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Grey Room, Inc.

and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Malicious Houses: Animation, Animism, Animosity in German Architecture and Film: From Mies
to Murnau
Author(s): Spyros Papapetros
Source: Grey Room, No. 20 (Summer, 2005), pp. 6-37
Published by: MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20442685
Accessed: 24-01-2016 22:18 UTC
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Nosferatu: A Symphony
of Horror. Dir. F.W.Murnau,
1922. Stills.

;zI

_~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Malicious

Houses:

nimation,
Animosity
Architecture
From Mies

Animism,
inGerman
and Film
to Murnau

SPYROS PAPAPETROS
ParallelGestures
FrameOne: Themedium close-up ofa curtainedwindow: Through the
open framewe

see the outline of a row of houses with stubby gables. A

beamof lightfallsdiagonallyon thefagades,


unveilinga seriesofwindows.
Frame Two: The wide shotofa Biedermeierbedchamberoverstuffed
with a canopybed, a heavyarmchair,
a pedimented
mirror,and silhouette
portraitson thewall flankingthecurtainedwindow. Gradually,a spher
behind theruffled
bedclothes. It is thehead of
ical object startsrotating
Nosferatustaringat thewindow. The vampireslowlyrises,clutcheshis
heartwith his lefthand, and thenstartsrunning.
Frame One: But beforeNosferatumoves,Murnau's cameramoves
and returns to themedium

close-up

of thewindow.

The screen is grad

ually invadedby thevampire'sclawed arms.While Nosferaturuns,the


raised elbow ofhis rightarm extendsparallel to thewindowsill,while
his lefthand still clasps his chest. Just before he slips out of the frame,

Nosferatu is immobilizedby the sunlight.Reflexively,thevampire's


rightarm starts
moving upward, and thenhiswhole body startsrotat
When the180-degree
ingtowardtheopposite side of thewindow frame.
turn is complete,Nosferatu extends his rightarm forwarduntil it is
parallel with and above one of the slanting house-roofs visible through
thewindow. Holding the same gesture, the vampire vanishes, leaving the

window frameunobstructed.

camera returns to thewide shot of the interior,


Frame Two: Murnau's
where an oblique column of smoke is now rising from the carpet floor.
Like Nosferatu's arm a fewmoments before, the line of smoke appears

parallelwith theoblique rooftopsvisible throughthewindow.


maneuvers appear tobe unscripted.
Notice thatall of thesedirectorial
InHenrik Galeen's original film script forF.W.Murnau's Nosferatu (1922),
during his death scene the vampire does not run across the room but

(rYeV Roo}

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collapses next toEllen's bed. Instead of standingup and extending


his arm, thevampire kneels down on theground and triesto "shield
himselffromthe light."1
Perhaps the ingenioussettingof thecurtained
window-invented by thefilm'sarchitectdesigner,
AlbinGrau-inspired
thechange of action: notice thatthevampire's finalgesturesappear to
address thehouses behind thecurtainframe.
Witness themomentous geometryofNosferatu'shand signals.Not
onlydoes his righthand extendparallel to theslantingrooftop,
but the
elbow ofhis lefthand holding his heart appears parallel in the same
direction.These parallel lines create a contrastingdepth.Nosferatu's
arms are in the foreground
while thebuildings are in thebackground,
yet in theprojected screen theseasymptoticsurfacesappear tobe on
thesame level.As we know from
Euclidean geometry,
twoparallel lines
defineone plane. Yet here theselinesdefinemore thanone plane. They
extend toa symbolic level,thatof language-a formofcommunication
notbetween twopersonsbutbetween subjectsand things.
Arm and roof
communicate.Parallel toone another,theyare incorrespondence.
These covertexchangesbetween livingsubjectsand inanimateobjects
describe thesymptomsofmodern animation.Here animation is con
ceived as thetransference
ofenergyfroma semidepletedanimatesubject
to itssurroundingarchitecture,
which becomesmenacingly reinvigo
rated.Nosferatu's finalgesturedescribesprecisely thisenergytransfer.
With his lefthand attached tohis heartand his righthand connected to
Nosferatubecomes thecenterof an energy
his houses, the transparent
circuit,as ifhis own inanimationfeeds intothebuildings' animism.
What is the impetusdriving thesegestures?Arrested between the
Nosferatu
director'scamera frameand thedesigner'swindow frame,
desperatelytriestoadjust his body to thesetby aligninghis armswith
parts of the decor.

In his final moments,

the vampire

behaves

like a

Nosferatu's
panic-strickenanimal tryingtoblend intoitssurroundings.
final gesture rehearses his disappearance.

The vampire

is framed by an

Top row, left:Nosferatu:


A Symphony of Horror.
Dir. F.W.Murnau, 1922. Still.
Top row, right:Faust
Dir. F.W.Murnau, 1925. Still.
Bottom row, left:Nosferatu:
A Symphony of Horror.
Dir. F.W.Murnau, 1922. Still.
Bottom row, right:
Eric Rohmer. L'organisation
de I'espace dans le Faust
de Murnau, 1977. Diagram.

20
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8

Grey Room 20

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architecturethatstageshis demise.Notice thatduringthebrief


moment
when Nosferatubeginsdissolving in thelightand becomes transparent,
therearedge of thewindow framepenetrateshis torsopreciselyat the
spoton his chestwhere thevampirehad earlierclutchedhimself.As in
Bram Stoker'sDracula, awooden stakepierces thevampire'sheartand
finallykills themonster.Nosferatu isnot only framedbut killed by the
window. Sunlightbegan the"deathby transparency"
story;thewindow
framecompleted theplot.2
According to thescenario thehouses seen throughthewindow were
Nosferatu'sresidenceduringhis relocationfromhismedieval castle in
theCarpathians to thenineteenth-century
cityofWisborg.As themas
ter dies, he is away from his houses

yet reunited with

them through a

finalgesture.His hand signal inscribeshis body on thebuilding frame


thatfinallyreplaceshim on thescreen.
The parallel gesturingofhands and sceneryduringNosferatu'strans
figurationscene isnotwithout precedent in thefilm.In an earlier sig
nature scene,when thevampiremounts thestairstoEllen's bedroom,
theelbow ofhis rightarmmoves exactlyparallel to thediagonalhandrail
of thestaircase,as does his leftupper arm.The factthatbothNosferatu's
body and thehandrail appear as coplanar shadowsmakes even clearer
thatsuch parallel gesturesare exercises inprojectivegeometry-they
project theoutcome of an impedingaction. The French directorEric
Rohmerdetectssimilarparallelalignmentsbetweensubjectsand objects
inMurnau's nextmagnum opus, Faust.3Rohmer shows how gestures
inMurnau-from thearmsof thepleadingMarguerite raisedparallel to
a templeprojected in thebackgroundto thehands of theprophetbran
the power to organize
dishing a cross over the heads of a crowd-have
in
time
well
the
as
as
extend
ominous outcome of
space
by presaging

thestory.
A similarscene from
Murnau's Faust portrayinga highlyprophetic
hand signal helps decipher the crypticmeaning ofNosferatu's final
gesture.4I referto themomentwhenMephistopheles performsa bene
dictionover thehead of theagingFaust,after
which thehero regainsthe
powers of his youth. This biblical

laying on of hands

signifies the pass

ingof a rejuvenatingenergy,butMephistopheles' gestureultimately

proves fatal forFaust.

LikeMephistopheles' handwave, Nosferatu'sgesture is ambiguous:

it signals both a blessing and a curse, a benediction and a malediction,


ruin and regeneration. Evil comes from and falls upon the houses cov
ered by the vampire's arm. The houses are both malicious and accursed.
Arm and roof ascend parallel to their destruction. While
the vampire

master,
vanishes, thehouses pledge toavenge theabruptdemise of their
yet theirown futureremainsequally fragile.

PapaperOS

g Mtlt00uC;$uSe

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and architectssuch asAugustSchmarsow


Turn-of-the-century
theorists
and Henry van de Velde

argued

that both line and space

originate

in

human gesture.5
Nosferatu's inhumangesturenot onlyorganizes filmic
space, as Rohmer argued,but also delineates an entireperspective that
transcendsthefilmicscreen. "Each gesture . . .each step,eachmove
ment isdetermined
with scientificrigoraccordingtotheeffectitwill have
on thespectator,"
observeda journalistpresenton thesetofNosferatu.6
Gestures andmovements extendbeyond thecinematic frameto forma
largerarchitecturalconstruction. Iwould thereforelike to consider
Nosferatu's farewelladdress as a crucial gesture forthe impedingfor
The vampire's
mation (theoriginalGestaltung)ofmodern architecture.
in frontof thecurtainedwindow is only the
theatricaltransfiguration
preview of futurespectaculararchitecturalevents.Perhaps thearchi
tecturalsequel toNosferatuoccurrednot in thestagesetsof theendless
remakes featuring
Count Dracula and other "living dead" but in the
domain ofmodern architecture,
which during the timeofNosferatu's
original

release

in 1922 was

its own animated

staging

battles with

numerousbuildingrepresentatives
within theregionof the"livingdead."
ParallelHouses
The fourbuildings servingas Nosferatu's residence inWisborg were
in factsaltwarehouses inLiibeck, built around thebeginning of the
One can see them,alongwith othergabled houses
eighteenthcentury.
fromthesame region,in severalearly-twentieth-century
photographic
While livinginLiibeck in
surveysofNorthernEuropean architecture.7
1903,EdvardMunch produced an inkdrawingof thewarehouses that
the ex-arthistory studentMurnau might have seen.8However, the
Liibeck buildings are not theonlymodels forNosferatu's residence.
A numberof similararchitectural
models serveasmediators between
thenineteenth-century
Murnau's Nosferatuportraysand the
past that
modernist

present

witness:
temporary

that it allegorizes.

