The Reconstruction

Original photographs taken in 1932/33

The reconstruction of the MERZ Building was based on the stereometric analysis of three wide-angle photographs taken in 1932, a photo by Hans Arp in  "Abstraction-Création" and, less importantly, reproductions of some long-lost snapshots by Ernst Schwitters and Käthe Steinitz (see Werner Schmalenbach's biography, Kurt Schwitters).

The axes of the three photographs are positioned at an angle of between 80 and 100 degrees; certain elements of the pictures are found in two out of three shots, and one (single) corner appears in all three. This was enough to provide the basis for a three-dimensional reconstruction.

To give an idea of the time invested:
from 1981 we had one year for reflection, research and drawing, and half a year to translate this into three dimensions.

The reconstruction was achieved in close cooperation with Ernst Schwitters, the son of Kurt Schwitters, who had witnessed the growth of the MERZ Building as a child.

With total proportions of 460 x 580 x 393 cm, each point within the MERZ Building is bound into of a system of coordinates based on the lower corner of the room diagonally opposite the door, thus giving an exact measurement.

The precision of the reconstruction of the MERZ Building is proven by photographs taken today from the same perspective points and under the same optical conditions.