Just as the way we communicate, behave, speak, and think positively affects our personality as humans. Architecture is not a different element, it reflects not only the cultural identity but a physical expression embodiment of our beliefs, diversity, also of human lifestyles, and other conceptual notions about life. Throughout human history over 600 thousand years, Germany is known for having a long, rich, and diverse history. It is the home to a fascinating array of architectural styles, including renowned examples of Carolingian, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Modern and International Style architecture.
Though all these different architectural styles set together formed the human architecture legacy, there are legends born, got influenced by these styles, and became responsible for all the turning points in architecture. Here is a list of the top 10 overindulgence outstanding architects according to HPI (Historical Popularity Index 2020):
Gropius established the Bauhaus School (German for’ building house’) German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and fine art. In principle, the Bauhaus represented an opportunity to extend beauty and quality to every home through well designed industrially produced objects and the creation of integrated design projects. The Bauhaus program was an experimental and more collaborative and interdisciplinary mode which was contrary to the traditional teaching methods used in which the emphasis was on theoretical. It was based on the idea of creating a Gesamtkunstwerk (“comprehensive artwork”) in which all the arts would ultimately be brought together.
The Bauhaus style afterward became one of the most influential currents in modern design, modernist architecture and art, design, and architectural education. His architectural style was in marked contrast with the common in the architectural community, especially in The United States where most of the artists moved. His stark contributions to architecture other than The Bauhaus were The Fagus Factory 1910, Sommerfeld House 1921, and Harvard Graduate Center 1949-50. In 1959 he took the AIA Gold Medal.
For Mies, philosophy came first. How a building looked was purely an expression of its period and its materials. Also, he often associated with his fondness for the aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details”. During his 60-year of his career, Mies’ buildings were known as steel-and-glass skyscrapers and horizontally-oriented houses and pavilions which he called “skin-and-bones” architecture due to their minimal use of industrial materials, which was very sensitive in his choice of materials in his designs, including fine stone, chrome, bronze, and even brick. Besides, his definition of space and the rigidity of structure, and its transparency, is a method of negation of feeling completely enclosed. Such as the Farnsworth House, notably difficult to inhabit when privacy is needed.
When Mies arrived in the United States in 1938, he designed one of his most famous buildings (the Barcelona Pavilion) as the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Spain. Mies established a design vocabulary that helped define Mid-Century Modern architecture, what became known as “the second Chicago school of architecture”. Mies has been honored numerous times, both during his lifetime and posthumously. He took the RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal for architecture in 1959. Besides, The AIA Gold Medal in 1963.
3. Peter Behrens
Behrens had a long career, designing objects, typefaces, and important buildings in various styles from the 1900s to the 1930s. Also, in 1909, Behrens began designing for AEG (Allgemeine Elektricitäts Gesellschaft), one of the most significant manufacturing concerns in the world, and was appointed as artistic adviser for all AEG products, which later became the Academy of Arts.
During the last years of his career, he became a leader of the rationalist / classical German Reform Movement of the 1910s. later after W War 1, he explored the themes and styles of Brick Expressionism. Between 1920 and 1924, he was responsible for designing and constructing the Technical Administration Building of Hoechst AG in Höchst, outside Frankfurt. As a well-known architect, he produced designs across Germany, other European countries, Russia and England.
4. Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Schinkel’s earlier in his career was defined by his tendency to the Greek rather than Imperial Roman architecture, an attempt to turn away from the style that was linked to the recent French occupiers. His most amazing buildings are found in and around Berlin. These included Neue Wache (1816–1818), National Monument for the Liberation Wars (1818–1821), the Konzerthaus Berlin (1819–1821) at the Gendarmenmarkt, the Altes Museum on Museum Island (1823–1830), and The Building Academy known as Bauakademie located at Schinkelplatz in Berlin (1932-36). His most famous designs in Berlin are the Schauspielhaus, the Altes Museum, and the Neues Museum.
5. Frei Otto
Frei’s architectural style would always be the opposite of the heavy, columned buildings constructed for a supposed eternity under the Third Reich in Germany. Frei’s work, in contrast, was lightweight, open to nature, democratic, low-cost, and sometimes even temporary. Frei pioneered the use of modern, lightweight, tent-like structures for many uses. He was attracted to them partially for their economic and ecological values. In 1958, Frei founded the first of several institutions he would establish that were dedicated to lightweight structures (the Institute for Development of Lightweight Construction, a small private institute). Frei published the first volume of his major opus Tensile Structures: Design, Structure, and Calculation of Buildings of Cables, Nets, and Membranes (the second volume was published in 1966).
