Eiermann Building Apolda

Eiermann building, Apolda: roof deck
IBA Thüringen, Fotograf: Thomas Müller;
Eiermann building, Apolda: roof deck

  • year of construction / construction time 1906 — 1907
  • architect Hermann Schneider

  • year of construction / construction time 1919
  • architect Hermann Schneider

  • year of construction / construction time 1936
  • architect Adolf Bauer

  • year of construction / construction time 1938 — 1939
  • architect Egon Eiermann

  • year of construction / construction time 2010 — 2011
  • architect Delta-Plan GmbH

building typology

Also known as: Firma Borgmann & Co., Total Kommanditgesellschaft Foerstner & Co., VEB Feuerlöschgerätewerk Apolda

The Eiermann Building in Apolda is an icon of industrial architecture. The 1930s changes to this factory building, made in the style of the New Architecture established Egon Eiermann’s reputation. The architect, little known at the time, had been commissioned to expand a former weaving mill. The building, with its multi-storey reinforced-concrete frame, its light-flooded halls and its roof terrace modelled on a ship’s deck, is still regarded as an outstanding example of sustainable building conversion. Eiermann later became one of the most prominent German architects of the post-war period.

The original building was erected in 1906/07 as a weaving mill by the Apolda-based architect Hermann Schneider. However, TOTAL KG Foerstner & Co later purchased the building with the intention of using it to manufacture fire extinguishers, thus necessitating expansion of the production facility. Egon Eiermann succeeded in elegantly extending the existing building’s structure. He remodelled the factory in 1938/39, employing a modern design vocabulary based on the aesthetics of the Bauhaus. It was the friendship between the manufacturer Waldemar Foerstner and the young architect that made this advance possible in the heart of rural Thuringia. The alteration is still viewed today as a milestone in the history of modern industrial architecture. Like Egon Eiermann’s later works, the project is characterised by simplicity, strict geometry and the immediate recognisability of its functions. This 1930s building in Apolda thus prefigures typical elements of 1950s architecture.

The Eiermann Building survived World War II and East Germany’s planned economy, but not privatisation after the fall of the Berlin Wall: fire extinguisher production permanently ceased in 1994. The building then stood empty for years. Since 2016, the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Thuringia has championed its revitalisation. In 2018 they moved their headquarters into the building. Their “Open Factory” project is creating co-working spaces, workshop areas and event rooms here, making the Eiermann Building a place where skilled crafts and production gather alongside educational and networking opportunities, art and culture. [DB/DK]


Contact and opening hours


Auenstraße 11
99510 Apolda

Opening hours

Please inform yourself about the current opening times and applicable access and hygiene regulations on site.

conveying formula

Directions by local public transport:

Der Bahnhof Apolda liegt in unmittelbarer Nähe des Eiermannbaus und ist fußläufig innerhalb von 10 Minuten erreichbar.
Nächstgelegene Haltestelle ÖPNV (Bus, Straßenbahn o.ä.): Busbahnhof Apolda, Am Busbahnhof, 500m fußläufig erreichbar.

Directions by car:

Parkplätze stehen zur Verfügung.

Book: Bauhaus 100 Sites of Modernism

Extraordinary sites associated with the Bauhaus and modernism can be found throughout Germany—pioneering architecture that has enduringly shaped our understanding of life and work, learning and living. This travel guide brings the historical and architectural traces of over 100 examples of Neues Bauen building to life, making tangible the impact of the historical Bauhaus beyond the school, its sites and its time.

conveying formula

The property is funded by the state of Thuringia.

Eiermann building, Apolda
IBA Thüringen, Fotograf: Thomas Müller
Eiermann building, Apolda
IBA Thüringen, Fotograf: Thomas Müller