Germany has produced some of the best architects in the world, who have shaped the modern landscape with innovative and expressive designs. Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus School, a revolutionary movement that combined art, architecture, and design. He designed many buildings that reflected the principles of functionality, simplicity, and harmony, such as the Fagus Factory, the Bauhaus Building in Dessau, and the Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was one of the pioneers of modern architecture and the International Style. He used industrial materials such as steel and glass to create elegant, minimalist structures emphasizing open space and transparency. Some of his iconic works include the Barcelona Pavilion, the Seagram Building in New York, and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Frei Otto was a German architect and engineer specializing in lightweight tensile and membrane structures. He experimented with organic forms and innovative materials to create structures that adapted to their environment and used minimal resources. His most famous work is the roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich, which consists of a network of steel cables and acrylic panels that span over the arena. Gottfried Böhm (1920-2021) was a German architect and sculptor who won the Pritzker Prize in 1986. He designed many churches and civic buildings that combined traditional architectural styles with modern materials and techniques. He often used concrete as a sculptural element, creating expressive and complex forms. His most renowned work is the Maria, Königin des Friedens pilgrimage church in Neviges, which resembles a folded tent. They have left an irreplaceable mark on the field of architecture through their groundbreaking designs, with their works continuing to inspire and influence architects worldwide, reflecting their commitment to functionalism, minimalism, innovation, expressionism, and the integration of old and new.
1. Walter Gropius
Walter Gropius was a German-American architect and educator who founded the Bauhaus, a school of art and design that influenced modern architecture and design. He was also a pioneer of the International Style, a movement that emphasized functionality, simplicity, and rationality in architecture. Walter Gropius was born in Berlin, Germany, on May 18, 1883. He came from a family of architects and studied architecture in Munich and Berlin. He worked with Peter Behrens, a leading industrial designer, and collaborated with Adolf Meyer, his partner and assistant. He served in the German army during World War I and was awarded the Iron Cross twice.
Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, in 1919. The Bauhaus was a school that combined art, craft, and technology and aimed to create a new aesthetic for the modern era. The Bauhaus attracted famous artists and teachers, such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Bauhaus also produced innovative designs for furniture, textiles, ceramics, and other products. The school moved to Dessau in 1925 and to Berlin in 1932 but was closed by the Nazis in 1933. Walter Gropius left Germany in 1934 and moved to England, where he worked with Maxwell Fry and Erich Mendelsohn. He then moved to the United States in 1937 and became a professor at Harvard University. He also founded The Architects’ Collaborative, a group of young architects who worked on various projects, such as the Harvard Graduate Center, the Pan Am Building, and the John F. Kennedy Federal Building. He also designed his own house in Lincoln, Massachusetts, now a museum.
Walter Gropius died in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 5, 1969. He was widely regarded as one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. He received many awards and honors, such as the AIA Gold Medal, the Goethe Prize, and the Albert Medal. He also wrote several books and essays, such as The New Architecture and the Bauhaus, Scope of Total Architecture, and The Theory and Organization of the Bauhaus. He was a visionary who shaped the modern world with his ideas and works.
2. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect, academic, and interior designer. He was one of the pioneers of modern architecture and the International Style, a movement that emphasized simplicity, functionality, and rationality in design. He was also the last director of the Bauhaus, a famous school of art, design, and architecture in Germany. Mies was born in Aachen, Germany, in 1886. He started his career as a stone carver in his father’s shop and then worked as an apprentice for several architects, most notably Peter Behrens. He did not receive any formal education in architecture but learned by practice and self-study. He moved to Berlin in 1905, establishing his office and becoming involved in the avant-garde cultural scene. He changed his name from Maria Ludwig Michael Mies to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, adding his mother’s maiden name and the Dutch prefix “van der” to create a more distinguished and international identity.
Mies designed many innovative and influential buildings in Europe and America. Some of his most famous works include the Barcelona Pavilion (1929), a minimalist and elegant structure that was built for the International Exposition in Spain; the Tugendhat House (1930), a modernist villa in Brno, Czech Republic, that featured a large glass wall and an open floor plan; the Farnsworth House (1951), a steel and glass house in Illinois, USA, that was raised above the ground and surrounded by nature; the Seagram Building (1958), a skyscraper in New York, USA, that was one of the first examples of the curtain wall and the use of bronze as a material; and the New National Gallery (1968), a museum in Berlin, Germany, that consisted of a transparent glass box supported by a steel frame. He died in Chicago in 1969 at the age of 83.
3. Frei Otto
Frei Otto was a German architect and structural engineer who designed lightweight tensile and membrane structures, such as the roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich and the Japanese Pavilion at Expo 2000. He won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2015, shortly before his death. Frei Otto was born in Siegmar, Germany, on May 31, 1925, and grew up in Berlin. His father and grandfather were both sculptors, and he learned stonemasonry as a young student. He studied architecture in Berlin before being drafted into the Luftwaffe as a fighter pilot in the last years of World War II. He was interned in a prisoner of war camp near Chartres, France, where he began experimenting with tents for shelter. After the war, he briefly studied in the US and visited famous architects such as Erich Mendelsohn, Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, and Frank Lloyd Wright. He earned a doctorate in tensioned constructions in 1954 and founded a private practice in Germany in 1952. He taught at Washington University in St. Louis, where he met Buckminster Fuller, who influenced his interest in geodesic domes.