His career paid off in, the West Germany Pavilion at Expo 67 Montreal, Roof for Olympic Stadium, Munich, Multihalle, Mannheim, Umbrellas for 1977 Pink Floyd tour, Aviary at Munich Zoo, Tuwaiq Palace, Saudi Arabia, with Buro Happold and Roof structure of the Japanese Pavilion at Expo 2000, Hanover Germany (provided engineering assistance with Buro Happold and architectural collaboration with Shigeru Ban). Among all the numerous accolades, He received the 1980 Aga Khan Award. He was named Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, in 1982 and Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers, London, in 1986.
6. Gottfried Semper
Semper became very interested in the Biedermeier-inspired polychromy. The drawn reconstructions of the painterly decorations of ancient villas he created in Athens inspired his later designs for the painted decorations in Dresden and Vienna, in 1834, he issued Vorläufige Bemerkungen über bemalte Architectur und Plastik bei den Alten (Preliminary Remarks on Polychrome Architecture and Sculpture in Antiquity).
In his influential writings, principally Der Stil in den Technischen und Technischen Künsten (1860–63; “Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts”). Also, he extensively about the origins of architecture, in his book The Four Elements of Architecture in 1851. His work marks the transition away from the Neoclassicism of Karl Friedrich Schinkel. His fame expanded when he designed the Semper Opera House in Dresden, Germany.
7. Ernst Neufert
Ernst Neufert (15 March 1900 – 23 February 1986) was a German architect who is known as an assistant to Walter Gropius. His instructor recommended him to Walter Gropius in 1919 as one of his first students of the Bauhaus. In 1921 he returned to the Bauhaus and became chief architect under Gropius in one of the most prominent architecture studios of the Weimar Republic. In 1936, Neufert published his reference book Bauentwurfslehre (Architects’ Data), which made great success till today as a reference for architecture students.
8. Leo Van Klenze
During Van Klenze’s career, He built many neoclassical buildings in Munich, including the Ruhmeshalle, Monopteros temple, and Glyptothek, which is a museum of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. On Königsplatz he designed probably the best-known modern Hellenistic architectural ensemble. Near Regensburg, he built the Walhalla temple, named after Valhalla, the home of gods in Norse mythology. As a result of being an accomplished painter and illustrator, he photographed his old buildings which served as models for his own architectural projects.
9. Paul Troost
In 1933, Troost was commissioned to rebuild and refurnish Hitler’s dwellings in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. Along with other architects such as Ludwig Ruff, Troost planned and built State and municipal edifices all around the country, including new administrative offices, social buildings for workers, and bridges across the main highways. One of the many designs he planned before his death was the Haus der Deutschen Kunst (“House of German Art”) in Munich, modeled on Schinkel’s Altes Museum in Berlin. The museum was constructed from 1933 to 1937 following Troost’s plans and was Nazi Germany’s first monumental structure of Nazi architecture.
10. Gottfried Böhm
Böhm’s architecture style is considered to have been both an expressionist and post-Bauhaus architect, but he preferred to define himself as an architect who created “connections” between a lot of aspects of the past and the future, the world of ideas, and the physical world, and a building and its urban surroundings. Böhm used to design his projects mostly in molded concrete, recently he employed more steel and glass in his buildings due to the technical advancements in both materials.
Böhm’s popularity as a concern for urban planning is evident in many of his projects, harking back to his emphasis on “connections”. The most influential and recognized building for Böhm is the Maria, Königin des Friedens pilgrimage church in Neviges. In addition, he designed buildings in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Turin, Italy. He received numerous accolades, Most notable Grande Medaille d’Or d’Architecture, L’Académie d’Architecture in Paris, France, Honorary Membership / Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects AIA, Fritz Schumacher Prize, Hamburg, Price Cret Chair at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, and Gebhard Fugel Prize, Munich.
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- Memorable architects born in present day Germany (2020). Pantheon [online] (last updated.2020) available at: https://pantheon.world/explore/rankings?show=people&years=-3501,2020&place=deu&occupation=ARCHITECT [Accessed 29 Jun.2022].
- The Pritzker Architecture prize (2022). The Pritzker [online] available at: https://www.pritzkerprize.com/ [Accessed 29 Jun.2022].