Rally Grounds, Nuremburg, Germany.

date

1938

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

The facade of the Congress Hall is made of granite slabs, to make it appear as moumental as possible. The body of the building, which in its final form would been have completely concealed, consists of brick and reinforced concrete and this can be seen in the courtyard.

type

Congress Hall

Hitler conferred upon Nuremberg the title, "City of the Party Rallies" for mainly pragmatic reasons. Up to one million Party members would travel to Nuremberg for the week-long rallies, completely swamping the city, and the city, situated in the centre of Germany was easily accessible. Hitler also wanted to appropriate the city's history for the glorification of the Nazi party. A large auditorium was needed for this once a year event and so Hitler comissioned the Congress Hall. The Hall was designed to hold over 50,000 people, but was never finished. The horseshoe-shaped building covers a total area of about 300 x 300 metres. The scale of this structure is overwhelming with an immense arcade running around the lower level of the u-shaped structure. The arcade only serves to dwarf the visitor and make them feel more insignificant in the face of the Nazi system. The monumentality of the building is increased by the simplicity of the oversized architectural detailing.
 
     
4 Deutsches Stadion Nuremburg (unrealised).  

architect

Albert Speer

location

Nuremburg Party Rally Grounds, Nuremburg, Germany.

date

1937

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

pink granite

type

stadium

Deutsches Stadion was designed by Albert Speer for the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg and according to Speer himself, inspired not by the Circus Maximus but by the Panathenaic Stadium, which had impressed him so much when he visited Athens in 1935 (Speer, Erinnerungen, 75).
 
     
5 Air Ministry building (Reichsluftfahrtministerium) on Wilhelmstraße, Berlin.  

architect

Ernst Sagebiel

location

Wilhelmstraße, Berlin, Germany.

date

1936

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

reinforced concrete skeleton with an exterior facing of limestone and travertine (a form of marble).

type

government office building

The Reich Air Ministry (German: Reichsluftfahrtministerium) was a government department during the period of Nazi Germany (1933-45). It is also the original name of a building in Wilhelmstraße in central Berlin, the capital of Germany, which now houses the German Finance Ministry.
The Air Ministry was in charge of development and production of aircraft, primarily for the German Air Force (the Luftwaffe). As was characteristic of government departments in the Nazi era, the Ministry was personality driven and formal procedure was often ignored in favour of the whims of the Minister, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (1893-1946). As a result, development progressed only slowly and erratically during the war.
 
     
6 Ministry of Propaganda, Wilhelmstraße, Berlin.  

architect

Albert Speer

location

Wilhelmstraße, Berlin, Germany.

date

c. 1937

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

stone facade

type

Government

Currently serving as the German Federal Ministry of Health and Social Security, this is where Goebbels was in charge of cultural institutions, publishing, art, theatre, music, press, radio, and all other media.
 
     
7 Tempelhof Airport, Berlin.  

architect

Ernst Sagebiel

location

Berlin, Germany.

date

1934

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

Steel frames, stone cladding.

type

Civilian airport.

The airport halls and the neighboring buildings, intended to become the gateway to Europe and a symbol of Hitler's "world capital" Germania, are still known as the largest built entities worldwide, and have been described by British architect Sir Norman Foster as "the mother of all airports". With its façades of shell limestone, the terminal building, built between 1936 and 1941, forms a massive 1.2-kilometre long quadrant yet has a charmingly intimate feel; planes can taxi right up to the building and unload, sheltered from the weather by its enormous overhanging canopy. Passengers walk through customs controls and find themselves in a dazzlingly simple and luminous reception hall. Tempelhof is served conveniently by the U6 U-Bahn line along Mehringdamm and up Friedrichstraße (Platz der Luftbrücke station).
 
     
8 Wehrmacht headquarters, Bendlerstraße, Berlin.  

architect

Albert Speer

location

Bendlerstraße, Berlin, Germany.

date

1937

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

stone facade

type

Army headquarters

Wehrmacht headquarters on Bendlerstraße was where Army officers who opposed Hitler planned the attempt on his life on 20 July 1944. After the attempt failed, the leaders were rounded up and shot in the courtyard of this building; among these was Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, who had planted the bomb. Today the building houses the Memorial and Museum of the German Resistance. The street has been renamed Stauffenbergstraße. (Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand)
 
     
9 Volkshalle, Berlin (unrealised).  

architect

Albert Speer

location

Welthauptstadt Germania, Berlin, Germany.

date

unrealised

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

concrete, sone

type

hall

In an interview with James P. O'Donnell, Speer said that, during his time in Spandau Prison, he constantly reviewed such criticisms of his architecture, and eliminated (in his opinion) many of them. One problem, however, remained - Speer speculated that during cold weather, the breathing and perspiration of 180,000 occupants in such a large and high dome might precipitate and fall back down. In short, it was possible that the hall might have its own 'weather' and create indoor rain because of its overcapacity, a characteristic that was also believed to be possible for the Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building, and has been observed to occur on a minor scale (with light mist as the precipitation, on high humidity days) inside the Goodyear Airdock in Akron, Ohio.
 