Otto specialized in lightweight tensile and membrane structures and pioneered structural mathematics and civil engineering advances. He founded the Institute for Lightweight Structures at the University of Stuttgart in 1964 and headed the institute until his retirement as a university professor. He collaborated on various projects worldwide with many architects and engineers, such as Kenzo Tange, Ove Arup, and Shigeru Ban. Otto’s major works include the West German Pavilion at the Montreal Expo in 1967, the roof of the 1972 Munich Olympic Arena, the Multihalle in Mannheim in 1975, the Japanese Pavilion at Expo 2000, and the convertible roof for the Venezuelan Pavilion at Expo 2000. He also designed some of the research facilities buildings of the Architectural Association School of Architecture’s forest campus in Hooke Park. Otto received many awards and honors for his work, such as the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2006, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture in 2010, and the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2015, shortly before his death. He died on March 9, 2015, in Leonberg, Germany, at 89. He was praised as a visionary and an innovator who pushed the boundaries of architecture and engineering.
4. Hans Poelzig
Hans Poelzig was a German architect, painter, and set designer who was one of the leading figures of the expressionist architectural movement. He was also a member of the Deutscher Werkbund, an association of architects and designers that aimed to improve the quality of German products. Hans Poelzig was born in Berlin on April 30, 1869, to Countess Clara Henrietta Maria Poelzig and George Acland Ames, an Englishman who did not acknowledge him as his son. He was raised by a local choirmaster and his wife. He studied architecture at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts and the Technical University of Berlin. He married Maria Voss in 1899 and had four children with her. Hans Poelzig started his career as a teacher and director at the Breslau Academy of Art and Design (now in Wrocław, Poland) from 1903 to 1916. He then became the city architect of Dresden from 1916 to 1920. He moved back to Berlin in 1920 and taught at the Technical University of Berlin until 1935. He also ran the “Studio Poelzig” with his wife Marlene (nee Moeschke) from 1920 to 1935.
Hans Poelzig designed many industrial buildings, such as the Upper Silesia Tower in Poznań, Poland, for an industrial fair in 1911. He also worked on the interior redesign of the Berlin Grosses Schauspielhaus, a theatre that was one of the finest examples of German expressionism, for the impresario Max Reinhardt in 1919. He also created the set designs for the 1920 film The Golem: How He Came Into the World, a classic of German expressionist cinema. He later developed a more functional and economical style, influenced by the New Objectivity and the International Style. He was one of the exhibitors in the Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart, a showcase of modern architecture, in 1927. His most famous building is the I.G. Farben Building in Frankfurt am Main, a massive administration building for the chemical company I.G. Farben, completed in 1931. Hans Poelzig died in Berlin on June 14, 1936, at 67. He was buried in the Waldfriedhof Dahlem, a cemetery in Berlin. He was honored with several awards and recognitions, such as the Grand Prix at the Paris World’s Fair in 1937, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1952, and the Hans Poelzig Prize, an annual award for architecture students in Germany.
5. Gottfried Böhm
Gottfried Böhm was a German architect and sculptor who won the Pritzker Prize in 1986. He created highly sculptural concrete, steel, and glass buildings. He was also called the builder of churches, as he designed many innovative and expressive religious buildings. Gottfried Böhm was an Expressionist architect who combined traditional architectural styles with modern materials and forms. He was influenced by his father, Dominikus Böhm, who was also a renowned church architect. He also admired Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius, whom he met while traveling in the United States. Gottfried Böhm was born in Offenbach am Main, near Frankfurt, Germany, on January 23, 1920. He was the youngest of three children of Maria and Dominikus Böhm. He grew up in a family of architects, as his grandfather was also an architect. He lived and worked in Cologne, where he died on June 9, 2021, at 101.
Gottfried Böhm received his education at the Technische Hochschule, Munich, where he graduated in 1946. He also studied sculpture at a nearby fine arts academy, where he learned to make clay models. He later integrated his sculptural skills into his design process. He worked for his father until he died in 1955 and then took over his firm. He also worked with Rudolf Schwarz, a leader in the reconstruction of Cologne after World War II. Gottfried Böhm’s great accomplishment was winning the Pritzker Prize, the highest honor in architecture, in 1986. He was the first German architect to receive this award. He was praised for his original and visionary functional and artistic buildings. He was also recognized for his contribution to the development of contemporary church architecture. Gottfried Böhm’s key works include the Pilgrimage Church of Mary, Queen of Peace, in Neviges, Germany, which he designed in 1968. This church is considered one of the most important churches of the 20th century, as it has a striking tent-like shape and a dynamic interior space. Another key work is the Bensberg City Hall, which he designed in 1969. This building has a distinctive triangular form and a glass facade that reflects the surrounding landscape.
6. O. M. Ungers
O. M. Ungers was a German architect and architectural theorist known for his rationalist designs and the use of cubic forms. He designed many museums in Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Cologne, as well as other buildings in Germany and the United States. O. M. Ungers was a rationalist architect who followed the principles of geometry, proportion, and logic in his designs. He used elementary forms such as squares, circles, cubes, and spheres, which he varied and transformed in his projects. He also referred to the history of ideas, not the history of styles, in his architectural language. He was influenced by Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, a French architect who published pattern books with geometric prototypes for any building. O. M. Ungers was born in Kaisersesch, a town in the Eifel region of Germany, on 12 July 1926. He studied architecture at the University of Karlsruhe under Egon Eiermann from 1947 to 1950. He established his architectural practice in Cologne in 1950 and later opened offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Karlsruhe. He moved to the United States in 1968, where he became the chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell University from 1969 to 1975. He also taught at Harvard University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He returned to Germany in 1976 and died in Cologne on 30 September 2007 from pneumonia.
