Mellinger and his work

With deliberate reference to the neighbouring royal seat (Residenz), Mellinger decided that his new building, erected in the period of late historicism, would embody the features of Italian High Renaissance, albeit with modern adaptations. His journey to the centres of the Renaissance are reflected in his building. Various details indicate that the Roman Pantheon served as his model, ensuring a place for this Hall of Fame alongside other great historical memorials in the Pantheon style.
Mellinger could have received his Byzantine inspiration, as for instance reflected in the motifs on the arcades set into the cross arms, in Ravenna or from St. Mark's in Venice. But basic classical features are also evident, particularly the geometric and stereometric forms (e.g. hemispheres, circles, cubes etc) which Mellinger - presumably in deference to Bavaria's King, Ludwig I, who had been an eminent patron of Classicism - has managed to integrate.
Such features ensured that his building fitted well into the overall urban development. Even early Christian number symbolism was generally understood right up to the Historicism period.
Ludwig von Mellinger  - Please click to enlarge (17 KB)
(38) Ludwig von Mellinger.
Born 11 December 1849 in Rheinzabern/Germersheim, Speyer Grammar School, studies at the Polytechnic University of Munich, employment with the Departments of Agriculture in Memmingen, Weilheim and Speyer.
From 1886 with the Commissariat for Army Buildings Construction and Management, Würzburg. From 1895 Privy Surveyor of Works at the War Ministry, 1898 Head Surveyor of Works, 1905 Knight of the Royal Bavarian Order of Merit. Died 20 July 1929 in Passau. *
 Extract from the planning stage  - Please click to enlarge (18 KB) (39) Extract from the planning stage of the new museum building with signatures of Ludwig v. Mellinger and August Winter, Privy Surveyor of Works in Section V - Building Construction - of the War Ministry, Captain (Retd) Territorial Army. *

Royal Bavarian Army Museum (photo circa 1905) - Please click to enlarge (60 KB) The sense of space created by Mellinger by the ascending flight of steps and the massive portico is momentous. The rusticwork portico faced with rough and smooth Franconian sandstone from Eltman/Bamberg lends an exclusivity to this building of grave and massive substance (associated with bolster ashars) and also serves to underpin its military character as initially conceived.
(40) Royal Bavarian Army Museum (photo circa 1905) *

Mellinger's idea led to the domed building becoming an early example in many respects of how modern building materials and construction methods could be applied. The method of construction using reinforced concrete with a new kind of wire lattice interface (Rabitz technique), facilitated a statically balanced as well as cost effective construction of every kind of wide vaulted structures. This Rabitz technique which can also be seen in the vestibule and the domed hall was often applied to vaulting in historicized buildings.
This reinforced concrete domed structure was an architectural sensation. The concrete was predominantly reinforced with round steel bars which ensured enormous solidity and strength.

The dome consists of an inner and outer shell with diameters of 16 and 16.6 metres respectively. Like the 9 metre high octagonal lantern above it, they are made throughout of reinforced concrete. The weight of the dome structure had to be placed on a rectangular base via the circular dome tambour. The domed building is supported by four parabola-shaped reinforced concrete arches and the reinforced concrete pillars. Each of these four pillars conduct the calculated weight of 571 tons on to the foundations.

The total cost for the whole building project amounted at that time to approximately two million Marks. Through his domed building not only has Mellinger achieved an outstanding representation of Bavaria's army, the Bavarian Royal House and Bavarian history but he has also been able to demonstrate the technical advances which had taken place, especially in the use of modern building material and building methods.
Interior and exterior dome  - Please click to enlarge (40 KB)
(41) Section - interior and exterior dome. *
An arcade passage  - Please click to enlarge (35 KB)
(42) An arcade passage (ceiling Rabitz casting technique). *
Hall of Fame, north vaulting (1982)  - Please click to enlarge (44 KB) Royal Garden and Army Museum (1946)  - Please click to enlarge (47 KB) Scaffolding in the domed hall (1981) - Please click to enlarge (46 KB)
(44) Hall of Fame, north vaulting (1982) * (43) Royal Garden and Army Museum (1946)
Bomb damage: 2/3 Oct.1943 and 17 Dec.1944
Machine gun bombardment: from 30 April 1945
(Damage to portico still visible today) *
(45) Scaffolding in the domed hall (1981) *

(*: Please click on the picture to enlarge! )

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domed building today
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