Listen

to the testimony of a con

In this age I now inhabit, a persistent feeling clings tome, as though


at certain hours of the night and early morning gray, the houses took

with one another.The walls


mysterious silent counsel together
would be subjecttofaint,inexplicabletremors;
strangesoundswould
creep along the roofs and down the gutter-sounds

that our human

earsmight register,
maybe,butwhose originremainedbeyond our
power

to fathom, even had we cared

to try.Often

inmy dreams

would Iwitness theghostlycommuningsof theseold houses, and


in terror realize that they in very truthwere

the lords of the street,

of itsverylifeand essence, ofwhich theycould divest themselves

10

2" .g.4t
5Gr

pZ0

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only toreclaim
atwill, lendingitduringtheday to itsinhabitants,
night
came
round
again.9
interest,
when
itplus exorbitant
The speaker is thenarratorofGustavMeyrink'snovel The Golem-a
myth,which
contemporary
psychologicalversionof themedieval Jewish
referstoa livingstatue inPrague. InMeyrink's novel, theGolem isnot
a clay statue,but a filmiccreature(whose elongatedbald head bears a
Max
reasonablephysiognomicresemblanceto theequallyphantom-like
Schreck inMurnau's Nosferatu).Themalicious houses causing thenar
ratorthe inexplicablehallucinations he reportsare theancient struc
Meyrinknotes thatsomething"hostileand
turesofPrague'sJewishghetto.
malicious" in thesebuildings "permeatedtheverybricksofwhich they
Between 1907 and 1913,whenMeyrinkwas writing
were composed."10
his novel,most of thesebuildingsbuilt in thebaroqueperiodhad already
been demolished.The "sanitationprocess" forthecenterofPraguehad
startedin1895,and by 1904 only a fewof theold structuresremained.1"
Why thendo thesecrumblingbuildings,which are alreadydead or at
leasthalfdead, become so powerfulinMeyrink'snovel?Why areharm
but active fulcrumsof
less old houses not objects of loveand affection
Why are theysomalicious?
hostilityand aggression?
The sinisterside of thesebuildingswas made even darker inHugo
and theaerial
forthenovel.Houses, artifacts,
Steiner-Prag'sillustrations
spirit of the Golem all seem to be made of the same material, which
calls "a stone like a lump of fat."The material melts, ismold

Meyrink
Top row:Gustav Meyrink.
The Golem, 1915. Prospectus
and illustrations by Hugo
Steiner-Prag, 1915.
Bottom row:Alfred Kubin.
The Other Side, 1909.
Illustrations by the author.

able like clay,mutable likeplaster.Surfaces are sliced likepaper or


Solid objectsmelt into liquid and
carved to simulate rock formations.
finallyevaporate to join thespiritual"beyond."12
The original illustratorfor
Meyrink's Golemwas theexpressionist
artistAlfredKubin.After
Meyrink'sendless delaysKubin steppeddown
from the project and used his illustrations

in his own novel,

the anti

modernist antiutopia The Other Side.13Kubin's dream cityof Perle

0ugft lItpr(nt_

Der dSo(em
XNfndt120000_

Papapetros

jMalicious

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Houses

representsanotherformof architecturalvampirism.Everythingin this


town is old, dead, and reanimated,includinghouses, clocks, fashions,
and theRembrandtpaintingshangingon thewalls. "Oh I loveold things!"
says thenarrator'swife.14
Nevertheless,this"love"will not preventthe
"old things"frombeing sadistically
massacred in thenovel's apocalyptic
mass ofhuman,animal,
finale,
when theentirecityturnsintoa gelatinous
and building debris.
Kubin createsa psychographicarchitecture
constructednotbybuild
ingup butbydiggingout,unearthing,subtracting
matter-a paradoxical
attemptto create space forthevoid. This "negative" formof architec
tureis, touse Freud's term,taboo: it isprohibitedtohuman habitation.
Both Kubin's and Meyrink's characters sufferfrommultiple panic
attacks. In the illustrationsforboth novels, human figureseither lean
against a wall,

as though afraid to step inside a space, or they appear

running,as iftryingtoescape.
As human beings flee thesebuildings, othercreaturessettle in. In
Meyrink it is thespiritsand souls, theanimas; inKubin, animals take
over thecity:deer,ostriches,snakes,and all sortsof insectsandmarine
organisms.Murnau's Nosferatu suffersa similaranimal invasion:not
only ratsbut cats, spiders,horses, and hyenas-animals with which
Nosferatu secretlycommunicates.Animism becomes animalism, ani
mation leads toanimalization.The sense ofanimal devolutionextends
to thearchitecture.
Meyrink describes thesquattinghouses of theghetto
as "a herd of derelict

animals"

and

then as "weeds

rising from the

From theanimal to thevegetal,thereis thesense ofamaterial


ground."15
recyclingas ifarchitecturegrazes itsown decomposing substance.
The Mimicry of the Inorganic

Thus farI have described two typesofanimation.The firstismaterial;


itdescribesmetamorphoses,material transmutations
fromtheanimate
to theinanimate,fromtheorganic to theinorganic,fromtheamoebic to
the vegetal or themineral,

and so on. The second

is temporal;

it refers

to revivals, survivals, and temporalreanimationsof ancient themes


inside thechronologicalcollage ofmodernism.
Nosferatuand his houses embodyboth typesofanimation.

Like Nosferatu,

animation

Below: Nosferatu:
A Symphony of Horror.
Dir. F.W.Murnau, 1922. Stills.
Opposite: The Golem.
Dir. Paul Wegener, 1920.
Sets by Hans Poeizig. Stills.

and its objects can never have a

Animated
normal life,and so theylive inperpetualafterlife.
objects are essentially vampires-a cluster of solidified
desires thatneither properly live nor die. They prolong
inwhatAbyWarburgdescribedas a
themselvesindefinitely
perpetually "renewed antiquity"-an archaic world that
stays repressed and periodically reemergesin a series of
spectacularrevivals.

12

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Nosferatuwhere Doctor
Recall the two interconnectedscenes from
an insectivorousplant,
Bulwer demonstratestoa groupof studentsfirst
thewell-knownVenus flytrap
devouringan insect-"the vampireof the
amoeba
vegetablekingdom!"-and, second,a polyp,a small transparent
seen throughamicroscope capturinga small fishwith itspseudopo
without substance, almost a
dia-"another vampire ... transparent,
phantom!"Both vampiresofnaturearemetaphors forthetransgressive
natureofNosferatudrivenonlyby thenutritivepartofhis soul.
In his popular Bios: The Principles of theWorld, the influential
biotheoristand naturalphilosopherRaoul France (alsowell-known in
Bauhaus circles) elaborated a new "universal" theoryofmimicry.16
decomposing leavesand crayfishemulating
From tinyinsectsimitating
seaweeds to theItaliansoldiers in theAustro-Italianwar enveloped in
frog-likesuits-all natural bodies sought to imitatesomethingother
thanwhat theyalreadywere. Inordertocontinue living,organismshad
topose as inanimateand pretend theywere dead. France argued that
this typeofmimicrymanifested theprinciple of universal "conver
gence": amaterial osmosis attemptingtobring all natural organisms
intoa common (low) degreeof life.
France's theoryofmimicryextended fromliving
organismstoso-called inanimatenature,such as rock
formations, mountains,

and sand dunes that disguised

themselves as "earth pyramids." The inorganic


appeared to be "lifelessly" creative and playfully
architectural.

"Anything that bears

a weight,"

says

France (followingSchopenhauer), "whetherit is ice


or soil, a tree trunk or the leg of a stork ... following

the functionallaw of adaptation, everythingturns


intoa column." This architecturaltypeofmimicry
constituted forFrance "themimicry of the inor
was no
According tomonist doctrines,there
ganic."'17
distinction between organic and inorganic or ani
mate and inanimate bodies. All nature was one and
had a soul.
seem to have
Some of the principles ofmonism

disseminated intoarchitecturalmo[der]nism. The


sets for the film Der Golem: Wie er in die Welt kam

(1920),by actorand directorPaulWegener, portray


a similarmaterial convergencebetween livingbod
While thestory
ies and architecturalenvironments.
scriptedbyWegenerhas nothingtodowithMeyrink's
Golem,

the stage set designed

by Hanz

Poelzig

and

Marianne
constructedbyhis future
wife, thesculptor

Papapetros

jMalicious

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Houses

13

Moeschke, is quite similar to thepsychographicarchitectureofHugo


Steiger-Prag'sillustrationsfor
Meyrink's novel.18
The rabbi'sofficial"salon" fromPoelzig's film-setis filledwith drip
ping stalactitesand furniture
whose edges are distortedas ifmeltingor
burning,reminiscentof thestalactiteceilingofPoelzig's famousGrosse
Max Reinhardt inBerlin (1919).This is thespace
Schauspielhaus for
where the rabbi discovers tohis dismay his daughter's illegitimate
love fora Christian.Althoughmutant here, formremainsambiguously
physiognomic:architecturaltransgressionsproject thecontravention
of social and culturalnorms.
While Poelzig's stagesetappears organicand animated,thefigureof
theGolem played byWegener strivesto lookas inorganicand stonyas
possible. During theGolem's visit to theChristian palace,Wegener
stands immobile like a column in frontof a wooden door.The door's
tendrilornaments sprout fromtheGolem's Egyptian hairdo like the
spirals of an Ionic capital.At theend of thescene, theGolem literally
transformsintoa columnwhen, likeSamson, he
supportsthepedimentof theChristianpalace. The
scene is perhaps an illustrationofFrance's theory
of the"column" thateveryanimateand inanimate
body

strives

to imitate. Yet

the most

effective

example of the"mimicryof the inorganic" is the


scene where

the Golem

pursues

the Christian

on therooftopof theRabbi's tower.


All we
intruder

see in the beginning

is an abstract mass

of clay

camouflaged inside the staircase. Suddenly the


head of theenragedGolem emergesand petrifies
his enemy (and thespectator).Here thedefensive
skills ofmimicry and camouflage turn into the _
offensivetechniqueof intimidation.
Tilting
Not only objectsbut also theoriesand even entire
sciences can become the subject of reanimation.
Physiognomy,theclassical epistemeof decipher
ing the inner character of both human beings and
to their external morpho
buildings
according

logical characteristics,acquires a second, almost


vampire-like,afterlifeduring the interwarperiod
inGermany.One of thephysiognomic elements
weighing on the facades of buildings around
Nosferatu's timewas the issue of tilting, the slanting
and
of surfaces-the
way that walls, windows,

14

Grey Room

20

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Opposite: The Go/em.