O. M. Ungers’s great accomplishment was his contribution to the theory and practice of architecture, especially in rationalism and postmodernism. He was one of the leading theoreticians of Second Modernism, a movement that sought to reinterpret the legacy of modern architecture critically and creatively. He also produced many innovative and influential designs, built and unbuilt, demonstrating his mastery of form, space, and structure. He was widely regarded as the most important postwar architect in Germany and one of the most original architects of the 20th century. O. M. Ungers received many honors and awards for his work, including Medals of Honor from the Republic of Germany in 1997 and the State of Nordrhen-Westfalen in 2006. He was also a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Academy of Arts, Berlin. Some of his key works are the Wallraf Richartz Museum in Cologne (1976-1986), the Kunsthalle in Hamburg (1986-1997), the German Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt (1979-1984), the Family Court in Berlin (1991-1995) and the Frankfurt Exposition buildings (1980-1984).
7. Egon Eiermann
Egon Eiermann was a German architect, furniture designer, and professor. He was one of the most prominent German architects in the second half of the 20th century. He was known for his elegant proportions, precise detail, and structural clarity in his buildings. Eiermann was a functionalist architect who designed buildings based on purpose and function rather than on historical or decorative styles. He was influenced by modernist architects such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, whom he met during his study trips to the United States. Eiermann was born in Neuendorf, near Berlin, Germany, on September 29, 1904. He was the son of a locomotive engineer and studied architecture at the Technical University of Berlin. He worked as an independent architect in Berlin before and during World War II, mainly creating industrial buildings. After the war, he moved to West Germany and established an office in Karlsruhe with Robert Hilgers. He also joined the faculty of the Technical University of Karlsruhe in 1947 and taught there until 1965. He died in Baden-Baden, West Germany, on July 20, 1970, at 65.
Eiermann’s great accomplishment was his contribution to the reconstruction of Germany after World War II. He designed many buildings that symbolized the new democratic and industrial society, such as the textile mill at Blumberg, the West German pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair, the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., the high-rise Langer Eugen for the German Parliament in Bonn, the IBM-Germany Headquarters in Stuttgart, and the Olivetti building in Frankfurt. His most famous work is the new church on the site of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, which consists of a hexagonal tower and an octagonal hall made of concrete and glass. Eiermann received many awards and honors for his work, such as the Grand Prize of the German Architecture Association in 1953, the Fritz Schumacher Prize in 1954, the Grand Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957, the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1963, and the Honorary Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects in 1965. He was also a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
8. Hans Scharoun
Hans Scharoun was a German architect best known for designing the Berliner Philharmonie and the Schminke House. He was an important exponent of organic and expressionist architecture. Hans Scharoun belonged to the modernist movement of architecture in the 1920s. He was influenced by Bruno Taut and Hugo Häring, who advocated for a new building style responsive to the environment and human needs. He developed his distinctive approach, combining functionalism, organic forms, and expressionist elements.
Hans Scharoun was born in Bremen, Germany, on September 20, 1893. He grew up in Bremerhaven, where he was interested in architecture from an early age. He moved to Berlin in 1912 to study architecture at the Technical University of Berlin, but he did not complete his studies due to the outbreak of World War I. He served in the war and then worked as a freelance architect in Breslau and Insterburg. He taught at the Breslau Academy for Arts and Crafts from 1925 to 1932. He stayed in Germany during the Nazi era, but he faced many restrictions and difficulties. He moved to Berlin in 1946 and became the Department of Building and Municipal Housing director. He died in Berlin on November 25, 1972. Hans Scharoun’s great accomplishment was the design of the Berliner Philharmonie, the home of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He won the competition for the project in 1956 and completed it in 1963. The building is considered a masterpiece of organic architecture, as it features a tent-like shape, a golden facade, and a concert hall that places the audience around the central stage. The building is widely praised for its acoustics, aesthetics, and social function.
Hans Scharoun received several awards and honors for his work. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1959, the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1962, and the Auguste Perret Prize of the International Union of Architects in 1965. He was also an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects and the Académie d’Architecture in Paris. His key works include the house in the Stuttgart Weissenhof Estate (1927), a modern housing prototype featuring a flat roof, a flexible floor plan, and a functional kitchen. The Großsiedlung Siemensstadt (1929-1931) is a large housing estate in Berlin that incorporated green spaces, communal facilities, and varied building types. The Schminke House (1933) is a private residence in Löbau that resembled a ship and had a curved floor plan, a sliding wall, and a spiral staircase. The Romeo and Juliet Houses (1954-1959), two apartment buildings in Stuttgart that were designed for single people and couples and had a playful and romantic appearance, and the German Maritime Museum (1969-1975), a museum in Bremerhaven that displayed the history of German seafaring and had a dynamic roof structure and a glass facade.
