Franz Schwechten

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Franz Schwechten (photo taken around 1895)
Relief image of Franz Schwechten by the sculptor Alexander Calandrelli (1895)

Franz Heinrich Schwechten (born August 12, 1841 in Cologne , † August 11, 1924 in Berlin ) was a German architect of historicism .


Franz Schwechten was the first son of District Court Judge Heinrich Schwechten and Justine Pauline, nee Herrstatt. He attended the (Protestant) Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium , where he received special support in art classes from the cathedral sculptor Christoph Stephan . After graduating from high school in the spring of 1860, he joined the studio of the future city architect Julius Raschdorff as an apprentice in the autumn , then studied from 1861 at the Berlin Building Academy under Karl Bötticher , August Hermann Spielberg and Friedrich Adler and finally graduated in 1863 with the Royal Building Supervisor Examination. He then began a two-year practical training with the important architects August Stüler and Martin Gropius in Berlin, before returning to his hometown of Cologne for two years in 1865, where he was accepted into the studio of the land and garrison architect Hermann Otto Pflaume . In the winter semester of 1867/68 he continued his studies in Berlin. In 1869 he passed the exams for "Royal Master Builder" (June 26) and "Government Master Builder" (July 3). A year earlier, he had already emerged as the winner of the Schinkel competition held annually by the Berlin Architects' Association with the design for a parliament building for Prussia in "Hellenistic" forms . He had also submitted this draft to the master builder examination. The prize money enabled him to make his first study trip to Italy from October 1869 to June 1870.

Schwechten worked from 1871 to 1882 as head of the structural engineering department of the central technical office for the Berlin-Anhalt Railway Company . During this time a. the new construction of the Anhalter Bahnhof , which attracted the attention of experts and the public far beyond Berlin and made him known as an “outstanding monumental artist”.

In 1885 Schwechten was appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in Berlin and in the same year began teaching at the Technical University of Charlottenburg . In 1888 he was awarded the title of "Royal Building Councilor" and in 1889 he was appointed a member of the Berlin Building Academy . In 1894 he received a small gold medal at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition and a large one in 1906.

From the mid-1880s to 1907 Schwechten was entrusted with the construction and expansion of new, extensive production facilities for the Schultheiss Brewery (Department I) on Schönhauser Allee (today's Berliner Kulturbrauerei ) in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. The Schultheiss brewery is one of the main works of Schwechten, along with the Anhalter Bahnhof and the War Academy (1880–1883).

Schwechten also designed and built a. a. the Berlin Philharmonic (a former roller-skating rink) in Bernburger Strasse 22/23 (1887/88), the AEG apparatus factory in Ackerstrasse (1894–1907), the neo-Gothic Apostle Paul Church in Berlin-Schöneberg (1892–1894) and the tomb for Adolf Becker. The Ducal Mausoleum designed by him is located in Dessau as one of the most important domed buildings of all times. The AEG factory entrance built in 1897 on Brunnenstrasse in Berlin-Gesundbrunnen , the so-called Beamtentor and the Moabit power plant on Friedrich-Krause-Ufer in Berlin, built in 1899/1900, are among the 160 or so buildings he has completed. His most famous building is certainly the neo-Romanesque Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin , which was built between 1890 and 1895 .

In 1902 Franz Schwechten took over the management of a master's studio and from 1915 to 1918 passed on his knowledge and experience as President of the Prussian Academy of the Arts .

Franz Schwechten's tomb

His grave with the tomb created according to his own design was recognized as an honorary grave of the city of Berlin and is located in the Protestant Old Cemetery of the Old Village Church next to the New Paul Gerhardt Church in Schöneberg , built in 1962 , Hauptstraße 46, in field O, grave location 0- 6-26.

Schwechten preferred romanizing forms for his buildings.

“He was one of the most successful in his work in bridge construction. The architecture ... for the Rhine bridges ... is one of the best and most imaginative of his architectural work and connects to old works from his home on the Rhine. "


Received in full or in part

1897–1899: Grunewald Tower, wood engraving after a drawing by Schwechten
1888–1890: AEG apparatus factory building, Ackerstraße at the corner of Feldstraße, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen
1899–1900: Power plant in Berlin-Moabit
1905–1910: Residential Palace in Poznan
1899–1903: Julius Heinzel mausoleum in Łódź
1909–1928: St. Matthew Church in Łódź
1887–1889: Former district house Remscheid-Lennep

Not preserved or greatly changed or in ruins

1876–1880: Anhalter Bahnhof in Berlin (Photo: around 1900)
1891–1895: Memorial Church. Photo: Ruin with successor building


In 1884 the competition design for the development of the Berlin Museum Island was purchased.

Design drawings


  • Albrecht Mann: The Neo-Romanesque. A Rhenish component in 19th century historicism . Greven Verlag, Cologne 1966, p. 11, 153 f .
  • Judith Breuer: The first Prussian railway bridges . Dirschau, Marienburg / Cologne / Lüneburg / Stuttgart 1988, pp. 79, 85
  • Andreas Puchta: The German Evangelical Church in Rome. Planning, building history, equipment (= studies on the art of antiquity and its afterlife, 2). Weiss, Bamberg 1997, ISBN 3-928591-81-9 .
  • Peer Zietz, Uwe H. Rüdenburg: Franz Heinrich Schwechten. An architect between historicism and modernity. Edition Menges, Stuttgart / London 1999, ISBN 3-930698-72-2 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  • Wolfgang Jürgen Streich: Franz Heinrich Schwechten (1841-1924). Buildings for Berlin. Verlag Michael Imhof, Petersberg 2005, ISBN 3-937251-66-9 (also dissertation, RWTH Aachen, 2003).
  • Susanne Gloger: Franz Heinrich Schwechten. Imperial builder and pioneer of modernity. In: Builders of the 19th century. The Mark Brandenburg, Issue 76, Marika Großer Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-910134-10-2 , pp. 34-40.
  • Peer Zietz:  Schwechten, Franz Heinrich. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 24, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-11205-0 , p. 35 f. ( Digitized version ).

Web links

Commons : Franz Schwechten  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Peer Zietz, Uwe H. Rüdenburg: Franz Heinrich Schwechten. An architect between historicism and modernity. Edition Menges, Stuttgart / London 1999, p. 11 ff.
  2. Franz Schwechten . In: District lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein
  3. ^ On the seventy-fifth birthday of Franz Schwechten . In: Deutsche Bauzeitung . 50th year, no. 65 , August 12, 1916, p. 342–344 ( [accessed June 27, 2017]).
  4. Monument of the month January 2014. City of Remscheid
  5. Internet presence of the Apostle Paul Congregation in Schöneberg
  6. Completion In: Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung , No. 11, March 14, 1885, pp. 108 and 109; Retrieved January 7, 2013
  7. a b Romanesque houses in the district lexicon at; Retrieved February 10, 2013
  8. ^ Purchase of the draft Museum Island , In: Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung , No. 15, April 12, 1884, p. 143; Retrieved December 27, 2012