     
10 Welthauptstadt Germania, Berlin (unrealised).  

architect

Albert Speer

location

Berlin, Germany.

date

unrealised

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German) Not dis-similar to Washington D.C.

construction

stone

type

town plan

Welthauptstadt ("World Capital") Germania was the name Adolf Hitler gave to the projected renewal of the German capital Berlin, part of his vision for the future of Germany after the planned victory in World War II. Albert Speer, "the first architect of the Third Reich", produced many of the plans for the rebuilt city, only a small portion of which was realized before World War II.
 
     
11 Ordensburg Sonthofen, Bavaria.  

architect

Hermann Giesler

location

Bavaria, Germany.

date

1934

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

stone

type

barracks of the armed forces of Germany

The estate was built in 1934 as NS-Ordensburg Sonthofen by the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) for the NSDAP.
It was planned by architect Hermann Giesler. It served as Adolf-Hitler-School for the education of party cadres. In the last year of the war it was used as sickbay.
Commander of the Ordensburg was the Reichstag debuty Robert Bauer (NSDAP) from 1936 to 1941.
After the war at first French troops acquired the Castle. Later the US Army created a the central educational place of the task force US-Constabulary there.
In 1956 the Castle was acquired by the Bundeswehr and was named after the member of resistance and former chief of the general staff of the army General Ludwig Beck.
 
     
12 German autobahns, Germany.  

architect

various

location

Germany.

date

1932

style

Functionalist

construction

concrete

type

free national freeway system

The autobahn freeway system quickly became a symbol of Nazi Germany. Its construction was seen as a major element of Germany's economic resurgence under Hitler, and was compared with the projects of Roosevelt's New Deal.
 
     
13 Flakturm (Flack towers), Germany.  

architect

various

location

Germany, Austria.

date

late 1930s

style

Functionalist

construction

reinforced concrete

type

large anti-aircraft gun blockhouses and air raid shelters

Flak towers (German: Flaktürme) were large anti-aircraft gun blockhouses used by the Luftwaffe to prevent overflights of key areas in certain cities in World War II. They also served as air-raid shelters for tens of thousands of people and to coordinate air defence. With concrete walls up to 3.5 metres thick, these towers were considered to be invulnerable to attack with the usual ordnance carried by Allied bombers, though it is unlikely that they would have withstood Grand Slam bombs which successfully penetrated much thicker reinforced concrete. Aircraft generally appeared to have avoided the flak towers.
 
     
14 Olympic Stadium, Berlin.  

architect

Albert Speer

location

Berlin, Germany.

date

1936

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

stone, steel

type

sports stadium

The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, were held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Berlin's bid was preferred over Barcelona by the IOC in April, 1931. Although awarded before the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, the government saw the Olympics as a golden opportunity to promote their Nazi ideology. Film-maker Leni Riefenstahl, a favorite of Hitler, was commissioned to film the Games. The film, titled Olympia, was arguably a piece of propaganda, but originated many of the techniques now commonplace to the filming of sports. The Berlin Olympics also saw the introduction to the ceremonies of the Olympic Torch bringing the Olympic Flame by relay from Olympia. Germany's domination of the games was the rule, although there were exceptions to their domination in the likes of persons such as Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals.
 
     
15 Prora  

architect

Dr. Robert Ley, Erich Putlitz

location

Rügen, in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, north-eastern Germany.

date

1936-9

style

Bauhaus Modern

construction

concrete frame

type

Resort

Prora was a Nazi-planned spa on the island Rügen, Germany. The massive building complex was built between 1936 and 1939 as a Kraft durch Freude (KdF) project. The eight buildings are identical, and while they were planned as a holiday locale, they were never used for this purpose. The complex has a formal heritage listing as a particularly striking example of Third Reich architecture.
 
     
16 Haus der Deutschen Kunst, Munich  

architect

Paul Ludwig Troost

location

Prinzregentenstrasse 1, Munich, Germany.

date

1934-7

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)  the Third Reich's first monumental propaganda building

construction

stone

type

art Gallery

The building was constructed from 1934 to 1937 following plans of architect Paul Ludwig Troost as the Third Reich's first monumental propaganda building. The museum, then called Haus der deutschen Kunst ("House of German Art"), was opened in March 1937 as a showcase for what the Third Reich regarded as Germany's finest art. The inaugural exhibition was the Grosse deutsche Kunstausstellung ("Great German art exhibition"), which was intended as an edifying contrast to the condemned modern art on display in the concurrent Entartete Kunst exhibition.
 
