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Egon Eiermann

Biographies
Egon Eiermann

*  1904 Berlin
† 1970 Baden-Baden


Egon Eiermann studied architecture under Hans Poelzig at the Technischen Hochschule in Berlin-Charlottenburg between 1923 and 1927. In Hamburg Egon Eiermann was employed as an architect in the building office of Karstadt AG in 1928/29 and in Berlin at BEWAG (Berliner Elektrizitätswerke AG) in 1930. From 1931 until 1945 Egon Eiermann worked in Berlin as a self-employed architect. In 1945 Egon Eiermann moved his practice to Mosbach im Odenwald, later (in 1946) founding a joint practice with the architect Robert Hilgers and moving the practice to Karlsruhe. In 1947 Egon Eiermann was appointed to a chair of architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe, where he would teach until his death in 1970. In 1951 Egon Eiermann was a co-founder of the German Council for Design. In 1962 Egon Eiermann, Paul Baumgarten, and Sep Ruf belonged to the planning commission for the Parliament and Bundesrat building in Bonn. The most important architecture projects carried out by Egon Eiermann must certainly include the Ciba AG factory building in Wehr/Baden (1958), the Gedächtnis-Kirche in Berlin (1957-1963), and the highrise for members of the German Parliament in Bonn (1965-1969). The German embassy in Washington was built after plans by Egon Eiermann (1962-1964). With Sep Ruf, Egon Eiermann designed eight steel and glass pavilions as the German contribution to the 1958 World Exposition in Brussels. Egon Eiermann also designed the IBM headquarters building in Stuttgart and the German Olivetti headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, both of which were not completed until 1972, after his death. The façade Egon Eiermann designed after the war for the Horten department store chain did not earn universal acclaim at the outset. The "Horten tile", conceived as a stylized "H" for "Horten", clothes the building to form an ornamental façade, often looking entirely out of place in postwar German urban architecture. However, some of these Egon Eiermann department stores are now listed buildings. Egon Eiermann also designed furniture and interiors for his buildings. His most successful furniture design was the "E 10" (1954) basket chair, the prototype of which Egon Eiermann had designed back in 1948 for the "Wie wohnen?" exhibition in Karlsruhe. Equally popular is the "SE 18" folding chair Egon Eiermann designed for Wilde & Spieth in Esslingen.