When I have read today that the spiral tower, called the “Ribbon Chapel,” a wedding chapel designed by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP in the grounds of a resort in japan (above), won the 2015 LEAF Awards, I was immediately thinking of another tower, and its not the Tower of Babel, which some scholar beleive that ti was built as a spiral structure. It is the Einstein Tower, designed by Erich Mendelsohn nearly a hundred years earlier (below), but possesses similar qualities. One of the most talented architects of the 20th century, Mendelsohn created this emblem of German Expressionism for astrophysicist Erin Finlay Freundlich who commissioned him, along with a young Richard Neutra on his team, to design the a research facility for the theory of relativity in Potsdam. Between 1917-1920 Mendelsohn first made the sketches of the facility, attempting to create a dynamic structure which would give an expression and identity to Einstein’s groundbreaking theories. Still influenced by the work of such expressionist artists of the time as Wassily Kandinsky and Hermann Obrist, Mendelsohn began searching for new methods of construction that would allow expressional freedom, when settling upon sculpted reinforced concrete as his material. Here are some wonderful vintage images of the famed tower which was completed in 1920.