A panoramic streetview of the Konsumzentrale (Konsum Headquarter) along Industriestraße in Leipzig’s Plagwitz borough. This important listed building has a 180 metre long facade and was built after plans of Hamburg based architect Fritz Höger 1929-1932 – however, the left part of the building is the older former headquarter which only received a new facade to match the new buildings’ design.
Fritz Höger is known for the famous Chilehaus in Hamburg’s Kontorhaus quarter (UNESCO world heritage site) and hence the Konsumzentrale is also considered an expressionism building (though it is also sometimes mentioned as an example of Neue Sachlichkeit/Bauhaus) and its shape is also inspired by maritime images. The long stretching, strictly structured front with its convex window glasses, its towering stairway and its flat roof is resembling an anchoring ocean liner with its command bridge. This theme continues inside with greenblue tiles and a stair railing resembling a guardrail. Opposite the building there is also the Karl-Heine-Channel which was once planned to connect the waterways of Leipzig with the oceans via the nearby river Saale (still incomplete).
The building belongs to the cooperative Konsumgenossenschaft Leipzig eG,which was originally founded as the Consum-Verein für Plagwitz und Umgebung in the still sovereign city of Plagwitz. It grew to become one of the economically most successfull cooperatives of the german empire which led to building this new Headquarter. The complex survived WWII and would remain being owned by the Konsum cooperative. Around the year 2000 the complex is being restorated as part of the EXPO project „Plagwitz auf dem Weg ins 21. Jahrhundert“. Since then it is administrated by Konsum and rented to others as offices and for events. The Konsum cooperative itself inhabits a side wing of the complex. The Konsumzentrale project is regarded an example for a successfull conversion of an industrial monument.