In this series:
Part 1 – The Story so far
Part 2 – Johannes Gutenberg and his museum
Part 3 – A new museum
Part 4 – The Commission
Part 5 – The Artist
Part 6 – The Decision
Part 7 – The Gates
One of the chosen few
Part 8 – The Process
Part 9 – Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution
Part 10 – Lost and Unlost
Part 11 – But where are the originals?
Part 12 – Mystery solved?
Making a mark
When you look at photographs of post-war Mainz, it’s difficult to imagine how anyone could have survived.
80% of its buildings and infrastructure were destroyed, its industrial and tax base arbitrarily amputated and assigned to Wiesbaden in the American sector on the other side of the Rhine.
The view from the Dom in 1945. HT swr.de
It didn’t help that the French occupation force wanted to rebuild Mainz from scratch as a Model City, consistent with the principles of the Athens Charter, a dogmatic separation of cultural, commercial and administrative and residential zones.
All that the folks in Mainz really wanted was a residential zone with a roof over their heads and it took until 1958 and the adoption of the May Plan for rebuilding efforts to make significant headway.
(Rumour has it that Mainz was rebuilt in 4 years. Sometimes, it still looks like it…)
But 1962 marked the 2000 year anniversary of the founding of the city by Agrippa in 38 BC (it was actually a military camp and it wasn’t 38 BC, but what a are few years among friends…) and it was decided to build a new Gutenberg Museum.
Monies were collected.
Tender documents issued, concepts evaluated, a winner determined.
Rainer Schell, a student of Egon Eiermann, the architect of the Gedächtniskirche (Church of Remembrance) in Berlin
Tomorrow: The Commission