Dir. Paul Wegener, 1920.
Sets by Hans Poeizig. Stills.
Top: Alfred Kubin.
From Albania, before 1923.
Bottom: Nosferatu:
A Symphony of Horror.
Dir. F.W.Murnau. 1922. Still.

entirebuildingsdeviated fromthestraightline.Meyrink describesone


of thederelicthouses of theghettoas "slantingobliquely,with a roof
like a retreatingforehead . .. theone next to it juttingout likean eye
Der Golem;
tooth."19
Slanting isobvious in thehouses ofPoelzig's set for
itexpands fromthecurved rooftopsand skewed interior
walls of the
ghettohouses to theconical hats of thegesticulatingrabbispointingin
similarlyoblique directions.In thefilm'spublicity images,thehouses
transform
intooblique flamessuggestingthefirethatnearlydemolishes
theghetto.
Justas inPoelzig's oblique stageset,so too inKubin's drawing"From
extends to the
Albania" theslantingof thebuildings in theforeground
oldwoman in thefront,
thebuildingsacross thestreet,and thetowerin
thebackground.20
Both thisand theprevious imagesindicatethepres
ence of awind thatforcesthehouses tobend sidewaysand represents
theagency of animation.However, such an agency ismissing in the
aberrantformof tiltingthatoccurs inMurnau's Nosferatu.The firsttime
we seeNosferatu's futureresidence, theLiibeckwarehouses shown
through a window

grid appear as if they are tiltingwhen

in fact they are

not.The film'sdesignersturnedthewindow grid a fewdegrees to the


lefttoDroduce theslantingeffect.
The opticalmanipulation shows that
what isbiased oroff-center
isultimately
not theobject itself
but theentireframe
through
which we view it.
This shouldwarn us not todismiss
these optical effectsas mere formal
s= f-.r{,
MM
exercises; theyreveal social, psycho
logical,and even ethicalbiases-that
is, parts of the largertiltingpicture.
In his essay on theExpression of the
Emotions inMen and Animals, Darwin
remarked that "as he had seen in the
Chinese
... an angry man inclines his

body towardshis antagonisttoattack


him with

his volley

of abuse."

As

signof our animal past, protrusionof


thehead or thewhole body,according
toDarwin,

is a common gesture of ani

mosity and of theferociouslyenraged


human being. The exposure of the
canine toothby snarlingdogs or hys
mediates the
tericallysneeringfemales
same emotion.21

Papapetros

I Malicous

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Houses

15

Inaddition toracialandmisogynistbiases, stereotypesof theoblique


weighed on criminal behavior.At thecenter of themalicious phys
iognomyare the intenselytiltingeyebrows-also typical in physiog
nomic depictionsof anger.This intensefrowning
became permanently
imprintedon the faceof the"criminalman," the"innate" anatomical
characteristics of whom were scientifically exposed by Cesare
Lombroso inhiswidely known criminologicalstudies.Tiltingbecomes
inherentlysinister.22
The word malicious has a specificconnotation in criminologyand
juridical literature,
where itsignifiesthatthecriminalactwas deliber
ate and willful, driven by a malignantmotivation.23However,when
accidents happen and no human perpetratoris in sight,the sinister
agency is assigned to objects. In his popular novel Auch Einer, the
German philosopherand aestheticianFriedrichTheodorVischer attrib
utes a demonic element to inertobjects,which he describes as "die
Tiicke des Objekts"-a phrase usually renderedas "themaliciousness
of theobject."24
The Germanword Tucke, however,lacks the intention
that"maliciousness" connotes inEnglish. Tucke comes fromTuc,
which inHigh German means a violentmovement, a strikecoming
froman unknown source.25Vischer's "strikingobjects" are usually
familiarhousehold itemsthatsuddenly refusetoobey ourwishes and
cause all typesofaccidents; forexample,quills and otherpens refusing
towrite or buttons popping offa pair of trousers.Vischer heroically
wars with thesesneeringobjects,andwhen he finally
manages tocap
tureone he shows nomercy. In theopening pages of thebook, thehero
is exasperatedly looking forhis eyeglasses until he finallysees them
lookingathim rightin frontofhis eyes:
"Look rightthere;Do you see themockery, thesatanic Schaden
freude in thispurely demonic glass-gaze?Out with themonster
caught-up in surprise!"He held theeyeglasses up high, then let
them fall down,

and shouting with

a festive voice

"The death

penalty,Supplicium," he raisedhis footand crushed themwith


the heel of his shoe, so that the pieces of glass flew around

splintersand dust.26

in little

The sadistic exterminationofpersonal itemsshows that"themali


ciousness

of the object"

is in fact an excuse

for "the maliciousness

of

the subject."While on account ofhisAestheticVischer is considered


one of the foundersof thepsychological theoryof empathy,his "mali
ciousness of theobject" shows an antipathy,a fundamentalhostility
toward theobjects of theexternalworld.27The behavior ofVischer's
narratorshows that
when we instinctively
attributean agency toobjects
something bad is happening

16

to us. The malicious

character of an object

Zrey Roo~m m

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is theinstinctive
projectionofagencypreciselywhen accidentshappen
and no agency seems to be in sight.

SplitScreen
weighing
Vischer's demonologywas only part of a tiltingframework
againstobjects.After thediscoveryof theunconscious and the inven
tionofpsychoanalysisby Freud, thesame frame
would become thor
oughly inverted.In thesecond chapterof Totem and Taboo, entitled
"Taboo and theAmbivalence ofEmotions,"Freud interpretedthemali
with themost cinematographicof
cious characterof theancestraltotem
Projection is thedefen
all psychoanalyticmetaphors, "projection."28
sivemechanism bywhich thesubjectejectshis unwanted internalper
man
ceptionsand displaces themintoa building or an object.Primitive
and themodernneurotictransposetheirown aggressionagainstpaternal
authorityby housing it in thesecure residenceof the totem.In certain
cases

the object

functioning

as a scapegoat

is a piece

of architecture.

The expiatorybuilding is chargedwith an originalsin,which explains


theambiguousprestigeof thisstructure,
encompassingbothveneration
and guilt. "Do you know

the sort of houses

you are forced to live in?"

asks one of thecharactersofThe Other Side:

I can tell you: there is hardly one of them thatwas not sullied by

blood, crimeand shame before itwas broughtto thisplace. The


Palace ispatched togetherout of ruinsofbuildings thatwere the
theaterofbloody conspiracies and revolutions.... Fragments
fromtheEscorial, fromtheBastille, fromancientRoman arenas,
were used in itsconstruction.... Paris, Istanbul,and othersgave
of their
worst horrors!29
Combined with animosity,animationhere designatesnot only the
transferenceof agency but the diachronic misplacement of guilt.
Architecture,asKubin shows,has a remarkableability tohouse such
displacements

and ambivalent

emotions. My argument

is that the ulti

are
mate secretthatthemalicious houses of theearly-twentieth-century
housing-once venerated and now hated and despised-is thesecret
animosity

that their inheritors harbor against them, an animosity pro

duced by thedescendants'own primevalcrime.Freud's discoveryof the

hidden

"totem meal," where

the sons unite

to kill and eat the father,

presagesmodernism's own cannibalistic intentions.


"What

it thine."

thou hast

inherited

from thy fathers, /acquire

it to make

from part one ofGoethe's Faust quoted by Freud in the


four years
of Totem and Taboo is also cited by Paul Mebes
earlier in his firstpreface toAround 1800, perhaps themost well-known
This passage

conclusion

Pac9pettos

MakCous

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Houses

17

publication defending traditionalbuilding culture inGermany (first


published in 1908; thenrepublished in 1918 and 1920).30The interpre
tationsof the twoauthorsare completelydifferent.
Mebes asks forthe
preservationof architecturalinheritanceand urges otherarchitectsto
with "love and humility!"'31
treat"thework ofour fathers"
Freud,on the
contrary,shows thatwhat thedescendantshave "inherited"fromtheir
fathers has already been destroyed and thatwhat

they now have to deal

with and "acquire" is theguilt theyhave introjected.


One should not be puzzled by the fact that the same buildings
incriminatedormassacred byMeyrink andKubin in theirnovels are at
with respectbyMebes and others
thesame timeveneratedand treated
in a long litanyof illustratedarchitecturalpublications fromtheearly
1900s.32AlthoughbenevolentwhereMeyrink,Murnau, andKubin are
malevolent, theseaccounts ofpatrioticarchitecturalnostalgiahave the
The book-lengtheulogies areultimatelynot revivingbut
same function.
burying,with funerarypomp and photographic circumstance, the
buildings theyportray.Indeedmany of these collections, including
Mebes's Around 1800,concludewith photographsofgraves,steles,and
This is anothercase of
other funeraryarchitecturalaccoutrements.33
VictorHugo's "Ceci tueracela."Here thebook does not exactly"kill" the
building but performsits last ritesand thusannounces itsdeath.The
architecturalfoliodoes not reproducebuildingmodels tobe imitated
but seals and consecrates monuments

thatwill never be built again.

The Freudian "ambivalence of emotion" interpretstheambivalent


attitudeofGermanmodernismapropos ofarchitecturaltradition.
On the
side ofhistory,theemergenceof thepolitics ofHeimatschutz, vo]kisch
and on theunrestrained,uncon
nostalgia,and historicpreservation;34
scious space of literatureand film,themurderous houses ofMeyrink,
Kubin,

and Murnau.

The houses

are projected

on a "split screen." On

theone side "mourningandmelancholia," and on theothertheOedipal


aggressionof themodernistbarbarians insistingon building theirnew
totemsin thecenterof theirancestors'graveyards.

"Mourning, however painful itmay be, comes to a spontaneous end.


When
it has renounced everything that has been lost, then it has con
sumed itself, and our libido is once more free to replace the lost objects

by freshones equally or stillmore precious."35


Mourning, as Freud

makes

clear here, is not melancholia.

Mourning

is a dynamic condition

leadingtonew resolutions.
The golems,phantoms,and vampiresinvented
by theearly twentieth-century
literaryand cinematicunconscious in
an attempt to house

the fears and hallucinations

of its benumbed

sub

Behind the
jects functionas theconcreteallegoryofnew architecture.
smoke ofMeyrink's "mysteriousexplosion of theghetto"emerge the
While stand
equally transubstantiated
objects ofmodern architecture.

18

Gre@ Ft-oom20

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ingagainstthe"malicioushouses" of thepast,modern buildings imitate


theold structures'ambivalentdecorum. InDer GolemMeyrink argues
thatthecollective"soul" ofhis era cannotbear toremain"formless";it
strives"to finda definitiveplastic form(Gestalt)bypenetratingthewall
The lastpartof thismontage narrative
ofactuality"-as a "phantom."36
project thatgives expression
shiftsfocusonto amodernistarchitectural
to this"phantom-like"Gestaltung.

Top, left:Ludwig Mies van


der Rohe. Glass Skyscraper
project, model, 1922. From
Fruhlicht 1, no. 4 (1922),
ed. Bruno Taut.
Top, right:Ludwig Mies van
der Rohe. Friedrichstrasse
competition project, 1921.
Charcoal Drawing. From
Fruhlicht 1, no. 4 (1922),
ed. Bruno Taut.
Bottom: Ludwig Mies van
der Rohe. Glass Skyscraper
project,model, 1922. Details.

