Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Erich Mendelsohn: Einsteinturm

The Einstein Tower at the Astrophysical Institute in Potsdam (on the campus of the Albert Einstein Science Park) was constructed in 1920-21 to house an immovable solar telescope. The observatory was designed for the purpose of making measurements that would validate (or disprove) Einstein's theory of relativity. The tower features the domed observatory and an underground laboratory. Due to post-war shortages of concrete and the limitations of concrete construction at the time, the expressionist architect, Erich Mendelssohn (1887-1953), resorted to using stucco-covered brick to build the exterior. Today the tower is used to study the relationship between solar activity and the characteristics and behavior of magnetic fields.

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