9. Gerd and Magdalena Hänska
Gerd and Magdalena Hänska were a German architect couple who designed several buildings in Berlin, mostly in the brutalism style. They significantly contributed to the city’s post-war architecture and are best known for their controversial Mouse Bunker project. Gerd Hänska was born in 1927 in Berlin and studied architecture at the Technical University of Berlin. He graduated in 1953 and worked as an assistant at the university until 1959. He then opened his office and collaborated with his wife, Magdalena, whom he married in 1954. Magdalena Hänska was born in 1929 in Berlin and studied architecture at the Technical University of Berlin. She graduated in 1955 and joined her husband’s office. Gerd and Magdalena Hänska were influenced by the modernist and functionalist movements of the 20th century but also developed their own expressive and sculptural approach to architecture. They experimented with different materials, forms, and structures, creating buildings often contrasting with their surroundings. They were especially interested in designing buildings for scientific and medical purposes, such as laboratories, clinics, and research institutes.
Gerd and Magdalena Hänska’s most famous and controversial work is the Mouse Bunker, officially named the Research Institutes for Experimental Medicine. It was built between 1971 and 1981 for the Free University of Berlin as an animal testing and breeding facility. The building has a distinctive appearance, resembling a battleship or a fortress, with diamond-shaped windows and ventilation tubes protruding from the facade. The Mouse Bunker was designed to provide optimal conditions for the animals and the researchers and reflect the ethical and social issues of animal experimentation. The building faced strong opposition from the public and animal rights activists and was eventually closed in 2010 due to asbestos contamination. Gerd and Magdalena Hänska received several awards and recognitions for their work, such as the Berlin Architecture Prize in 1969 and the Fritz Schumacher Prize in 1978. They also participated in international exhibitions and competitions, such as the Venice Biennale in 1976 and the International Architecture Exhibition in Paris in 1985. Gerd Hänska died in 1996 and Magdalena Hänska died in 2012. Their legacy is still visible and debated in Berlin, where some of their buildings are considered landmarks of brutalist architecture while others are threatened by demolition or neglect.
10. Gottfried Semper
Gottfried Semper was a German architect, art critic, and professor of architecture who was a leading figure of the Neoclassical and Neo-Renaissance styles in Germany and Austria. He designed and built the Semper Opera House in Dresden and contributed to Vienna’s urban planning. He also wrote influential books on the theory and history of architecture, such as The Four Elements of Architecture and Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts. Gottfried Semper was born on November 29, 1803, in Altona, then part of the Duchy of Holstein. He studied historiography and mathematics at the University of Göttingen and architecture at the University of Munich. He traveled extensively in Italy and Greece, where he studied classical architecture and became interested in the polychromy debate. He also visited Paris and witnessed the July Revolution of 1830.
Gottfried Semper settled in Dresden in 1834, where he became a professor of architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He designed several public buildings in the city, such as the Hoftheater (later renamed the Semper Opera House), the Zwinger Gallery, and the Synagogue. He also participated in the May Uprising of 1849, a democratic revolt against the monarchy, and was forced to flee the country after suppressing the rebellion. Gottfried Semper lived in exile in Zurich, London, and Paris, where he continued to work as an architect and writer. He designed the Zürich Polytechnikum (now ETH Zurich), the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Albert Hall in London. He also published his main theoretical works, such as The Four Elements of Architecture (1851), Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts (1860-1863), and The Practical Encyclopedia of Architecture (1874).
Gottfried Semper returned to Germany in 1864 after the king of Saxony granted him amnesty. He resumed his teaching position in Dresden and became an architecture professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He was involved in planning the Ringstraße, a grand boulevard that encircled the old city of Vienna. He also designed the Burgtheater, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna. He died on May 15, 1879, in Rome, where he was working on a project for the German Archaeological Institute. Gottfried Semper is widely regarded as one of the most important architects of the 19th century. He was a pioneer of historicism, a movement that sought to revive the styles and principles of past cultures in architecture. He was also a visionary of modernism, a movement that aimed to create functional and innovative buildings that expressed the spirit of the age. He received many honors and awards for his work, such as the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1878 and the honorary citizenship of Vienna in 1879. He influenced architects and artists like Richard Wagner, Otto Wagner, and Adolf Loos.
11. Hermann Muthesius
Hermann Muthesius was a German architect, author, and diplomat who promoted the ideas of the English Arts and Crafts movement in Germany. He also influenced the early pioneers of German modernism, such as the Bauhaus. He was a rationalist architect who rejected the ornamental excesses of Art Nouveau. He designed houses, public buildings, and functional, modest, elegant furniture. He also wrote books and articles on architecture, design, and urban planning. He was born in Großneuhausen, a village near Erfurt, in 1861. He studied philosophy and art history at Frederick William University in Berlin and architecture at Charlottenburg Technical College. He worked for a German construction firm in Tokyo, Japan, from 1887 to 1891, where he built his first building, a Gothic Revival church. He returned to Germany and worked for the Prussian Ministry of Public Works, editing two official construction journals.
He moved to London in 1896, where he served as a cultural attaché at the German Embassy. He studied British residential architecture and lifestyle and became interested in the Arts and Crafts movement. He visited Glasgow and Birmingham to see Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s and William Bidlake’s works. He published his findings in a three-volume report called Das Englische Haus (The English House) in 1904 and 1905, which became his most famous work. He returned to Berlin in 1904, where he founded the Deutscher Werkbund (German Association of Craftsmen) in 1907, along with other architects, designers, and industrialists. The Werkbund aimed to improve the quality and competitiveness of German products by combining traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. He also designed several houses and public buildings in Berlin and other German cities, such as the Elena-Klinik in Kassel, the Wertheim department store, and the German Embassy in Moscow. He died in Berlin in 1927.
