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Glass Pavilion

Cologne, Germany
1 of 6

The Glass Pavilion, built in 1914 by Bruno Taut, was a prismatic glass dome structure at the Cologne Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition. The structure was a brightly colored landmark at the exhibition, and was constructed using concrete and glass.The concrete structure had inlaid colored glass plates on the facade that acted as mirrors.Taut described his little temple of beauty as "...reflections of light whose colors began at the base with a dark blue and rose up through moss green and golden yellow to culminate at the top in a luminous pale yellow."Taut's Glass Pavilion is his best known single building achievement. He built it for the association of the German glass industry specifically for the 1914 exhibition. They financed the structure that was considered a house of art. The structure was made at the time when expressionism stood highest in Germany.There are only black and white photographs known of the building that were taken in 1914.The building was destroyed soon after the exhibition since it was an exhibition building only and not built for practical use.The Glass Pavilion was a pineapple-shaped multi-faceted polygonal designed rhombic structure. It was a fourteen-sided base constructed of thick glass bricks used on the exterior walls devoid of rectangles.Taut's Glass Pavilion was the first building of glass bricks of importance.

There were glass-treaded metal staircases inside that led to the upper projection room that showed a kaleidoscope of colors.Between the staircases was a seven-tiered cascading waterfall with underwater lighting. The interior had prisms producing colored rays from the outside sunlight.The floor-to-ceiling colored glass walls were mosaic. All this had the effect of a large crystal producing a large variety of colors.The frieze of the Glass Pavilion was written with aphoristic poems of glass done by the anarcho-socialist writer Paul Scheerbart.

Without a glass palace, life is a conviction. "Paul Scheerbart in 1914 wrote a book called Glasarchitektur ("Architecture in glass") and in turn dedicated it to Taut.Taut in 1914 founded a magazine called Fruhlicht ("Dawn's Light") for his Expressionist circle of followers. It focused on the iconography of glass which he drew from which is represented in his Glass Pavilion. This philosophy can be traced back to accounts of Solomon's Temple. An early drawing of the Glass Pavilion by Taut says he made it in the spirit of a Gothic cathedral.

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ludmilla, March 15th, 2012
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