WT 2022/23 | The Architectural Work of Emilie WinkelmannCopyright: © Sophie Schleimer
The Architectural Work of Emilie Winkelmann
Master's Thesis by Sophie Schleimer
Emilie's work is significant because she was the first female architect in Germany to study and practice independently. But also because she found in her architecture a form that negated neither the achievements of architectural history nor the demands of her entirely new present.
The vacuum of architectural history on Emilie Winkelmann's work leads to a search that focuses on her designs for the first German women's movement. In 1914, two extraordinary projects were realized in Berlin – the Victoria Studienhaus and the House of the German Lyceum Club. The buildings communicate in different ways the program of their users and thus tell of their empowerment in urban space.
The search is dedicated to the architectural history of a woman whose practice spans between the turn of the century and the Great War, between old and new understandings of the world and architecture. This precarious position can be read in her buildings. In her architecture, Emilie Winkelmann preserves the idea of inner function reflected in expression, but unites it with the demands of the new age and the ambitions of new building tasks. In this way, a new expression is created on the basis of an architectural awareness of history.
The master's thesis juxtaposes past and present. The text develops in parallel, feeding not only on the findings of the search, but also on its process. The Berlin buildings of Emilie Winkelmann dating from 1914 become a reference for the present city. In the process, much more fundamental things open up in concrete terms: architectural intentions and effects are contrasted, dominant values are recognized and questioned, and ultimately an architecture following Winkelmann's example is called for.
The German language version of the online publication of the master's thesis is now available on RWTH Publications.