Erich Mendelsohn was in Munich when the war began and moved to Berlin some months later, where he reluctantly volunteered for the paramedic corps. Although he despised the war and found it profoundly depressing and foolhardy, he nevertheless used the war years productively, to mature his original design voice. He was thus able to emerge from the war with a stronger sense of artistic identity, ready to assume a leading role in German architectural circles. 1917 brought major changes, however, when he was sent to Ilipan on the Eastern Front. Mendelsohn's prodigious oeuvre from this period, particularly the sketches he managed to execute at the front, is especially astonishing in comparison to other architects in active service. The industrial building sketches from 1917 exemplify Mendelsohn's approach: each is an assemblage of repetitive curved volumes arranged along one plane, with glass towers perpendicular to the viewer, in front of which stand parallel low-lying volumes.