Monday, 15 July 2013

Cologne Airport, 1937, Part 1

Selected images of the newly rebuilt Cologne-Butzweilerhof airport in 1937. The complete transformation of the old, obsolete airport was the first construction project of the new National Socialist government in Cologne upon attaining power in 1933. The project was realized in close cooperation between the city of Cologne and Deutsche Lufthansa. The requirements of the Luftwaffe (then still in its clandestine formation stage) were taken into consideration as well.

After two years of research and planning, Professor H. Merten's design for the airport was ready for construction in early summer of 1935. The new airport was opened for operations on August 1, 1936, just before the commencement of the Games of the XI Olympad in Berlin.

These photos were originally part of an 8-page feature titled Der neue Kölner Verkehrsflughafen [Cologne's New Civil Aviation Airport], published in the architectural trade journal Moderne Bauformen - Monatshefte für Architektur und Raumkunst [Modern Construction Design - Monthly Magazine For Architecture And Interior Art], volume XXXVI, issue no. 6, June 1937, Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Top photo shows the magazine's cover, featuring the main portal of the new airport. The massive eagle sculpture was designed by local Cologne artist Willi Meller and made from basaltic lava.

Centre photo shows the airport's main building as seen from the direction of the city. The building contained all passenger facilities as well as the airport's administration.

Lower photo shows the observation area and the patio of the airport restaurant on the south-western airside of the main building. This area was designed specifically to host a large amount of spectators during aviation events.

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