Expressionist architecture : TWA Terminal at JFK International Airport

Expressionist architecture was an architectural movement that developed in Europe during the first decades of the 20th century in parallel with the expressionist visual and performing arts. 

Today the meaning has to refer to architecture of any date or location that exhibits some of the qualities of the original movement such as; distortion, fragmentation or the communication of violent or overstressed emotion.

Hermann Finsterlin’s Formspiels

Hermann Finsterlin's Formspiels
Hermann Finsterlin’s Formspiels

Hermann Finsterlin’s  Formspiels depict the form of buildings turned into organic amorphous massings . It is beautiful work that translates to steel and titanium in buildings


Expressionist architecture was individualistic and in many ways express aesthetic rules, but it is still useful to develop some criteria which defines it.

  • Distortion of form for an emotional effect.
  • Subordination of realism to symbolic or stylistic expression of inner experience.
  • An underlying effort at achieving the new, original, and visionary.
  • Abundance of works on paper, and models, with discovery and representations of concepts more important than pragmatic finished products.
  • Often hybrid solutions, irreducible to a single concept

Erich Mendelsohn’s Einstein Tower in Potsdam, Berlin

Erich Mendelsohn's Einstein Tower in Potsdam
Einstein Tower in Potsdam, Berlin
  • Erich Mendelsohn’s small, but powerfully modeled tower, built to symbolize the greatness of the Einsteinian concepts, was also a quite functional house. It was designed to hold Einstein’s own astronomical laboratory…
  • Mendelsohn was after a completely plastic kind of building, moulded rather than built, without angles and with smooth, rounded corners. The total external effect was obtained by rendering the concrete / plaster as surface material . This ‘monument of architectural Expressionism’ is one of the most brilliantly original buildings of the twentieth century.”
Einstein Tower in Potsdam-Berlin  by Erich Mendelsohn 1919-22
SECTION : Einstein Tower


TWA BUILDING in New York  by Eero Saarinen 1956-62
TWA BUILDING in New York by Eero Saarinen 1956-62
TWA BUILDING in New York  by Eero Saarinen 1956-62

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Expressionist Architecture
Expressionism – Einstein Tower in Potsdam-Berlin by Erich Mendelsohn
Expressionism – Hermann Finsterlin’s Formspiels

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