TheMiesian Totem
published in the
The fourthand last issue ofBruno Taut's Fruihlicht,
summerof 1922, dedicated threepages to thedesigns of twoskyscrap
erswith glass exteriorsbyMies van derRohe.37One of theprojectswas
Mies's unsuccessfulcompetitionentrysubmittedinDecember 1921 for
The competitiondesign
block inBerlin'sFriedrichstrasse.38
an apartment
with a triangular
crystallineplan andwas
was a twenty-floor
skyscraper
presented by a series of drawings.The second glass skyscraperwas
which the
highwith an amoebic curvilinearfloorplan for
thirty-floors
architectconstructedamodel and had severalphotographsmade, two
ofwhich were displayed inFriuhlicht.In theperspectiveviews of the
drawingsmade forthe firstskyscraper,the surroundingapartment
blocks are indicatedonly by solid dark silhouettes. In themodel the
low-risebuildings surroundingthesecond glass tower,althoughmade
out ofwood and plaster,showmanymore details.According toWerner
Graef,Mies's laterassistantand coeditorofG,Mies said of thesehouses,
"Most people make drawingsand thesurroundingbuildings
pass

also as their own."39 That Mies

clearly did not want:

"I

want toknowwhat my buildings reallylook likeon thevacant


When
may be."40
lotinquestion,howeverhideous theirvicinity
the1922model was exhibited,thesurrounding"hideousness"
was noted: Against theglass tower,re
marked a critic"how poor [armselig],the
smallhouseswith theirsnug facadesand
small towers appear."41

'U

Due to theirassociation withMies's


competitionproject,the"poorhouses" of
themodel

AW

could be taken to represent the

actual buildings of theFriedrichstrasse.


A comparison with actual photographs
of the area shows clearly that they do
not.42 The buildings on that section of the

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Houses

19

Friedrichstrassein theearly1920s-the Comic Opera, theSavoy, and


Monopol Hotels, theAdmiral sportspalace and baths-had all been
recentlyconstructedbetween1889 and 1905 andwere not "poor"by any
means.Moreover,Mies's 1922model usually appearswith tworowsof
surroundingbuildings,while theactual Friedrichstrasseplot, apart
fromtherailwaystation,had only one. Yet again, in a photographdis
of an
played on a publicitypamphlet that
Mies made fromtheoffprint
articleon him in the journalQualitat in 1922 (published around the
themodel of theglass
same timeas the fourthissue ofFruThlicht),
towerappears framedon onlyone side by a singleblock ofhouses,
while theotherrow is conspicuouslymissing.43
Changes

Top: Ludwig Mies van der


Rohe. Glass Skyscraper
project, model, 1922 (View
frombelow). From Frilhlicht 1,
no. 4 (1922), ed. Bruno Taut.
Bottom: Same

New York (Ml 151).

such as this show that both the glass tower and the sur

roundinghouses are conceived asmodels forthepurposes ofpho


tographicreproduction.Indeed,theoriginalmodel was apparently
backgroundsinvarious
photographedwith at least threedifferent
sessions.Apart fromthestudio shotsreproducedinFruihlicht
and
Qualitat, a series of aluminum prints depicts themodel "sus
pended outside thewindow" or "inside thebalcony" ofMies's
office inBerlin.44One of thesephotographswas reproduced in
with thecaption "Hochhaus von unten gesehen," and,
Fruihlicht
indeed,aswith all theotherphotographsfromthesame session, it
shows theglass tower"seen frombelow"without thesurrounding
houses.45A comparisonbetween the
2
image published inFriuhlichtand
the original

print reveals

that the

imagewas cropped, leaving out a

small triangle ofwhat appears

to be

a lintel.The cropped lintel piece


shows that the photographs from
thisserieswere probably shot from
inside thewindow, lookingout.An
interiorframeenvelopingthemodel
ismissing in thepublication.
Mies stagedanotherphotographic
session forhis glass tower,thistime
in a real outdoor setting, a Berlin park

close toan exhibitionhallwhere the


model

had been

displayed

at the

time.46
Most of thephotographsare
takeninbroad daylight,apparently
Mies's intentionstostudy
following
themodel's glass surfaces in the A
Mies makes this intent
sunlight.47

20

photograph

(uncropped) inThe Mies


van der Rohe Archive,
Museum ofModern Art,

Grey Room 20

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and a drawingbyMies's assistantSergius


explicitinhis textinFruihlicht,
RuegenbergshowsMies studyingthemodel frombelowwith a sun disk
pointed fromabove.Althoughnot a partof thisprocess, the lowhouses
againmake theirmark in the sketch,as indicated by a small zigzag
squigglenext to theskyscraper.48
The Mies archive contains another photograph, perhaps never
published, of themodel fromthe same outdoor session in thepark,
taken late at nightwithout the surroundinghouses. The previously
transparenttowernow appears as an opaque darkmonolith. A few
gleamingspotson themodel's verticalglazingstripesare theonly traces
of lightin thepicture.While totallyopaque, thetowerblends perfectly
with its surroundings.
While losing its luminosity,itgains a "dark
transparency."
The nighttoweris as invisibleas themorningone. This
rarephotographsuggeststhattheglassmodel was not only an experi
mentwith the"interplayof lightreflections,"asMies declared inhis
Fruihlichtarticle,but a play with the theatricaleffectof nocturnal
Left: Ludwig Mies van der
Here photography,theater,and cinema aremixed with
impressions.49
Rohe. Glass Skyscraper
project, model, 1922. From
science. By recordingthechanges in theappearance andmood ofhis
Qualitat 3, no. 5/12 (August
skyscraperatvarious timesof theday,Mies seems toconstructa scien
1922-March 1923), ed. Carl
tificfilmabout thebehaviorofhis building, justas plant physiologists
Ernst Hinkefuss.
would
do forthemovements of a plant. The previously inerttower
Right: Sergius Ruegenberg.
Drawing, 1923-1926.
starts"coming to life"by puttingtogetherseveral sequences of photo
graphs, as in an animated filmproject.
However, thefactthathere not all of the
documentationispublished,
photographic
thatcrucial parts aremissing or have
been concealed,makes thisa project in
j09
"suspended animation."
*
L5CD
iN
I S
_
~
More factsare indeedhidden even in
the
widely known daylight shots. The
AA;,
*j_Il
, Wom CO.bIt,
_ i S4It2.
9,*141db G_Co
SIANADIKNAN GMDlnWUNSAG
*ZUICAfl
Mk3el
AW
21APL
IUtL?UIWICNRIFTQUMDJAtS
ZD
INNIAGIN
thetower
publishedreproductions-where
appears framedby the two sets of low
and by the (out
houses in theforeground
of scale) treesin thebackground-arealso
apparently cropped. The Mies archive
containsMies's exactmeasurements for
thecropping of theseand otherprints.

.~~~~

, y-'

Papapetros

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Houses

21

Nevertheless, in one image reproduced inCahiers d'Art in 1928, the


photographappears uncropped.50The differencein thisextended (and
probablyunauthorized) version is thatitallows us to seemore of the
rightside of themodel, specificallytheendings of theplasterhouses,
which exceed thehorizontalwooden base of themodel. This extension
of theframeis revealingbecause itaffordstheviewera peek at theother
side of thehouses,which does not exist!The photographclearlyshows
models but
thatthewood and plasterhouses arenot three-dimensional

22

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.


Glass Skyscraper project,
model, 1922. The Mies van
der Rohe Archive,Museum
ofModern Art,New York
(Ml 148).

Grey Room 20

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Left, top: Ludwig Mies van


der Rohe. Glass Skyscraper
project, model, 1922. From
Cahier d'Art 3, no. 1 (August
1928), ed. Christian Zervos.
Left, bottom: Detail.
Right: Ludwig Mies van der
Rohe. Glass Skyscraper
project model and Office
Building project model,
1923. Installation View.
Exhibition InternaUonale
Architektur, Bauhaus,
Weimar 1923.

two-dimensionalprops; theyhave no volume,only surface.They seem


tobe made specificallyforthecamera,and, although less photogenic
thantheglass skyscraper,
theyare equal partnersin thecinematicambi
ence of theensemble.51
The flatnessof thehouses did notprevent
Mies frompresentingthem
"live" in an exhibitionon "InternationalArchitecture"organized by
in 1923, first in the Bauhaus

Walter Gropius

inWeimar

and later in sev

eral othervenues inGermany. In his correspondencewith Gropius,


Mies gives elaboratedirectionsforthedisplay ofhismodels and notes,
"In thiscase, Iwould like todraw your attentionto thesmall plaster
models which seem tome absolutelynecessaryadditions tomywork."
Mies initiallyinsistedthathe traveltoWeimar toassemble themodels
himself ("dieModelle selbstmontieren"),but finallyhe sentone ofhis
assistants with parts of themodel to assemble the latterwith the parts
Mies had already shiDDed.52 In a DhotograDh
in
of the installation

Weimar, themodel of theglass skyscrapercan


be seen from a distance,

.s

iLr- 1

once again with a row

of smallhouses, forminga new groupwith the


largemodel ofMies's 1922-1923 design for
a concrete officebuilding. This lastmodel,
according toWernerGraef,was colored in red
and gray stripes.53
The overall ensemblemust
have been a ratherheterogeneousassemblageof
2-D surfacesand 3-D volumes, theaterand cin
ema-a project suspended between different
temporalframesand differentdegrees of real
ization. "I have trieditmyself and theeffectis
excellent!"commentsMies toGropius.54Ifthe
was "excellent,"itwas notbecause of the
effect
immediatevisual responsecreated in thespec
tatorbut because of the long-lasting "side
effects"envisioned by thearchitectwhile re
arrangingtheframesof thisassortedensemble.
'His Name

Is Herzogl"

We do not know the identityof the traveling


assistantwho putMies's model togetherfor
Gropius's show.Nevertheless, in an interview
recordedin1972,Mies's former
Werner
assistant,
Graef,divulges some crucial information
about
the 1922 model toLudwig Glaeser, the first
director of theMies

archive. At some point in the

interview
Glaeser startsdiscussingtheglass sky
\ ;I 4t

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Houses

23

Mies had put athis balcony,and inpassinghementions "the


scraperthat
whomMies had hired"tomake partof themodel.55
storyaboutthesculptor
"His name isHerzog!" Graef interrupts."Herzog?" asks Glaeser.
"Yes, he was an expressionist sculptor,Mies was with him in the
Novembergruppeor so."We can hearGlaeser gasping at thispoint as if
this name was

the key to a hitherto hidden world.56 To make

sure there

was no misunderstanding,Glaeser adds, "You mean theglass sky


"Yes, I know that pre
. with
.
the whole Berlin landscape."
scraper.
... he
cisely!" insists Graef: ". . . I had met theman briefly throughMies

[Herzog]had toldme specifically thathe [Mies] toldhim 'makeme a


piece ofFriedrichstrasse,as itonce was; itdoes not have tobe exact,
only inprinciple.'And thishe did verywell!" "Yes, in thephotographs
it looksveryeffective!"agreesGlaeser. "Like thestage-setforan expres
sionist film ... not theCabinet of Dr. Caligari

[sic], but it could have been

thatnowwe know thatman."


somethingsimilar.It is interesting
Although littlehas beenwritten aboutOswald Herzog, theexpres
Born in1881,Herzog
achievements.
sionistartisthad severalremarkable
was

indeed

a sculptor

and

a member

Top, left:Oswald Herzog.