     
17 Ehrentempel  

architect

Paul Ludwig Troost

location

Munich, Germany.

date

1935, destroyed by the Americans in 1947 as part of de-Nazification. Ironically, the destroyed overgrown plinthes that remain are a much more potent reminder of the past that the buildings were.

style

Fascist Stripped Classical (German)

construction

stone

type

monuments

The Ehrentempel ("honor temples") were two structures, erected by the Nazis in 1935, housing the sacrophagi of the sixteen members of the party who had been killed in the failed Beer hall putsch. On January 9, 1947 the main architectual features of the temples were destroyed as part of denazification.
 
     
     
  Hitler in Paris, 1940.  
Architecture and design in Nazi Germany

The Nazi revolution in Germany needed architecture to bequeath a new image to history, and to offer contemporary society a strong rallying point. The Classical, monumental style replaced the modern style. In the 1930s, nationalism for the first time took solid form as nationalist art.
When Nazi had their social consolidation completed, they used architecture to celebrate their image. Nazi architecture consisted of two phases between 1936 and 1940, firstly, the great set pieces of party edifies and secondly, the plans for Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich, the key cities of the Third Reich. Nazism architecture existed largely within the minds of two central personalities, Hitler and Albert Speer.

In the beginning there was an overlap of the old and the new. Until 1930 the Party did not openly criticize the industrial and social building programs of architects like Walter Gropius or Mies van der Rohe.
The National Socialist's united view on architecture was the rejection of a modern style. The Quaint vernacular style for housing and a monumental style for public buildings became the order of the day. But The National Socialists did not wholly rejected modern technology. They often used the most advanced building techniques hidden behind neoclassical facades. Along with the rejection of modern architecture came a rejection of the corresponding furniture.

Modern Movement suffered instant eclipse after the National Socialist seizure of power in January 1933. The modernist tendency to reduce all form to abstraction made it an unsatisfactory manner in which to represent the power and ideology of the state. The need to treat the problems posed by representation or lack of it has increased rather than diminished over the years. In general sense, New Tradition may be taken as evidence of the failure of abstract form to communicate.

Neo Classicism had the task of giving expression to the existing forms of government, of legitimizing them and of contributing to their consolidation. The ideal model was the Greek temple, the Renaissance palace, the Baroque castle, and the Classicist building of the Empire era. The format of the buildings became monumental.
Hitler's Germany required the purge of foreign elements and architecture linked to establish governmental functions, expressive of the great German national cultural traditions or the regionalist 'blood and soil' ethic of the German people. Official Nazi policy required a monumental neo classical solution to big buildings while local housing was to be in the vernacular of the area. For example, the thatch in Saxony or wide spreading eaves in Vavaria.

In Germany the main proponent of the neo classical style, before Speer, was Paul Troost, who designed the House of German Art in Munich and is considered to have exerted a powerful influence on Hitler's own architectural taste.

Albert Speer, the chief architect of the Third Reich, he designed the Zeppelin Field in Nuremburg (1936). The old arena, capable of holding 200,000, was not large enough, and Speer was commissioned to build the Zeppelin Field Stadium, which accommodated 340,000 spectators. At one end of the Zeppelin Field there was to be a large 'Hall of Honor' with a Memorial Chapel within.
Speer designed the German pavilion (1937), it stood directly opposite to the Soviet pavilion. Five hundred feet high, it was completed by a tall tower, crowned with the symbol of the State - an eagle and a swastika. Speer's pavilion was conceived as a monument, another symbol of German pride and achievement. It was to broadcast to the international world that a new powerful Germany and its technical achievements were the result of a mass will and restored national pride.

Speer undertook the project for Reconstruction for Berlin (1939-43). It was designed to become the ultimate architectural realization of National Socialist ideology, and it had a giant avenue from south to north, which was the highlight of the new city. In 1938, Speer finished the design for the first part of Berlin's Great Axis Avenue, 4 miles long, flanked by 400 streetlights that he had designed. The east-west axis would 'cut through the chaotic development of the cold city'. Eventually it was to stretch over 30 miles from east to west and 25 miles from north to south. It was planned to be a monumental centre.
In 1925, Hitler had sketched a triumphal arch and a large assembly hall, both of which were to become the symbols of the New Berlin. The triumphal arch was to span a distance of 285 feet and rise 325 feet, dwarfing the Eiffel Tower. On it the names of the fallen heroes of the Great War were to lie inscribed. It was planed to be constructed via traditional method and used no reinforced concrete, as Hitler believed that by this approach the architecture would held a ruin value when it had been destroyed.