Egon Eiermann/ Sep Ruf, Deutsche Pavilions: Brussel 1958

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Text in English and German. Architects Egon Eiermann and Sep Ruf created The German Pavilions at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. Walter Rossow was landscape and garden planner, and Hans Schwippert responsible for the exhibition programme. The architects placed eight pavilions of different sizes on a square ground plan, linked by bridge-style walkways and surrounding an inner courtyard. This courtyard created a peaceful garden which allowed visitors to look through the linking bridges to the outside world. The pavilions were raised off the ground by a plinth of clay-yellow brick, which gave the impression they were floating. From the outside, their floors showed outside as black bands in front of which was a network of white-painted steel tubes, forming a kind of filigree epidermis. The wooden floors in red pine matchboarding were reminiscent of classical sailing yachts. Blinds were set at the outer edge of the ceilings that when lowered transformed the open impression into a closed, cubic impression. Le Figaro remarked about the pavilions: 'The Germans have created an exhibition of exemplary lucidity, treated delicately and with an entirely Parisian grace'.

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Lautlos anständig die Deutschen

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About the author (2007)

Boyken is Professor of Architectural History at the Fachhochschule Konstanz.

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