Photoportrait of the Artist,
after 1920.
Top, right:Oswald Herzog.
Zeit und Raum, 1928. Cover.
Center: Oswald Herzog.
Enjoyment (Geniessen),
1920. Sculpture.
Bottom, right:
Oswald Herzog. Zeit und
Raum, 1928. Diagrams.

of the

expressionistcircles,specificallytheArbeitsrat
fiir
Kunst and theNovembergruppe.His name
figuresnext toMies inMies's records of his
activities in theNovembergruppe.57Herzog
also drew several covers andwrote articles for
HerwarthWalden's Der Sturmand otherexpres
sionist journals.58However, Herzog ismainly
known forhis sculpture,small statueswith pro
grammatic titles such as Enjoyment,Escape,
Ecstasy. He received critical attentionboth in
Germany

and abroad, and in 1930 was hailed by

an English criticas the leading sculptorof thee


As a Gesamtkunst
"Germaninorganicschool."59
artistHerzog not only constructedmodels for
architects such asMies but designed interior
well
and facadeelementsfor
spaces, furniture,
Luckhardt
knownarchitectssuch as thebrothers
(withwhom Herzog did part of thedesign for

as well as inner decor for


the Haus Buchtal)
Otto Bartning.60 In contrast to some of his more

figurativesculpture,most ofHerzog's architec


tural designs

are in a quasi-Cubist

style remi

niscent of thebuildings of theCzech Cubists.


he did become a member of the Nazi
party and worked for them until he disappeared

While

IIIj
24

Grey Room 20

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in 1941,his earlysculpturewas criticizedby theNational Socialists and


included in the1937EntarteteKunst exhibit.61
Most important,
Herzogwas also theauthorof fourbooks and numer
ous articleson art theory.62
He had in factwrittenan article in thevery
same issue ofFriihlichtinwhichMies's glass skyscraper
model (partof
which we now knowwas made byHerzog) firstappeared.Althoughhe
had no academic educationandmost ofhis ideas seemheavily indebted
toKandinsky,Herzog's writings,even ifnot exactlyoriginalor lucid,
are stillsignificant.
with Lebensphilosophie,
Herzog combinesarttheory
physics,relativitytheory,
and quantummechanics: "Life ismovement;
movement isoscillations.... Oscillations are expressed in lines,which
The artistvisualizes theseoscil
thencreate theexpressionof form."63
which
he
lationsas energydiagrams,
then transferstohis sculptures.
These abstractlinesdetermineforcerelationsbetween objects,which
are understoodas polaritiesof energy.
Polarity of energy applies toMies's 1922 model. According to
Herzog, artifactsincludingbuildings are notmere things(Dinge); they
are Gegenstdnde-that is, objects, bodies standingopposite or even
against (gegen)one another.This oppositionalquality inobjects is sim
ilar to that inVischer's work. However, inHerzog this energy is not
destructiveor "malicious" but dialectical.Art, according toHerzog, is
created "by thereliving,thepost-experienceof an object."Art signifies
"formation[Gestaltung]in thepast."64The objectbecomes thefulcrum
ofdynamic temporalrelations.
Mies's artifactsare preciselynot
Fromhis chairs tohis skyscrapers,
much asHerzogwould
mere "things"but ratherrelationshipfulcrums
imaginethatan architectural
Gegenstandshouldbe. Seen in thisframe,
the glass tower and the low houses

of the 1922 glass model

are not the

arbitraryfragmentsof a dada-like collage; theyare interdependent


Gegenstdndearticulatinga structuralrelationship.
Herzog

seems to have constructed not only a material but a theoretical

Mies's project. Inhis articleon "Space andBody Experience"


framefor
published inFriihlicht,
Herzog redefinesall bodies as embodimentsof
seems to
a "soul" creating spatial energies. The article's conclusion
announce Mies's glass tower appearing a few pages later. Following cer
tain references to the "space dynamic" of Gothic cathedrals, Herzog

redefinesartisticcreation inquasi-animistic terms:"Ifyou finda soul,


then take materials

bodies ituses."65

and hide

it inside

them; itwill

give form to the

glass project seems to have such a hidden soul. The 1922 glass
tower is indeed animated, but not because of the amoebic shape of its
tower
floor plan or the eerie fagades of the surrounding houses. Mies's
Mies's

is animated

by the dynamic energy relationship

between

the two com

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25

ponents of his ensemble.Mies's animation is a static formofmove


ment-a vibrationreduced in theedges,an animationproduced notby
anthropomorphicor physiognomicsimilaritieslike theones tracedby
Murnau andKubin but by abstractenergyrelationscreatedby the jux
tapositionof itsvolumes and surfaces,creatingan almostmagnetic
decorum. The skyscraperand the low-risehouses behave like two
isopolarmagnets: theyare both attractedand repulsedby one another.
They are united and yet theystayat a distance as iftheirpositions are
firmlyfixedby theiropposing energyfields.
The syndromeofattraction-repulsion
is centraltounderstandingthe
almost circular organizationofMies's project (in some arrangements
thehouses are indeedplaced almostas radii springingfromthetower).
While being theprototypical image ofmodernist alienation,Mies's
inorganicassemblage has thecoherence of an organiccommunity.In
fact,theensemble looks likeamedieval villagewith a cathedralrising
high in the center and low houses grazing around resembling"the
derelictanimals"portrayedinMeyrink'sDer Golem.Mies's groupmodel
also looks like a familyphotographwith theparents surroundedby
theirsons, except thathere it isone of thesonswho poses as thefather.
RememberFreud in Totem and Taboo, "And in theact of devouring
him [thefather]they[thesons] accomplished theiridentification
with
Mies's
him, each one of themacquiring a portion of his strength."66
Oedipal totemis theverylegacyand redeemingexecutionerofhis dying
ancestors.In spiteof itsoriginality,theMiesian monolith is essentially
a reconstructedvampire organismmade out of the transubstantiation
of thedecayingmatterofhis fin-de-siecleprogenitors.
Yet in the familial relation enacted by thecomponents ofMies's
ensemble there is a juxtapositionnot onlywith thepast orwith the
otherbut alsowith thepresentand theself.
While Graef testifiedthatthe
houses accordingtoMies's intentions
were genericmodels of theBerlin
or so ... only inprinciple"),some of them
landscape ("Friedrichstrasse
resemblethe"nice classicistvillas a laBehrens" (asWernerGraefcalled
themin thesame interview),such as theHaus Eichstaedt (1921-1922)or
theHaus Mosler (1924-1926) thatMies was still building while he
was working on hismodernist reinvention,all of themwith slanting
bricktileroofs.One ofHerzog's plasterhouses in thecenterof thelonger
rowdistinguishesitselffromthedecrepitentourageby itshighlypointed
roofand a roundwindow at the top.The circularopening is similar to
theocculi in theclassicist fagadesofMies's signaturedesign forthe
house of thephilosopherAlois Riehl built in 1914. It is as ifpartof the

26

Left: Ludwig Mies van


der Rohe. Glass Skyscraper
project, model, 1922. Detail.
Right Ludwig Mies van
der Rohe. House forAlois
Riehl, 1914.

Grey Room 20

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miniature houses of the 1922 model byHerzog was created by the


decapitation ofMies's earlierbody ofwork, as ifMies were bidding a
Faustian farewell(a laNosferatu) tohis earliercareer,while recycling
or even cannibalizinghis earlierproduction.
In 1923 theskyscraperdesign reemergesin twodrawingsmade for
Here the
thecoverofG, thereviewcoeditedbyMies andHans Richter.67
as
a
mere
of
low houses appear
black rectangledevoid
any graphic
details.This is thefirsttimethatthe lowhouses were convertedfrom
plastermodels todrawings,and it representsa significantchange. It
connotesthatthemodel articulatednow inG is thatofpure relationship,
a relationshipwhose perpetuityis even linguistic.The vertical tower
and thehorizontal rowof low houses constructa capitalL-the L of
Gesta-L-tung,a future-in-formation.
According to someofMies's latercollaborators,theultimaterealiza
tionofhis 1922 glass projectshappened not inBerlin but inNew York
more thanthirty
years laterwith thedesign of theSeagramBuilding.68
Here, too,several three-or four-story
buildingsoccupied thesurround
ingblocks, themost well-known being the three-storyracketclub
facingtheskyscraperon ParkAvenue, because ofwhich Mies had to
renegotiatetheposition ofhis tower.The capital L is again present,in
more

than one way;

it almost turns into a "hook" via which

the tower

wedges itsconnectionwith therestof thecityfabric.From theinterior,


the entire glass entrance

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.


Drawing for the cover of G
(1923), ed. Mies and Hans
Richter.

appears

to act as a frame projecting

the his

toricistarchitectureacross the street.Here we can imaginehow the


houses represented
by theplastermodels of the1922 projectmighthave
lookedwhen seen frominside theglass tower.The visual or cinematic
effpcts of thp architrcturp

are not limited to the ssenPrtanu1araualities

of the exteriorbut extend to the functional


mechanism of theinterior.
The entirebuilding
becomes both thescreenand theapparatusof
projection.Seen in thatlight,the1922 glass
model is an earlycinematographic
machine,
creatively engineered fortheprojection of
otherarchitectures.

?.

?44?

??