12. Ernst May
Ernst May was a German architect and city planner famous for designing and implementing the project New Frankfurt in the 1920s and 1930s. He also planned Soviet cities such as Magnitogorsk and the German Werkbund. Ernst May was a modernist architect who applied urban design techniques to create functional and affordable housing for the masses. He used simplified and prefabricated forms and incorporated community elements such as playgrounds, schools, theatres, and common washing areas. He also developed the prototype of the modern installed kitchen with the help of Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. Ernst May was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on July 27, 1886. He was the son of a leather goods manufacturer. He lived and worked in Germany until 1930 when he moved to the Soviet Union to work on the planning of new industrial cities. He had to leave the Soviet Union in 1933 when Stalin’s regime became hostile to foreign workers. He then spent many years in African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, where he continued his architectural and planning activities. He returned to Germany in 1953 and died in Hamburg on September 11, 1970.
Ernst May received his education from 1908 to 1912, studying in the United Kingdom and Germany. He learned from Raymond Unwin, a garden city movement pioneer, and Friedrich von Thiersch and Theodor Fischer, co-founders of the Deutscher Werkbund. He also worked for himself and others in the 1910s and won a competition for rural housing estate developments in Breslau in 1921. Ernst May’s great accomplishment was the New Frankfurt project, which he initiated and directed from 1925 to 1930. He was hired by Ludwig Landmann, the mayor of Frankfurt, to solve the housing shortage and improve the living conditions of the city’s population. He assembled a progressive architect team and built over 15,000 housing units in five years. He also published his magazine, Das Neue Frankfurt, and won international attention at the Congres International d’Architecture Moderne in 1929. His settlements are still considered examples of modern urban design and social housing.
13. Werner March
Werner March was a German architect who designed Germany’s 1936 Olympic stadium and other buildings for the Nazi regime. He was born in Charlottenburg, a district of Berlin, on 17 January 1894. He was the son of Otto March, a famous architect, and the brother of Walter March, who collaborated with him on some projects. Werner March studied architecture at the Technical University of Dresden and the Technical University of Berlin. He served as a volunteer soldier in World War I and resumed his studies after the war. He graduated in 1919 with distinction and became a master’s student of German Bestelmeyer, a prominent architect and professor. He worked on several buildings designed by Bestelmeyer before setting up his practice in 1925. Werner March’s great accomplishment was the Berlin Olympic Stadium, which he built on the site of the German Stadium, a stadium designed by his father for the canceled 1916 Summer Olympics. March won a competition for the design of the German Sports Forum in 1926, which later became part of the Reich Sports Field, a complex of sports facilities for the 1936 Summer Olympics. March worked with Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect, to create a monumental and impressive architecture that suited the Nazi ideology.
Werner March also designed the Olympic Village, where the athletes stayed during the games, and Carinhall, a hunting lodge and country residence for Hermann Göring, one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi regime. He also designed several churches, residential buildings, and stadiums in Germany and abroad. He created the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt, completed in 1960. Werner March received a gold medal in the art competitions at the 1936 Summer Olympics for his work on the German Sports Forum. He was also a Prussian Academy of Construction member and the Association of German Architects Brandenburg branch chairman. He joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and was a member of the Organizing Committee for the 1936 Summer Olympics. He died in Berlin on 11 January 1976.
14. Fritz Höger
Fritz Höger was a German architect known for his brick expressionist style of architecture. He was born on June 12, 1877, in Bekenreihe, a village near Elmshorn in Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany. He died on June 21, 1949, in Bad Segeberg, a town in the same region. Höger did not have a formal education as an architect, but he trained as a carpenter and worked as a technical draftsman for an architectural firm in Hamburg. He also attended a building trade school in Hamburg during the winter months. He opened his own architectural office in 1907 but was not admitted to the Association of German Architects because he lacked a university degree. He called himself a master builder instead.
Höger’s great accomplishment was the Chilehaus, an office building in Hamburg designed for Henry B. Sloman, a saltpeter importer from Chile. The building was constructed between 1922 and 1924 and is considered a masterpiece of brick expressionism. The building has a distinctive shape that resembles a ship’s hull, with a sharp angle at the corner of Pumpen and Niedernstrasse. The building is also famous for using clinker bricks, which are more durable and frost-resistant than ordinary bricks. The Chilehaus was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. Höger did not receive any awards for his architecture, but he was recognized as one of the leading figures of the northern German brick expressionism movement. He influenced many other architects who used brick as a main material for their buildings, such as Fritz Schumacher, the chief architect of Hamburg. Höger also wrote several books and articles about his architectural philosophy and style.
Höger’s key works include the Chilehaus, the Anzeiger-Hochhaus in Hannover, the Kirche am Hohenzollernplatz in Berlin, the Wilhelmshaven town hall, and the Garbáty cigarette factory in Berlin-Pankow. He designed these buildings between 1922 and 1936, during the peak of his career. He also designed many private houses, mostly in Hamburg and its surroundings. His buildings are characterized by their expressive use of brick, vertical and horizontal emphasis, decorative elements, and functional design.
