1862 Marburg/Lahn – 1938 Berlin
Eduard Fürstenau was born in Marburg/Lahn in 1862. He studied architecture at the University of Technology in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Excellent examination results and awards opened the doors to state service in Prussia. From 1901 onwards, he was responsible building inspector of the ministerial building commission in Berlin, concerned with the realisation of prominent municipal buildings. He was promoted to senior official and building supervisor in 1905, becoming head of the department of structural engineering at the Ministry of Public Works. Parallel to this, he also participated in competitions. The design and construction of synagogues represented an important aspect of his work – the first design was built in Dortmund. This was followed by synagogues in Bielefeld and Siegen. Buildings for which he was responsible as a Prussian civil servant included the state railway administration building in Halle, the main police headquarters in Magdeburg and the administration building of the Prussian Confidential State Archives in Dahlem from 1915-1920, as well as the Imperial Academy in Poznan, the former Federal Administrative Court in Berlin and the conversion of the State Opera House Unter den Linden, which retained the original forms conceived by Knobelsdorff and Langhans. All his life, Fürstenau remained true to the conviction that a building should express a tradition over and above its mere function. He had no time for the Modernism of the 1920s. Fürstenau died in the year 1938.
The estate of Eduard Fürstenau was acquired by the architecture collection in 1987. On the one hand, its value lies in the individual drawings and water colour works, some of which date from Fürstenau’s travels in Italy and Spain. On the other hand, important written documents convey a comprehensive picture of Fürstenau’s life.
Material: Plans, drawings, water colours, photographs, records (c. 800 items)