ParallelAction
Yet insteadof theobjects(Gegenstande)oppos
ingtheSeagram,one has togo back to thecin
ematic lineup of houses opposing theglass
model of 1922 to fullycomprehendthespec
More thanone
trumof theMiesian projection.
commentatorhas already compared the low
"shabby"housesof the1922projecttoPoelzig's

Papapetros

IMalicious

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Houses

27

Jewishhouses fortheGolem filmset.69Further,Herzog's plaster sets


seem tobe constructedof thesamemeltingmatteras Kubin's demoli
tioncityof Perle. They have amalicious grin throughtheirwindows
similartoMeyrink'shouses of theJewishghetto.The similaritiesextend
toNosferatu'sdeceptivelyslantingLubeckwarehouses,with theirbrick
Murnau'sNosferatuwas released
fagadesand stubbygables.Significantly,
in Berlin inMarch 1922, only a fewmonths beforeMies's project
appeared inFriihlichtand at precisely thetimewhenMies andHerzog
should have been preparing themodel foritsphotographicreproduc
tion.WhetherMies had seenMurnau's filmor not, the temporalcoin
cidence in the stagingof both performances is telling; theirformal
correlationevenmore so.
RememberMies's nocturnalview ofhis glass towergleamingamong
the treeshadows.Rising likeamonolith inside a forest,thedarkglass
building parallels theprofileofCount Orlok's ruinouscastle on topof
theCarpathians,which is firstseen in a night sequence inMurnau's
film.LikeNosferatu,
Mies's glass toweracquires a "second life"atnight.
InDer GolemMeyrink describes how buildingswould becomemore
powerfulat nightwhen theeveningput "a veil upon theirfeatures."70
Mies's towerbenefits in agencyby a similarveiling of itsglass fabric.
What

is lost in transparency

is gained

in animation.

Concerning view angles:The shotofMies's skyscraper"von unten


gesehen" inFriihlichtis similar to thefamoustakeofNosferatuwalk
ingon theship deck shot fromtheship cabin and therefore
also "seen
frombelow."The worm's-eyeview inboth camera angles invokes the
same terrorof the sublime. Their abnormallyenlarged proportions
qualify both structures as an Ungeheuer-a monster of immense
dimensions.The foldsof thevampire's cloak simulate thecurvilinear
wings of theglass tower,both fabricsenveloping a substance that is
allegedly immaterial.
In addition to similarities in settingand ambience,Mies's and
Murnau's projectssharecertainsyntacticalsimilaritiesconcerningthe
use of the frame.
Consider theplacementofboth setsofmodel houses

28

Left:Nosferatu: A
Symphony of Horror.
Dir. F.W.Murnau, 1922. Still.
Right: Ludwig Mies van
der Rohe. Glass Skyscraper
project, model, 1922.

Grey Room 20

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Mies's model of theglass toweris framedby


behind awindow frame.
thewindow of his Berlin officewhere themodel was suspended in
order to be photographed frombelow. InNosferatu, thewindow of
Ellen's house inWisborg, as reconstructed
byAlbin Grau inhis studio
inBerlin, framesthehouse replicasof theLiibeckwarehouses thatwere
was cropped togive the
propped behind it.InMies thewindow frame
illusion of an outdoor setting;inMurnau itwas exposed and flanked
with curtains to enhance the illusion of a domestic interior.Both
visible ornot in thefinalimage,createan illusion; theyframea
frames,
projection,a picture thatdoes not yetexist.
The framehas one furtherfunction:the rear edge of thewindow
framepenetratesNosferatu'sbodywhile he dissolves duringhis trans
figurationscene. For a shortmoment, frameand content appear to
merge intoan anamorphicassemblage similar to thevisions of cubist
by
painterswhere bodies in thestateof extinctionare (inter)penetrated
building frames.In thephotographsofMies's model thelowhouses pre
sent a similar fusionwith theglass buildingwhen theirown frameis
pierced by thetowergrid.Theirblurredoutlines,not theluminousrip
ple of "the lightreflections"envisioned byMies, arewhat we see pro
jected throughtheglass.
However filmic,transubstantiated,or "spiritualized"Mies's and
Murnau's

objects may appear,

they also have a physical

side; for exam

amoeba shown
ple, thinkof thecarnivorousplant and the transparent
inNosferatu.Mies was an avid readerofnaturalphilosophy (weknow

he had almost all of Raoul

France's works

in his library).71 In its very

Mies's glass toweralso resemblesthetransparentsubstanceof


texture,
a polyp as conceived in France's biomechanical plasmatics: Like an
divisible intounits andmodules
amoeba, theskyscraperis infinitely

but is still living in each and every sector. Its innovative mushroom

momentwhen theamoebic organ


columns representtheevolutionary
ismstartsturningintoa vertebrateby acquiringa spine.72"Unicellular
organisms!Sometimesgreenorgoldenbrown,and thentheyare harm
transparent like plants, for these are vora
less like plants. Sometimes
... themost voracious
cious as wolves, and are the tigers of theworld

carnivora!"73As Franc' attests,transparencyismurderous. Like the


amoeba

of the ego described

by Freud

in his essay "On Narcissism,"

creaturesextend theirpseudopodia in a seeminglyfriendly


transparent

gesture only to capture

their victims and throw away their empty car

Inotherwords, transparent
casses in return.74
objectsare lethalbecause
of theambivalence of theirextensibility-theirillusorypower ofpro
jection.Like the transparentaggressorsofFrance,Mies's glass tower
transgressesthemagnetic field thatisolates itand devours the insect
like houses

that surround

it.But by doing so, it also inherits something

Papapetros

MabdCousHousus

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29

of thehouses' venomousmaliciousness-the sleepingpoltergeistburied


inFriedrichstrassethreateningtoreturn.
"Architecture. .. is an expression ofman's ability toasserthimself
andmaster his surroundings,"
Mies said.75FromMurnau's Wisborg to
Mies's Berlin toFreud'smodernistVienna
Meyrink's Prague, and from
or theprimitivejungleofTotem and Taboo, thebasic presupposition
that the early twentieth century has bequeathed

to us is thatwe are liv

ingin a "hostileexternalworld," thatany relationofhuman subjects to


externalobjects-including buildings-can be only in termsofmastery
or destruction(whichultimatelyprovesmutual forboth).On theone
side expands the two-dimensionalspace of the infiniteprojection of
narcissismandmagic-Mies's "playof lightreflections"
on themirroring
surfaceofhis glass Commendatore;and underneath thatside (Kubin's
TheOtherSide) lies the3-Dhorrorof the"void"-themuddy pond inside
theemptyFriedrichstrasse
plot.Animation is thefloatationdeviceused
tonavigatebetween these two liquid domains.
Film criticsobserve that
Murnau's Nosferatu is designed upon the
narrativeprinciples ofparallel action:Nosferatu voyages by ship to
Wisborg; his agent foreseeshis arrival;doctorBulwer demonstrateshis
carnivorousspecimens;while Hutter racesback tohis hometownand
Ellen waits forhim at theshore.All thesedifferentscenes, incomplete
ornonsensicalwhen seen individually,
becomemeaningfulonce reviewed
as part of a flowing
montagewhere everyimageportends several inci
dentsunfoldingthroughthenarrative.Could itbe thattheprinciple of
"parallel action"permeatesnot only thefilm'sstorybut also thehistory
of architecture?

Could

it be that the malicious

houses

of Kubin

and

Meyrink, thedisintegrating
facadesofPoelzig andMurnau, andHerzog's
opposite Mies's

plaster models

glass tower are parts of the same narra

tiveunfolding in parallel action and onmultiple levels, just like the


ambiguousperspectivedescribed inMurnau's finalwindow scene?
In one of the pages

in the typescript ofNosferatu, Murnau

adds

the

instruction"Withwindow-frame! " (MitFensterkreuz!)-asking for


cross-like glazing bars to be put on top of the shot of theWisborg
in front of them.76 Think
when the litany of coffins parades

houses
then of

Mies's own framingtechniques, fromthe shootingof the 1922 glass


model

to the glazing

strips of the Seagram

tower. A framemust always

be added-an externallimitin a perspective thatispracticallyinfinite.


The twoprojects describe twoparallel frames:Parallel to thecur
tainedwindow ofMurnau's interiorrises thecurtainwall ofMies's
glass exterior,etherealand phantasmatic likeone ofAdolphe Appia's
Valhallas for
Wagner'sRheingold.The foldsinMurnau's curtainedwin
dow transforminto theripple of reflectionsinMies's curtainwall. In
thewindow

opening

30

20

Grey Room

fromNosferatu

a familiar frame reveals a set of

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uncanny,phantom-likehouses. InMies's glass towerof the same year


thecurtain is closed: thephantasmaticuncanniness has been internal
ized inside the frame.The transparencyofMies's glass tower is both
"literaland phenomenal,"as is thetransparency
ofNosferatuduringhis
finaldeathscene.The space delineatedbyCountOrlok's finalgesturehas
proved impossible.The opening leftbyhis disappearance is closed; the
cinematicperspectiveisoncemore provenfalse,amere animationtrick.
Nosferatunever returnstohis ruinouscastle in theCarpathians, as
Murnau's lastshotwould have us believe.Depleted and no longer
mali
cious, thefrailvampirefindssupportin thearchitectureof thewindow.
Beforehe turnsintosmoke,he turnsintoarchitecture,and thenhe dis
andhimself
with a singlegesture.
appears.He effacesboth thearchitecture
But asMurnau's close-up shotreveals,Nosferatudoes not disappear in
frontof thewindow; he vanishes insidethewindow frame-he slips out
of thepicture,yethe stillsleeps inside thewindow pane.

P papetos

jMaUdo0usHouses

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31

Notes
Versions
Princeton

of this paper
and Harvard

been

have

Universities,

on the topic was


supported
and Princeton
Architecture,
committee,
Kathleen

at the University
presented
Centre
and the Canadian

Centre for
Institute, the Canadian
by the Getty Research
I am grateful tomy dissertation
For comments

T.J. Clark, Martin


Jay,Anton
at the Canadian
my colleagues
Stephen Bann, and Martin Bressani;

James-Chakraborty;

director Phyllis Lambert,


Room. Photographic
material
atMoMA.

Unless

noted

at Berkeley,
Research

University.

Vidler,

Anthony

of California
forArchitecture.

Kaes,
Centre

Kaja Silverman,
forArchitecture,

as well

and
the

as the editors of Grey

is reproduced
with the permission
of the Mies Archive
texts are by the author.
from German
translations

otherwise,

on his knees, supporting himself with one


178 (Ellen's room): Nosferatu
on the ground. He raises the other on the direction
of the sun to shield himself
from the light that brings him death." See Murnau's
annotated
copy of Henrik Galeen's
in Lotte H. Eisner, Murnau
of California Press,
original manuscript
(Berkeley: University
1. "Scene

hand

270.

1973),

2. The

Florence not only refused the rights


story iswell known: Bram Stoker's widow
to her husband's
toMurnau's
to have most of the
novel
but
also managed
producers
rea
after its release. This was one of the more pragmatic
copies o? Nosferatu
destroyed
Count Orlok's
"death by the light" rather than by stake as in
transcendental
Murnau's
the original version
of the story. However,
the window
close-up
showing
its
frame piercing
the vampire's
heart suggests the window
revenge on Stoker's
taking
sons behind

widow.