15. Johann Balthasar Neumann
Johann Balthasar Neumann was a German architect and military engineer who lived in the 18th century. He is known for his refined style of Baroque architecture, which combined elements from Austria, Bohemia, Italy, and France. He designed some of the most impressive buildings of his time, such as the Würzburg Residence and the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Neumann was a master of the late Baroque style, characterized by rich ornamentation, dynamic forms, and complex spatial arrangements. He was influenced by the works of French architects such as Germain Boffrand and Robert de Cotte, whom he met during his travels in France. He also collaborated with other artists, such as the painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and the sculptor Antonio Corradini, to create harmonious and integrated compositions.
Neumann was born in Eger, Kingdom of Bohemia (today Cheb, Czech Republic), in 1687. He was the seventh of nine children of a cloth-maker. He learned the trade of bell-founding and gun-making in his hometown and then moved to Würzburg in 1711. He gained the patronage of the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn, who appointed him his chief architect and military engineer. He worked for the Schönborn family for most of his career, building palaces, churches, and fortifications in Franconia and other regions. Neumann did not have a formal education in architecture, but he acquired his skills through practical experience and self-study. He attended lessons on geometry, architecture, and land surveying in Würzburg and studied the works of contemporary architects in books and drawings. He also traveled extensively to observe and measure buildings in Germany, Austria, Italy, and France. He was proficient in mathematics and engineering and invented several instruments for surveying and construction.
Neumann died in Würzburg in 1753 at the age of 66. He was buried in the Marienkapelle, a Gothic church he restored and decorated. He left behind a legacy of remarkable buildings considered among the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe. His most famous works include the Würzburg Residence (1720–1744), the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (1743–1772), the Neresheim Abbey (1745–1792), and the Bruchsal Palace (1720–1736). He also designed many other churches, monasteries, castles, gardens, bridges, fountains, and canals.
16. Erich Mendelsohn
Erich Mendelsohn was a German-British architect known for his expressionist and functionalist style. He was born in Allenstein, Prussia (now Olsztyn, Poland) on March 21, 1887. He studied architecture at the Technical University of Berlin and the Technical University of Munich, where he graduated in 1912. He married Luise Maas, a cellist and the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, in 1915. Mendelsohn’s first major work was the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, which was completed in 1921. It was a scientific observatory designed to test Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. The tower’s curved and organic shape was influenced by expressionism, which sought to express emotions and inner visions through distorted forms. Mendelsohn also designed several department stores, cinemas, and factories, reflecting his interest in dynamic functionalism, emphasizing movement, speed, and efficiency.
Mendelsohn left Germany in 1933 after the rise of the Nazis, who persecuted Jews and banned modern architecture. He moved to England, where he became a British citizen in 1938. He collaborated with other exiled architects, such as Serge Chermayeff and Walter Gropius, on various projects. One is the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, a seaside resort combining modernist and art deco elements. He also designed several synagogues, such as the Park Synagogue in Cleveland, Ohio, and the B’nai Amoona Synagogue in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1941, Mendelsohn moved to Palestine, where he was commissioned to design the master plan for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also designed several buildings for the university, such as the library, the administration building, and the medical school. He also worked on other projects in Palestine, such as the Hadassah Hospital and the Weizmann House, the residence of the first president of Israel, Chaim Weizmann.
Mendelsohn died in San Francisco, California, on September 15, 1953, at 66. He was buried in Jerusalem, next to his wife, who had died in 1952. He is regarded as one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, whose works have inspired generations of architects and designers. Some of his awards include the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1952 and the Israel Prize in 1957 (posthumously). Some of his key works are the Einstein Tower in Potsdam (1921), the Schocken Department Store in Chemnitz (1928), the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea (1935), and the Weizmann House in Rehovot (1937).
17. Günter Behnisch
Günter Behnisch was a German architect born in Lockwitz, near Dresden, on June 12, 1922. He died in Stuttgart on July 12, 2010, at 88. He was one of the most prominent architects representing deconstructivism, a style of architecture that challenges conventional forms and structures. Behnisch studied architecture at the Technical University in Stuttgart from 1947 to 1951 after serving as a submarine commander in the Second World War and spending two years as a prisoner of war in Britain. He established his architecture practice in Stuttgart in 1952, later becoming Behnisch & Partner in 1966. He also taught architecture at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt from 1967 to 1987.
Behnisch was from Germany, but his work was influenced by international trends and movements. He admired the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and the structural expressionism of Frei Otto. He also incorporated postmodernism, functionalism, and environmentalism elements in his designs. He sought to create adaptable, transparent, and socially responsible buildings. Behnisch’s great accomplishment was the design of the Olympic Park in Munich for the 1972 Summer Olympics. He won the architectural competition for the project in 1967 and collaborated with Frei Otto to create the iconic tensile roof structure that covered the stadium and other facilities. The Olympic Park was a landmark of modern architecture and engineering and a symbol of Germany’s democratic and progressive spirit.
Behnisch received many awards and honors for his work, including the Grand Architecture Prize of the Bundes Deutscher Architekten (BDA) in 1972, the membership of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 1982, and the honorary doctorate of the University of Stuttgart in 1984. He was also a founding member of the Sächsische Akademie der Künste in 1996 and the leader of its architecture class until 2000. Some of his other key works were the Central Library of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (1984-87), the Museum für Kommunikation Frankfurt (1984-90), the HYSOLAR-Building of the University of Stuttgart (1985-87), the Plenary Complex of the German Parliament in Bonn (1987-92), and the Academy of Arts Building in Berlin (1993-2005).
