'God's power station': an Expressionist masterpiece

Entrance portal to the Church at Hohenzollerndammplatz, Berlin - an extraordinary example of Expressionist architecture designed by Ossip Klarwein and Fritz Höger

Berliners know it as 'God's power station' (Kraftwerk Gottes), and it's easy to see why.

From a distance, in particular, the dark-brick bulk of the Church at Hohenzollerndammplatz clearly resembles a brooding industrial monolith.

The Brick Expressionist Church at Hohenzollerndammplatz - the bell tower
Church at Hohenzollerndamm, Berlin - the western entrance

Get closer, however, and this masterpiece of Expressionist architecture - completed in 1933 to designs by Ossip Klarwein and Fritz Höger - starts to reveal unexpected subtleties.

Turret-like towers flank a dramatically arched entranceway, the symmetries starkly perfect yet relieved by rhythmic patterning. And by the time you reach the main portal, you're likely to be entirely seduced.

Detail of mosaics and gold tiling, Church at Hohenzollerndammplatz

Rich mosaic surrounds the entrance doors, and threads of gold tiling course through the seams of the brickwork itself.

It's an extraordinarily delicate and inspired touch, transforming the humblest, most utilitarian building material into a glittering network of light (a theme that's continued on the main facade, where barely discernible gold-leaf is interspersed over the brick walls).

Brickwork defined by lines of gold tiling, Church at Hohenzollerndammplatz, Berlin
Golden brickwork on the facade of the Church at Hohenzollerndammplatz, Berlin

Inside, too, the carefully calibrated spectacle continues, with a series of steeply pointed arches illuminated by the rainbow hues of simple stained glass windows.

Interior, Berlin's Expressionist Church at Hohenzollerndammplatz

We're convinced: this isn't just one of Berlin's most spectacular buildings, it's one of the world's great architectural classics.

See also:
An extraordinary Berlin church
From Brutalism to the Baroque: a trio of churches

Further facts

Although the interior of the church is rarely accessible except for services, it also provides a venue for a wide variety of concerts, including the acclaimed Saturday lunchtime 'Noonsong' choral renditions.

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Church at Hohenzollerndammplatz: Hohenzollerndamm 202, Berlin 10717
Noonsong Saturday lunchtime concerts

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