1927 – 1928
Architect: German Bestelmeyer
Goethestraße 3, Leipzig, Germany
The Kroch High Rise was erected in the years 1927 to 1928 according to plans by architect German Bestelmeyer.
At 43 meters high, the eleven-story, limestone-clad reinforced concrete building was the first high-rise to be erected in Leipzig, Germany.
It is located on the west side of Augustusplatz.
The Kroch High Rise, which opened on August 1, 1928, was built for the Kroch banking house in place of the head building of the Leipzig Theaterpassage from 1872.
In the 1926 competition for a high-rise office building held by the Kroch banking house together with the Leipzig City Council, the architect German Bestelmeyer won one of the two second places.
Bestelmeyer’s design, called „Orion“, was based on the clock tower (Torre dell’Orologio) in Venice, which towers one story above its outbuildings and is dominated by a figurative clockwork.
The height of the new tower building, whose ridge height was based on the gable of Paulinerkirche, was very controversial among the population, since the building regulations at this location only allowed a ridge height of 22 meters.
The dispute over the height of the office building, in which the Saxon state government stood behind the developer Hans Kroch and his architect German Bestelmeyer, was finally resolved in a pragmatic manner.
When the building was seven stories high, the missing four floors were added as a model so that the urban planning effect could be checked before final completion.
The decision was finally made in favor of Bestelmeyer’s solution, and the Leipzig Council granted final approval in December 1927.
Kroch High Rise
The high-rise building was erected as a reinforced concrete skeleton structure, with the cladding and structural parts made of shell limestone.
The 3.30 meter tall bell-ringing sculptures on the roof as well as the decorative elements on and in the house were designed by the sculptor Josef Wackerle.
The pediment of the house bears the inscription: Omnia vincit labor (Work overcomes everything).
Bells and Clock
The bells come from the bell foundry Schilling & Söhne in Apolda, the astronomical art clock was made by the workshop of the tower clock maker Bernhard Zachariä in Leipzig.
Renovation and Current Use
By 2009, the building had undergone extensive renovation.
In September 2009, the Egyptological Institute, the Ancient Oriental Institute with its library, and the Language Institute of the University of Leipzig moved in.
Since June 2010, the building has also housed the Egyptian Museum of the University of Leipzig.