German architecture

German architecture , come from various ethnic groups, within which the Germanic culture predominates. To understand this it is necessary to know the origin of the country. Germany is a state in central Europe that was formed after the end of the German Empire , which existed since 1871 . The Holy Roman Empire was its predecessor, from the 9th century , it covered all or much of what it is today: Germany , Belgium , the Netherlands, Austria , Luxembourg , Switzerland , part of Italy ,France and Poland .


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  • 1 First Important Architecture
  • 2 Romanesque art in Germany
  • 3 Gothic Style Architecture
  • 4 German Renaissance
  • 5 Beginning of the 20th century
  • 6 Second half
  • 7 News
  • 8 Top representatives of contemporary German architecture
  • 9 Sources

First Important Architecture

The first outstanding works are produced under the authority of Emperor Carlo Magno . He is the promoter of Carolingian Architecture , it does not have its own identity but is a simile of the Italian Byzantine style. The capital of the Carolingian empire was Aachen, construction was strongly developed there, mainly on the grounds of the imperial palace.

Romanesque art in Germany

During the late Middle Ages Romanesque style art developed. The style was developed in Germany during the 11th and 12th centuries . Although the Romanesque forms are born in France , they were created with Germanic constructive elements and designs.

They were used to build mainly Christian temples, which were mostly built on the banks of the Rhine River . An example of this is the Bamberg Cathedral .

Gothic Architecture

The Gothic style enters the Holy Empire from France , XII to XV century . It is reformed by the Germans, they make their own version of the pointed arch. The Gothic model that they use to design buildings is unique in Europe , they give more importance to the achieved form than to the construction technique. They tirelessly seek to reflect their own feelings in the forms of their works and they succeed. See the [[Cologne Cathedral]].

German Renaissance

In the 16th and 17th centuries , the Renaissance movement arrived from Italy . It influences a wide scope of scientific and artistic work, however, for architecture it is not a notable influence. While other regions of Europe seek to imitate the ancient style of the Greeks, as proposed by Renaissance art, German architects are concerned with consolidating their German identity.

Early 20th century

German architecture set important standards during the first thirty years of the 20th century . The most fruitful impulses came from Weimar and Dessau , where the Bauhaus was founded in the 1920s and the style that bears his name was developed. This current, whose inspiration was Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , spread throughout the world. Today masterpieces of this synthesis of art, technique and functionality are found on all continents.

Second half

Post- 1945 contemporary German architecture was for a long time highly restricted by its difficult starting situation. The cities destroyed by the bombings had to be quickly rebuilt. Millions of people needed a roof under which to shelter. In such circumstances, architectural quality could not be a priority factor; A functional architecture prevailed, based on the economic criteria of the real estate sector and scarcely interested in the design of the home and the working environment, the consequences of which are still evident in many places.

Complaints against the monotonous dormitory cities and the gloomy industrial estates on the outskirts of the cities and against buildings indiscriminately embedded in urban areas began to proliferate in the 1960s in divided Germany . There was even talk of the “inhospitality” ([[Alexander Mitscherlich]]) of urban centers, until regenerative urbanism began to be prioritized politically and socially in the mid-1970s.

At the same time, the same or worse architectural follies and urban attacks were committed in the old GDR. Valuable old buildings were demolished or abandoned, most of them in urban centers. The scarce resources destined to the construction of houses flowed to large peripheral neighborhoods of bland buildings mounted on the basis of prefabricated sheets. With few exceptions, the architects hardly had the opportunity to carry out a contemporary architecture that connects with other international trends.


Today German architecture is characterized by the innovation of its approaches, always on a human scale. More than a good building still owes its quality to the style and thought of the Bauhaus. But also very successful buildings are being built in line with the latest trends, such as high-tech buildings, in which important functional elements such as elevators, escalators and distribution pipes are left in view and at the same time operate as decorative elements, for which color is also frequently used. Today the postulate of mere functionality is broken with a whole range of visual references, such as capitals, cornices or modernist-style ornaments, in keeping with the idea of ​​architecture as art.

Top representatives of contemporary German architecture

  • Gottfried Böhm, the first German architect to obtain the “Pritzker

Architecture Prize ”( 1986 ).

  • Günter Behnisch, who designed the facilities of the Olympic Games

Munich and the new plenary hall of the German Bundestag in Bonn ( 1993 ).

  • Frei Otto, famous for his cable-stayed hanging ceiling constructions

and its proposals for ecological architecture.

  • Josef Paul Kleihues and Hardt-Waltherr Hämer, Planning Directors

from the International Architecture Exhibition (IBA) in Berlin, which have had a decisive influence both in the debate on new architecture and in the treatment of old neighborhoods.

  • Volker Staab, author of the Modern Art Gallery in Munich and the Georg Museum

Schäfer from Schweinfurt, two real milestones in the current panorama of museum architecture.

  • Axel Schultes, winner in 1993 of the “International Ideas Competition

for the urbanization of the arch of the Spree ”convened in Berlin and author, together with Charlotte Frank, of the new floor building that houses the Federal Chancellery in this area of ​​the capital.


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