Who are the famous German architects in modern times?
Listed below are the famous German architects in modern times:
- Walter Gropius: Walter Gropius was a German-American architect and educator who founded the Bauhaus, a school of art and design that influenced modern architecture and design. He influenced the development of modernism and functionalism with his projects, such as the Fagus Factory, the Bauhaus Building, and the Gropius House. He collaborated with other prominent architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was one of the pioneers of the International Style, a minimalist and rational approach to architecture. He used modern steel, glass, and concrete materials to create elegant and spacious structures. He designed iconic buildings such as the Barcelona Pavilion, the Seagram Building, and the Farnsworth House. He also headed the architecture school at the Illinois Institute of Technology and mentored many young architects.
- Frei Otto: Frei Otto was a German architect and engineer specializing in lightweight and tensile structures. He experimented with innovative forms and materials such as membranes, cables, and grids. He created spectacular roofs and pavilions for the Olympic Stadium in Munich, the Expo 2000 in Hannover, and the German Pavilion in Montreal. He won the Pritzker Prize in 2015, shortly before his death.
- Gottfried Böhm: Gottfried Böhm was a German architect and sculptor who combined traditional and modern styles in his buildings. He created expressive and sculptural forms with concrete, steel, and glass. He designed many churches, civic centers, and museums in Germany and abroad. His most famous work is the Maria, Königin des Friedens pilgrimage church in Neviges. He was the first German architect to win the Pritzker Prize in 1986.
- Erich Mendelsohn: Erich Mendelsohn was a German-Jewish architect who led the expressionist architectural movement. He designed dynamic and organic buildings that reflected the spirit of the modern age. He used curved and flowing shapes, such as in the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, the Mossehaus in Berlin, and the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea. He also worked on many projects in Palestine, the United States, and England.
Who are the famous German architects with the biggest influence on modern architecture?
Listed below are the famous German architects with the biggest influence on modern architecture:
- Walter Gropius: Walter Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus school, revolutionizing art, design, and architecture in the 20th century. He advocated for a functional, rational, and collaborative approach to building and influenced many modernist movements, such as the International Style and Brutalism. His notable works include the Fagus Factory, the Bauhaus Building, and the Gropius House.
- Hans Scharoun: Hans Scharoun was a German architect and a leading exponent of organic and expressionist architecture. He designed buildings that responded to the natural and social context and experimented with innovative forms and materials. He is best known for creating the Berliner Philharmonie, a concert hall with a distinctive tent-like structure and a radial seating arrangement. He also designed the Schminke House, a modernist villa that resembles a ship.
- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect and a pioneer of modernist architecture. He developed a style based on simplicity, clarity, and harmony, using industrial materials such as steel and glass. He is famous for his aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details.” Some of his iconic works include the Barcelona Pavilion, the Seagram Building, and the Farnsworth House.
- Hermann Muthesius: Hermann Muthesius was a German architect, author, and diplomat who promoted many ideas of the English Arts and Crafts movement within Germany. He advocated for a balance between tradition and innovation and cooperation between architects, craftsmen, and industry. He wrote an influential three-volume report on the English house and founded the Deutscher Werkbund, a group of artists and designers that aimed to improve the quality of German products.
- Frei Otto: Frei Otto was a German architect and structural engineer specializing in lightweight and tensile structures. He was inspired by natural forms and phenomena and used physical models and computer simulations to explore optimal shapes and forces. He won the Pritzker Prize in 2015, shortly before his death. He is renowned for designing the roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich, as well as other projects such as the Multihalle in Mannheim and the German Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal.
What are the most famous architectural wonders in Germany?
Germany’s most famous architectural wonders are the Neuschwanstein Castle, Cologne Cathedral, East Side Gallery, and Elbphilharmonie. Firstly, Neuschwanstein Castle is a fairy-tale palace built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century. The castle is perched on a hilltop in the Bavarian Alps, overlooking a scenic lake and forest. It features a neo-romantic style, with turrets, towers, frescoes, and lavish interiors. The castle is one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions, inspiring Walt Disney to create the iconic Cinderella Castle. Secondly, the Cologne Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece that took over 600 years to complete. The cathedral is the largest in Germany and one of the tallest in the world, with two soaring spires that dominate the city skyline. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it houses many treasures, such as the Shrine of the Three Kings, the Gero Crucifix, and the stained glass windows. Thirdly, the East Side Gallery is a section of the Berlin Wall transformed into an open-air art gallery. The wall was erected in 1961 to divide East and West Berlin, and it became a symbol of the Cold War. After the wall’s fall in 1989, more than 100 artists from around the world painted murals on the eastern side of the wall, expressing their hopes, dreams, and messages of peace. The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining part of the wall, showcasing Berlin’s history and culture. Lastly, Elbphilharmonie is a modern concert hall that opened in 2017 in Hamburg. The building is a striking example of contemporary architecture, combining a former warehouse with a glass structure that resembles a sail or a wave. The building is located on the banks of the Elbe River, offering panoramic views of the city and the harbor. It hosts various musical events, from classical to jazz, and features a state-of-the-art acoustic system and a public plaza.
What are the most known architectural firms in Germany?