For the afterlife o? Nosferatu,


including
see "The Riddle
of Nosferatu,"

its clandestine

in France,

Hour

film's various
2001),

restoration

see Roy Ashbury,

projects,

survival

as The Twelfth
For the

108-119.

in Eisner, Murnau,

York

(London:

Nosferatu

Press

46-47.

3. Eric Rohmer,
G?n?rale

L'organisation

d'Editions,

4. The

de l'espace

le Faust

dans

de Murnau

(Paris, Union

1977).

festive midnight
affair that preceded
on 4March
1922 in Berlin started with

Nosferatu
43-44. Could
Faust." Ashbury, Nosferatu,
own Faust, released
Murnau's
three years
by way of parallel
framing devices
vidual narrative frame.
5. See Henry

the premiere
of Murnau's
screening
"a spoken prologue
inspired by Goethe's
to
is a prologue
this also mean
thatNosferatu
later? The two films seemingly communicate

that project

the message

of each film outside

its indi

van de Velde,

"Die Linie,"
in Essays
Insel Verlag, 1910); and
(Leipzig:
Zur Frage nach dem Malerischen,
der bilden
August Schmarsow,
Beitr?ge zur ?sthetik
den K?nste, Vol. 1 (Leipzig: S. Hirzel,
1896). For this and other bibliographic
sugges
tions and editorial comments
I am indebted to Rupinder
Singh.
6. Ashbury, Nosferatu,
42-43.
7. See,

for example,

C. Coleman,

Die

alte Profanarchitektur

L?becks,

ed. Max

Metzger

(L?beck:

1911).

8. For comparisons
shots and art historical
between Murnau's
imagery, see Luciano
Los Proverbios
chinos de F.W. Murnau
(Madrid: Instituto de la Cinematograf?a
1990); and Eva M.J. Schmid,
y de las Artes Audiovisuales,
"Magie der Zeichen; Murnau
in Klaus
Die Metaphysik
und die bildende
des Dekors:
Kreimeier,
Kunst,"
Raum,
Berriat?a,

Architektur
Gesellschaft,
9. Gustav

32

und Licht
1994),

im klassischen

deutschen

Stummfilm

(Marburg:

F.W. Murnau

49-79.

Meyrink,

The

Golem,

ed. E.F.

Bleiber,

trans. Madge

Pemberton

(1928;

Grey Room 20

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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

was
reprint, Dover: New York, 1986), 16. The novel
Die Weissen
Bl?tter during 1913-1914
periodical
Wolff Verlag, Leipzig.
10. Meyrink,

The Golem,

originally published
serially in the
and in book form in 1915 by Kurt

15.

11. See

Ingrid Gloc, Architektur


zwischen Ekletizismus
Architektur

in Prag; Zur Geschichte

der Jahrhundertwende
im Spiegel

und Moderne

der Sanierung

der

der Prager

Altstadt

1994).
(N?rnberg: VDG,
12. For a reading of the illustrations
inMeyrink's
Golem by Hugo Steiner-Prag, Alfred
Kubin, and later artists inspired by the novel, see Robert Karle, "Nicht ist phantastischer
als die Wirklichkeit;
1988):

13. Alfred
M?ller,
Crown

Illustrationen

zu Gustav
Meyrink's

Der Golem,"

Die Kunst

8 (August

626-633.
Kubin,

Die

Publishers,

14. Kubin,

Roman
Seite; Ein fantastischer
(1909) (Berlin: Georg
as The Other Side, trans. Denver
(New York:
Lindley

1967).

The Other

15. Meyrink,

andere
in English

1920). Available

Side,

The Golem,

24.
15.

Bios: Die Gesetze


der Welt, Vol. 2 (Stuttgart: Walter
Seifert Verlag,
two-volume work presents France's comprehensive
theory of "biotechnics,"
tomarine microorganisms,
from galaxies
and also includes
comparisons
expanding
For
with machine
and
architecture.
the
theories
design
importance of France's biological
16. R.H.

France,

1923), 109. The

see the pioneering


of the Bauhaus,
study of Oliver Botar, Prolegomena
to the Study ofBiomorphic Modernism:
"New Vision"
Biocentrism, L?szl? Moholy-Nagy's
K?llai's
of Toronto, 1998), 394-493.
andErn?
Bioromantik
(Ph.D. diss., University
17. France, Bios, 108.
for the architects

18. Although Meyrink's


Golem has few commonalities
the
with Wegener's
Golem,
connections
For example, Henrik
latter has several minute
with Murnau's
Nosferatu.
the scriptwriter ofNosferatu,
had cowritten and directed
the first film version
Galeen,
in 1913. When Nosferatu
critics noted thatMurnau's
appeared,
out fromWegener's
61.
Ashbury, Nosferatu,
workshop."
19. Meyrink,
The Golem, 15.

of The Golem
have

film "could

come

20. Alfred Kubin,


1923). The book

"Aus Albanien,"

is a collection

in F?nfzig

of Kubin's

(Munich: Albert Langen,


Zeichnungen
for the review Der Simplizissimus.
drawings
in animal body posture
forward or backward

21. Darwin
the leaning
explained
to the principle of antithesis: While
cats and dogs turn
themselves,
according
defending
all parts of their bodies,
such as ears and tails, inward while when
they attack they
same
forward.
The
the
Charles
Darwin,
project
Expression
body parts
of the Emotions
inMan
and Animals
of Chicago Press, 1998), 122, 241-247.
(1872) (Chicago: University
22. Among
the "anomalies"
detected by Lombroso
characteristic"
"the oblique eyelids, aMongolian

were

on the heads

of "born criminals"

that he illustrated with

of a young Italian criminal with a frowning expression.


photograph
to the Classifications
Lombroso
Criminal Man: According
of Cesare
London: G. P. Putnam,
1911), 14, fig. 4.
23. See,

for example,

Jesus: Vindicated
and Idle Quibling
24. Friedrich

The

Testimony

of the Hartford

Quakers

Gina

the portrait
Lombroso,

(New York

for theMan

and

Christ

Slanders, Perversions,
Confusions,
Impertinencies
from theMalicious
an Independent-Preacher
s.n. 1676).
(London:
of William Haworth
Theodor Vischer, Auch Einer; Eine Reisebekanntschaft
(1878; reprint,

1923).
Stuttgart: Deutsche
Verlags-Anstalt,
25. The Middle
German word Tue can also mean

quick movement,

Papapetros

dirty trick, guile,

I Malicious

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Houses

33

prank, habit, kick, and blow. See Friedrich Kluge,


der deutschen
(Berlin: Gruyter Verlag, 1989).
Sprache
26. Vischer, Auch Einer, 19.

malice,

son Robert

27. Vischer's
das

?ber

Vischer

the term empathy


(Einf?hlung)
H. Credner,
1873).

used

(T?bingen:
Formgef?hl
Freud, Totem and Taboo: Some Points

optische

28. Sigmund
Lives of Savages
and Neurotics,
29. Kubin, The Other Side,
30. Freud, Totem

31. Other

in his

essay

between theMental
of Agreement
(New York: W.W Norton, 1950), 61.

Urn 1800: Architektur

158; and Paul Mebes,

ihrer traditionellen

Entwicklung,

2nd ed. by Walter

und Handwerk
Curt Behrendt

1918), xi, 3.

F. Bruckmann,

(Munich:

trans. James Strachey


166.

and Taboo,

im letzten Jahrhundert

W?rterbuch

Etymologisches

architectural

refer to historicist

authors

our fathers and grandfathers."


See the preface
Lambert and Eduard
Stahl (Berlin: Wasmuth,

as "the creations

architecture

von 1750-1850,

in Architektur

of

ed. Andr?

1903-1912).
on
32. For example,
the fourth volume of Paul Schultze-Naumburg's
Kulturarbeiten,
inMeyrink
of the same Prague structures caricatured
included photographs
city buildings,

and Kubin.
1909),

Paul

Kulturarbeiten,

Schultze-Namburg,

4 (Munich:

Vol.

G.D.W.

Callwey,

37, 122,123.

33. See,
34. On

ofmonuments
inMebes,
Urn 1800,182-189.
photographs
on German architectural
movement
of the Heimatschutz
design
The Heimatschutz
"Modern Movement
and Historical
Continuity:

for example,
the influence

see Christian

Otto,

in Germany,"

discourse

35. Freud writes

Art Journal

43, no.

in his

2 (Summer

1983):

148-157.

"On Transience"

(written after but pub


on
comments
and Melancholia"),
where
the psychoanalyst
"Mourning
the "building" activity that has to be taken up to replace what "the war has destroyed." See,
in The Standard Edition of the Complete
(1915-1916),
Sigmund Freud, "On Transience"
Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 14, ed. James Strachey
(New York: W.W.
Psychological
lished

these words

essay

before

Norton,

307.

1957),

36. Meyrink,

The Golem,

37. See Bruno

Taut,

38. For a complete


exhibition

28-29;

(Berlin: Bauhaus-Archiv,

Der Golem,

36-37.

1, no. 4 (1922): 122-124.


see the catalogue
study of the competition,
accompanying
in October
1988, Der Schrei nach
by the Bauhaus-Archiv

organized
Der Ideenwettbewerb

Turmhaus;

and Meyrink,

ed., Fr?hlicht

(Berlin)

Hochhaus

1988).

For Mies's

am Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse
entry, see 106-111.

Berlin

the
dem

1921-1922

17 September
1972, tape recording,
by Ludwig Glaeser,
for Architecture
Research
Glaeser's
(CCA), Montreal,
Ludwig
(1968-1980)
(hereinafter referred to as "Glaeser Papers"),
Papers on Mies van der Rohe
Box 3, Item 4. The transcript of this interview is in Box 4, Item 1, 31.
39. Werner

in Canadian

Graef,

interview

Centre

a similar claim in a letter to


dated 6 July 1968. Wolf
Ludwig Glaeser
van
to
"From
Mies
Rohe's
toModernism,"
der
Maturity:
Breakthrough
Tegethoff,
Obscurity
inMies van der Rohe: Critical Essays, ed. Franz Schulze
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989), 45.
40. Graef made

41. "Gesch?ftshausGeraer

Kunstvereins

und

Fabrik-Bauten.

im St?dtischen

Papers, Box 5, Item 2.


42. Arthur Drexler notices
scheme
Archive
drawings

34

and

the Friedrichstrasse

the same
plan.

