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Poelzig, Hans

Poelzig, Hans (1869–1936). Berlin-born German architect. After working under Häring in the 1890s, early in the new century he was appointed (through the influence of Muthesius) Professor (and Director from 1903) at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Breslau (now Wrocłlaw), where he also had his own office until 1916. While in Breslau he designed the Expressionist Water Tower and Exhibition Hall, Posen (now Poznań), Silesia (1910–11), a heptagonal steel-framed structure filled with panes of herring-bone brickwork. Other buildings included an office-block in Breslau (1911–12), with horizontal window-strips (anticipating the International Modernism of the following decades), and a Chemical Factory and Workers' Housing at Luban (now Luboń, Poland—1911–12), and several buildings in Breslau (to mark the centenary of the victory over Napoleon in 1813) in which he used a Greek Doric Order simplified and adapted to concrete construction.

He became City Architect of Dresden (1916–20) and Professor at the Technische Hochschule there, where he produced several fantastic Expressionist designs (unrealized), including a proposal for the Festspielhaus (Festival Theatre), Salzburg (1919–20), but built the Dresden Gasworks (1916). In 1918 he joined the Novembergruppe, followed by Arbeitsrat für Kunst, became Chairman of the Deutscher Werkbund in 1919, and was an active participant of Der Ring. In 1919, for Max Reinhardt (1873–1943), he converted the Schumann Circus into the Expressionist Grosses Schauspielhaus (Great Playhouse), Berlin, with stalactite vaults in the auditorium (destroyed). By 1920 he had moved to Berlin, heading a studio in the Academy of Arts there and, from 1923, teaching at Berlin-Charlottenburg: his pupils included Eiermann and Wachsmann. Among his other buildings the Capitol Cinema, Berlin (1925), the Sigmund Goeritz Factory, Chemnitz (1927), a house for the Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart (1927), Broadcasting House, Berlin (1930), and the gigantic I. G. Farben Administrative Building, Frankfurt-am-Main (1928–31), the last showing certain tendencies towards a stripped Neo-Classicism, deserve mention.

Bibliography

Heuss (1939);
Killy , Pfankuch (1965);
Lampugnani (ed.) (1988);
Lane (1985);
Marquart (1995);
Pehnt (1973);
Poelzig (1954);
Posener (1970, 1992);
Sharp (1967);
Tafuri & and Dal Co (1986)

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