Germany’s most well-known architectural firms are Gerkan, Marg and Partners, Behnisch Architekten, and LAVA | Laboratory for Visionary Architecture. Firstly, Gerkan, Marg, and Partners is one of Germany’s largest and most successful architecture practices worldwide. The firm was founded in 1965 by Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg, and it has completed more than 500 projects in over 70 countries. It is known for its iconic designs of stadiums, airports, cultural buildings, and urban developments. Some of their notable works include the Berlin Central Station, the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, the Hanoi Museum, and the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg. Secondly, Behnisch Architekten is a leading firm in sustainable and innovative architecture. The firm was established in 1989 by Stefan Behnisch, the son of the famous architect Günter Behnisch, who designed the Olympic Park in Munich. It has offices in Stuttgart, Munich, Boston, and Los Angeles, and it works on various types of projects, such as educational, residential, commercial, and healthcare facilities. Some of their acclaimed works include the Genzyme Center in Cambridge, the NordLB headquarters in Hannover, the Unilever House in Hamburg, and the Harvard Allston Science Complex. Lastly, LAVA | Laboratory for Visionary Architecture is a cutting-edge firm that combines digital technologies, natural systems, and human needs to create visionary and sustainable architecture. The firm was founded in 2007 by Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser, and Alexander Rieck, who worked as key designers at the renowned Zaha Hadid Architects. It has offices in Berlin, Stuttgart, Sydney, and Ho Chi Minh City, and it works on various projects, such as cultural, educational, sports, and hospitality buildings. Some of their impressive works include the Green Climate Fund headquarters in Bonn, the Zhejiang Gate Towers in Hangzhou, the Energy Storage Tower in Heidelberg, and the Watercube National Swimming Centre in Beijing.
What is the architecture body in Germany?
Listed below are the architectural bodies in Germany:
- Federal Chamber of German Architects: The Federal Chamber of German Architects is the national umbrella organization of Germany’s 16 regional chambers of architects. It represents the interests of about 130,000 architects in the fields of politics, administration, and the public. It also sets the standards for the profession and regulates the access to the title of architect.
- German Architecture Museum: The German Architecture Museum is a museum in Frankfurt that showcases the history and development of architecture in Germany and beyond. It has a permanent exhibition that displays models and plans of significant buildings from various periods and styles. It also hosts temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary topics and architectural trends.
- German Architecture Centre: The German Architecture Centre is a non-profit institution in Berlin that promotes the discourse and exchange of ideas on architecture, urban planning, and landscape design. It organizes exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and publications exploring architecture’s social, cultural, and environmental aspects. It also supports young and emerging architects through awards and scholarships.
- German Association of Architects: The German Association of Architects is a voluntary association of architects, urban planners, landscape architects, and interior designers in Germany. It aims to foster the quality and diversity of architecture and protect its members’ rights and interests. It also offers professional services like legal advice, insurance, and training.
- German Foundation for Monument Protection: The German Foundation for Monument Protection, a private foundation, works to preserve and restore Germany’s architectural heritage. It supports more than 600 projects yearly, ranging from medieval churches and castles to industrial buildings and modern architecture. It also raises public awareness and appreciation for the cultural value of monuments through publications, events, and awards.
What is the most popular architectural style in Germany?
The most popular architectural style in Germany is Bauhaus, which originated in 1919. Bauhaus was a movement that combined art, design, and craftsmanship and aimed to create functional and aesthetic buildings, furniture, and objects. Bauhaus was influenced by modernism, expressionism, and constructivism and featured geometric shapes, minimal ornamentation, and rational use of materials. Some of the most famous Bauhaus architects and artists were Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee, and Wassily Kandinsky. It had a lasting impact on architecture and design around the world, especially in the fields of modernism and international style.
What are the most used house-building materials in Germany?
Germany’s most used house-building materials are brick, concrete, and wood. Brick and concrete are preferred for their durability, fire resistance, sound insulation, and thermal mass. Wood is also used for its environmental benefits, low energy consumption, and aesthetic appeal. Some common types of houses in Germany are single-family houses, apartments, red brick Gothic buildings, and timber-framed houses.
Do building materials affect the payment of an architect?
Yes, building materials can affect the payment of an architect. Different materials have different costs, availability, durability, and environmental impact. These factors can influence a project’s design, complexity, and feasibility. The use of natural or recycled materials may reduce the construction cost but increase the design challenge while using high-end or imported materials may increase the construction cost but improve the quality and aesthetics of the project, wherein architects must carefully consider the choice of materials and adjust their fees accordingly. Some architects charge a percentage of the total construction cost, which means their payment will vary depending on the materials used, while others charge a fixed fee or an hourly rate, which means their payment will depend on the time and effort spent on the project.
How much is the salary of an architect in Germany?
The average salary for an architect in Germany is $87271 (€78431, £66685) per year or $42 (€38, £32) per hour. The salary range for an architect is between $60030 (€53989, £45884) and $105987 (€95321, £81062) per year, while the median salary is $4744 (€4270, £3628) per month.
What German states have the highest salaries for architects?
The German states with the highest salaries for architects are Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Baden-Württemberg has an average monthly salary of $89380 (€82000, £71340). It is a prosperous state with a strong economy and a high concentration of innovative industries, such as engineering, biotechnology, and renewable energy. Bavaria has an average annual salary of $82840 (€76000, £66120). It is the largest state in Germany and a popular tourist destination, with a rich cultural heritage and various architectural styles.