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Scharoun, Hans Bernard

Scharoun, Hans Bernard (1893–1972). German architect. Sometimes described as influenced by Expressionism, he was actually more eclectic, drawing on ideas of ‘new building’ promoted by Häring and on the tenets of the Modern Movement. During the 1914–18 war he worked on reconstruction projects in East Prussia until 1918, and later practised in that area of Germany (1919–25). His association with the Gläserne Kette and Der Ring led to his building a house at the Weissenhof-siedlung, Stuttgart (1927). From 1925 to 1932 he taught at the Staatliche Akademie für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe (State Academy for Art and Applied Art), Breslau (now Wrocław), and built a residential hall for the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in that city devoted to the theme of living-and work-spaces (1929). He prepared plans for the Siemensstadt and other housing schemes in Berlin (1929–30): at Siemensstadt he was associated with Bartning, Gropius, Häring, and others. During the 1930s he produced several Modernist houses, including the Schminke House, Löbau, Saxony (1932–3), with huge cantilevered balconies, much glass, and steel construction. After the 1939–45 war he directed the Building and Housing Department for Greater Berlin, and prepared (with others) plans for the rebuilding of the shattered city. He was also appointed to the Chair of Urban Planning, Technical University of Berlin, which he occupied until 1958, exercising great influence.

He designed a series of residential schemes (‘Romeo’ and ‘Juliet’ apartments, Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen (1954–9), ‘Salute’ block, Stuttgart-Möhringen (1961–3), and dwellings at Charlottenburg-Nord, Berlin (1956–61)), schools, and other structures. His most celebrated building, however, is the Philharmonie (Hall for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra), Berlin (1956–63), where the auditorium is surrounded by foyers and offices, the whole freely composed in a way some have seen as a late flowering of Expressionism, or even as evidence of Scharoun's commitment to organic architecture. He also designed the Prussian State Library, Berlin (1964–79), sited on the Kulturforum that includes the Philharmonie and Mies van der Rohe's National Gallery, but it has to be said that these structures relate neither to each other nor to the city as a place of memory, and ignore one of the most significant historical axes. He also designed the German Embassy in Brasilia (1963–71), the Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven (1969–75), and the Town Theatre, Wolfsburg (1965–74), among other projects.

Bibliography

Builder Jodidio (1995);
Bürkle (1993);
Conrads & and Sperlich (1960);
Geist (1993);
Hoh-Slodczyk et al. (1992);
Janofske (1984);
Kirschenmann & and Syring (1993);
Marcianò (1992);
Messina et al. (1969);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Pehnt (1973);
Pfankuch (1974);
Syring & and Kirschenmann (2004);
Jane Turner (1996)

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Scharoun, Hans

Hans Scharoun (häns shär´oun), 1893–1972, German architect. A member of the expressionist circle, Scharoun used a dynamic, sculptural approach to design throughout his long career. He conceived the Geschwister Scholl High School in Lunen, Westphalia (1962), as a complex of apartmentlike classrooms, built to create for its students a continuity between home and school environments. Scharoun was also noted for theater and concert-hall designs such as the acclaimed Berlin Philharmonic Building (1956–63).

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