Ein Rundgang

Museum,"

durch

newspaper

inconsistencies

between

See Arthur Drexler,

Publishers,
(New York: Garland
1986), 62. Wold
site," although
"point to an authentic
"attempts

die Ausstellung
des
in CCA, Glaeser

review,

the proposed
second
van der Rohe
ed., The Mies

that Mies's
Tegethoff opines
to locate the sight in a 1920's

Grey Room 20

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map of the city [Berlin] have


toMaturity,"
44.
43. The
"Hochh?user"

so far proved

fruitless."

See Tegethoff,

"From Obscurity

of the model

article contained
photographs
three-page
Gotfrid. Carl Ernst Hinkefuss,
Carl
by

a text titled

and

ed., Qualit?t

(Internationale

3, no. 5/12 (August 1922-March


1923):
f?r Qualit?tserzeugnisse)
Propaganda-Zeitschrift
63-66. From Mies's
from that period, we learn thatMies had
business
correspondence
as
to distribute
of this article, apparently
and fifty exemplars
ordered one hundred
in the Library

See, Mies's
correspondence
pamphlets.
Glaeser Papers, Box 1, Item 4,12.

of Congress,

abstracts

in

included

CCA,

44. See Drexler,

van der Rohe Archive,

The Mies

45. Series

of photographic
16.571-16.578.
Rohe Archive,
46. As Wolf
be identified
where

Mies's

prints,

inMuseum

62; and Graef,


Art

ofModern

interview.

(MoMA), Mies

van der

can
in the background
Tegethoff has shown, the iron cupola projected
as the top of the Marine
Panorama, which was close to the exhibition hall
in the summer of 1922 in the annual Grosse
first exhibited
model was

See
Kunstausstellung.
47. "My experiments with a
nized that by employing
glass,
achieve, but a rich interplay of

Berliner

toMaturity,"
43.
Tegethoff, "From Obscurity
me along the way and I soon recog
model
glass
helped
to
it is not an effect of light and shadow
that one wants

The curves were determined


by the
light reflections....
in the urban context, and
the interior, the effect of the building mass
The Artless World: Mies
finally the play of the desired
light reflection." Fritz Neumeyer,
van de Rohe on the Building Art, trans. Mark
The MIT Press,
Jarzombek
(Cambridge:
need

to illuminate

1991),

240, quoting Mies's


dates
drawing

48. The
Neumann,

"Three

in Detlef Mertins,

1922 Fr?hlicht

article.

from between

1923

by Mies

and

1926.

van der Rohe,"

Early Projects
of Becoming:
"Architectures

Mies

in Dietrich
It is reproduced
27
97; and
(1992):
Perspecta

van der Rohe

and the Avant-Garde,"

2001), 119.
(New York: MoMA,
Riley and Barry Bergdoll
own later statements
49. This of course goes against Mies's
about his 1922 glass
in which
he denies
model
any "expres
negation)
(stretching the limits of Freudian
sionist intention" or any relation with either Hugo H?ring
(with whom Mies was shar
inMies

in Berlin,

ed. Terence

was
in Hans Richter's
ing an office at the time) or Hans Arp (who
areas
"I
to
of
work
with
smaller
tried
Mies):
glass and adjusted my
light and then pushed
idea of the curve, and

together with
of
strips
glass to the
me the
That
gave
plane.

them into a (flat horizontal)


ifpeople

now

plasticine
say that I got it from Arp, I can tell ithad nothing to
Iwanted
to show the skeleton, and I
intention,

I had no expressionist
best way would
be simply to put a glass
that
the
thought
IDevelop
Not Design Buildings,
Buildings,' Architectural
do with

451-452;

him.

and Spaeth, Mies


d'Art 3, no.

circle

van der Rohe,

T Do
Speaks:
144 (December
1968):

skin on." "Mies


Review

39.

1 (August 1928): 34. The original print used for this publi
in the archives of the Centre George Pompidou,
cation has recently resurfaced
together
d'Art edited by
from the archives
of Cahiers
with all other photographic
materials
Christian Zervos.
50. Cahiers

were reproduced
this way
in 1986 atMoMA.
centenary exhibition
52. See the correspondence
between Mies

51. The houses

in a 1985 reconstruction

of the model

for

Mies's

27 July 1923, in Library


Papers, Box 1, Item 4.
53. See Graef,

of Congress,

Mies's

interview. The photograph

and Walter
business

Gropius

between

correspondence,

from theWeimar

Papapetros

exhibition

IMailcous

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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

4 June and

CCA,

Glaeser

is reproduced

Houses

35

in Tegethoff,

"From Obscurity
16.
15;andMertins,fig.
van der Rohe

54. Mies

toMaturity,"

toWalter

"Three Early Projects,"

fig. 16; Neumann,

11 June 1923, CCA,

Gropius,

Glaeser

Papers,

fig.

Box

1,

Item 4.
55. Graef,

interview.

56. In a letter to Glaeser

dated 6 July 1968, Graef had mentioned


that Mies had the
street fa?ades molded
the artist's name. See
by a sculptor, but Graef had not mentioned
45.
toMaturity,"
Tegethoff, "From Obscurity
57. See "Inventory and transcription ofMies van der Rohe's
includ
correspondence
in CCA,
and BDA,"
ing special files on Novembergruppe
58. Oswald
"Der abstrakte Expressionismus
Herzog,
Sturm 10, no. 2 (April/May 1919): 29; and Oswald Herzog,
1, no. 2 (1920): 22-25;
Kunst," Der Kunsttopf
in Der Sturm and other journals.

as well

Papers, Box 1, Item 6.


in der bildenden
Kunst," Der

Glaeser

"Abstraktion

as numerous

in der bildenden

covers and illustrations

or Herbert Read's
critic had apparently
read T.E. Hulme's
intro
Speculations
to the English
Form in Gothic, both of which
edition ofWilhelm
Worringer's
ambience
of German art. See Stanley Casson,
had references to the "inorganic"
"Oswald
German
Artists
in
XXTH
and
the
of
the
School,"
Casson,
Inorganic
Herzog
Stanley
59. The

duction

Press, 1930), 77-87.


(London: Oxford University
Century Sculptors
see H. de Fries, ed.,
60. For Herzog's
with
the Luckhardt
collaboration
brothers,
Moderne
Villen und Landh?user
Wasmuth
(Berlin:
Verlag, 1925), 80-85. For Herzog's
collaboration

Otto

with

Bartning,

see Haus
projects,
Wylerberg:
und Kulturelles
Bartning; Architektur
other

Nijmegen
61. The
with Mies)
Oswald
(March

Museum,

1988),

his incomplete
Sternkirche
including
Ein Landhaus
des Expressionismus
Leben

exh. cat.

(1920-1926],

(1922) and
von Otto

(Nijmegen,

Holland:

84-96.

only article published


is the recent account

the connection
(without mentioning
Drenker-Nagels,
"Rhythmus und Dynamik;
Weltkunst
72, no. 3
Bildhauer,"
(Munich)

about Herzog
by Klara

Herzog?Ein
expressionistischer
397-399.

2002):

62. Oswald

der bildenden K?nste: Eine Einf?hrung


Herzog, Die stilistische Entwicklung
in Kunst
der Kunst
1912); Oswald
(Berlin: Hause,
Herzog, DerRythmus
Das Wesen des Rhythmus
in der Natur und in der Kunst
und die Expression

in das Wesen
und Natur:

(Berlin: Steglitz Verlag, 1914); Oswald Herzog,


and Oswald
Herzog, Zeit und Raum:

1921);

Ottens

Verlag
63. Herzog,
64. Herzog,

1928).
DerRythmus,
"Der abstrakte

65. Oswald

"RaumHerzog,
1, no. 4 (1922): 104-105.
66. Freud,

Sinfonie des Lebens (Berlin: Twardy,


in Kunst und Natur
Absolute
(Berlin:

Plastik:
Das

Totem

67. G: Material

5.
29.
Expressionismus,"
Bruno
und K?rpererlebnis,"

and Taboo,

Taut,

ed., Fr?hlicht

(Berlin)

142.

zur elementaren

3 (June 1924).
Gestaltung
68. "It is in fact impossible
to reproduce
this building because
some
You can also say thatMies
itself....
did do this building

itwas

never produced
thirty years later when
Summers
stated his opposition

in New York." Thus Gene


he did the Seagram Building
to a proposal for the actual building ofMies's
1921 design in the still vacant Friedrichstrasse
van der Rohe: Hochhaus
am Bahnhof
Friedrichstrasse:
Doku
plot. See Ludwig Mies
des Mies-van-der-Rohe-Symposiums
ed. Fritz Neumeyer
(Berlin: Wasmuth,
1993),

in der Neuen

mentation

36

Nationalgalerie,

Berlin,

73.

Grey Room 20

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69. See Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,


in Berlin, ed. Riley
inMies
70. Meyrink,
The Golem, 16.

1910-38,"

71. Fritz Neumeyer


of France's

numerous

59; and Andres


and Bergdoll,

"Mies

Lepik,
326.

and Photomontage,

notes with his requests


to a book dealer for
reproduces Mies's
The Artless World,
102-106. On the relation
titles. Neumeyer,
see Detlef Mertins,
architecture
and France's writings,
"Living in

ship between Mies's


a Jungle: Mies, Organic Architecture
ed. Phyllis Lambert
(Montr?al, New
72. In a collage

inMies
and the Art of City Building,"
in America,
York: CCA, Whitney, H. Abrams,
2001), 598-602.
view ofMies's
1922 glass tower
the worm's-eye
Schwitters

by Kurt
to the photograph

appears parallel
73. Raoul H. France,

Plants

of a bone.

as Inventors

Kurt Schwitters,
(New York: A.

ed., Merz

4 (July 1923).

and C. Boni,

1923), 26-27,
as Die Pflanze
als Erfinder (Stuttgart: Kosmos,
1920).
originally published
74. In his essay "On Narcissism,"
Freud describes
how the ego sends out "the ema
nations of its libido" to other objects of the external world but then withdraws
them
. . much
.
the "original
libidinal
cathexis
to
it
out."
related
the pseudopodia
which
puts
Sigmund
in Standard
Introduction,"
Edition, Vol. 14, ed. Strachey,
75. Neumeyer,
The Artless World, xi, quoting Mies van

and withholds

Wende
(1928):

der Zeit:

Baukunst

als Ausdruck

geistiger

as the
is
body of an amoeba
"On Narcissism:
An

Freud,
75.

"Wir stehen

der Rohe,

Entscheidung,"

Innendekoration

in der
39

262.

76. See Eisner, Murnau,

116, 263.

Papapetros

Malicious

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Houses

37