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Friedrich Krupp Administration Building

and Exhibition Hall, 1960-1963


Hügel Park
Essen. Germany

(Project 6007, unbuilt) Mies's design for the administrative headquarters of the Friedrich Krupp
Corporation in Essen was one of the more ambitious efforts of his later years. The Archive's
drawings reveal that the project was not confined to the Administration Building. Impressive
though that element was in its own right. A large exhibition hall, heretofore unpublished, was also
conceived, although the site relationships of the two buildings is nowhere made clear. Moreover,
the exhibition hall appears in sketches rather than in measured drawings, and no compass
orientations proposed for it. The presumption is that the hall was dropped from plans prior to the
final stages of design.

On the other hand, the administration building was plotted out in detail. A stemly symmetrical,
rectangular low rise structure of three stories, it would have been built on a standard Miesian
columnar grid. On the lowest, or plaza, level, a recessed central entry area containing mechanical
services and restaurant facilities was flanked by a pair of courts, in tum surrounded by parking
areas (6007.78). The upper two stories, given over to offices and conference rooms, looked inward
upon the courts (6007.78, 6007.80) and outward upon a topographically irregular landscape. The
main entry, on the north, was approached via a wide driveway, while the land sloped downward
from the southern elevation. Drawing 6007.11.whichshows this declivity, identifies the building as
"executive quarters of the administration building on the hill. ”The whole structure was perched
upon the kind of podium that had long been a leitmotif of Mies's architecture and one of its most
obviously classical attributes (6007.81-.82). (In this instance, due to the rolling landscape, the
podium was built in two tiers, as in 6007.82.) Equally familiar, indeed reminiscent of works as
early as the Tugendhat House and as late as the New National Gallery in Berlin (6204), is the long,
stately staircase, now interrupted at two landings, that attached to the west side of the building nd
led from the plaza level to a service driveway below (6007.11, 6007.147). A number of sketches,
none by Mies's hand, show studies or interior stairs (6007.13.144) and for the plaza entry area
(6007.132-.133).

Despite the fact that the Exhibition Hall apparently never reached the working. drawing stage,
Mies offered a number of structural and organizational solutions for it. Consistent in all of them is
an elevation featuring a tall unitary space bordered by a mezzanine. ln 6007.95,6007.99-.100 and
6007.105 the plan is primarily symmetrical. In an alternate proposal an auditorium has been
placed at a level below grade at one end of the building (6007.104. 6007.107). Above it is an entry
and reception area (6007.95, 6007.116) that gives onto the mezzanine and leads downward to the
exhibition space. The entry is usually shown articulated by two parallel walls (6007.92,6007.95,
6007.102). Although one drawing, 6007.103, reveals a pair of mechanical cores .Mies considered
at least two orientations for the auditorium, one with the seats facing inward toward the center of
the building (6007.96. 6007.104, 6007.110), the other with seats facing outward (6007.96-.97). A
single preliminary study places the auditorium and reception area at the opposite ends of the
building (6007.111). In 6007.103, 6007.108 and 6007.110, the walls of the lower level are set back.
ln 6007.97, they are flush with the walls of he upper level. Two proposals were entertained for the
support of the roof, the first by four lateral-plate girders (notably 6007.103), the other by a pair of
mighty longitudinal trusses that are as deep as the interior space is high (6007.114).
F.S.