Haniel Garage.  Built 1951, by Paul Schneider-Esleben. He is credited as an influential figure in the post-World War II modernist architectural movement in Germany. He was the father of Florian Schneider, one of the founding members of electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. The building was listed in 1985 and restored in 1992/1993. The garage no longer is a public multi-storey car park but now used by a car dealership and a fast food diner, so try to ignore their ads and focus on the lightness and transparency of the building.
Haniel Garage Built 1951, by Paul Schneider-Esleben. He is credited as an influential figure in the post-World War II modernist architectural movement in Germany. He was the father of Florian Schneider, one of the founding members of electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. The building was listed in 1985 and restored in 1992/1993. The garage no longer is a public multi-storey car park but now used by a car dealership and a fast food diner, so try to ignore their ads and focus on the lightness and transparency of the building. © Jan Dimog

The German version: here.

Once I imagine away the whole hoopla of flapping banners and the orgy of neon signs, I get an idea of the unbelievable lightness and transparency of the first large-scale car park in Germany. The car park, which was open to the public at the time, was constructed with 500 parking spaces. What a sensation, at the beginning of the 1950s! The economy was humming, and cars along with it. The urban planners and architects of post-war modernism banked on the car-friendly city. In Düsseldorf, P.S.E. soon also constructed a small motel next to his filigreed glass box, very much according to the U.S. example. In this elevated building, there were twelve guest rooms and a restaurant. Underneath, there was room for more cars.
Today, there is only sweet-and-sour duck in the Chinese restaurant, close to a fast food diner in the main building. The entire ensemble has been protected as a historical monument since 1985, thanks to its significance to architectural history. The four-level car park is delicately framed and fully glassed-in. Both of its outer entrance ramps casually, easily hang down from the protruding concrete roof supports. The Haniel Garage is not just to be seen as a contemporary functional building, but as the then-young regional capital’s clear statement as to an internationally connected future.

Von Hendrik Bohle Architekt, Autor und Stadtforscher, veröffentlicht am .